BY JACK BULLOCK
When it comes to the Little Illini Conference, it is not so little at all.

With two teams in class 1A, six teams in 2A and one time in 3A, there is a huge difference in the enrollments in this league.

Casey-Westfield and Red Hill have both dropped down to 1A heading into the latest IHSA two-year cycle.

Paris, who has been 3A for the last few years, goes back down to 2A while Olney Richland is still at 3A in class.

Coach Tom Brannan will lead Casey-Westfield into another season of great expectations as he has a pair of standout juniors guards back from a 25-4 season.

Abruptly the Warriors campaign came to a halt as the top-seeded club lost to Pana, 70-67 at the 2A Shelbyville Regional.

Coach Brannan has a sparkling career won-loss mark and his four seasons at C-W have been 86-29, 74-14 in the past three seasons.

Standing in the way of a second consecutive LIC regular season and tournament title is Coach Brannan's old school.

The Marshall Lions also have a strong club heading into the second season for Coach John Webber.

The first edition last season ended up 21-9 and they, too, lost to Pana at Shelbyville, with the Lions dropping a bitter 72-71 decision in the regional final.

Marshall has a lot coming back to challenge for some awards this season in all of the tournaments they participate in.

Olney Richland County is one of the programs in the state that is just a bit too big.

Even with the change in the cutoffs of the classifications with the numbers going up, it wasn't good enough to get the Tigers back down to 2A.

Coach Rob Flanagan has been leading this program for many seasons and he took a team to a third place finish in the first season of four-class basketball, snagging the 2A trophy in 2007-08.

The Tigers lost to Effingham at the 3A Regional at home last season, 49-41, closing out the season at 22-6.

Red Hill dropping to 1A came one year too late from a really good group that graduated last spring.

Coach Bryan Havill led his club to two regular season tournament championships and a 22-10 mark.

The Salukis' season ended with a loss to Mt. Carmel, 53-36, in the regional championship game at Mt. Carmel.

Lawrenceville and head coach Randy Bishop ended up 14-15 after losing to Lawrence County rival Red Hill in the regional semifinals, 56-47.

The Indians have six seniors returning with varying degrees of experience coming back for 2019-20.

Robinson, another of the good programs in the LIC, and head coach Mack Thompson ended up just 10-21 with a quick exit from the postseason with a 69-41 loss to eventual sectional winner Teutopolis, at the 2A Effingham St. Anthony Regional semifinals.

Two starters and some reserves return for this season.

Newton and head coach Troy Bierman are coming off of a 6-22 season which closed with a 65-52 loss to Robinson at the 2A Effingham St. Anthony Regional.

A mixture of seniors and sophomores are returning for this mentor who will be in his second season in charge.

Flora went 7-24 overall, but they did manage a win over Edwards County in the regional before falling to Mt. Carmel on the Aces floor in the regional semifinals.

Coach Phil Leib has some kids back looking to improve.

For complete team-by-team previews, click on the team links below.