The preferred words are neither regression nor recession.
At Alemany High, this year is all about reloading.
Devin Montgomery and Bryson Atkins, who formed one of the best backcourts in the region, have graduated, but plenty of good athletes will wear Alemany jerseys during the boys' basketball season.
Reny Maynard, who averaged 12.6 points and 2.7 steals last season, is back for his senior season and Evan Cline, who played on the junior varsity, has been playing well at the War on the Floor tournament this week at Pierce College.
Freshman point guard Steve Smith, considered among the best eighth-grade players in the region, won't hurt either.
Then there is Brandon Robinson, a 6-foot-3 transfer from Texas with an interesting story.
Robinson, a junior small forward-shooting guard, played for Southwest High in Dallas as a freshman and enrolled at Alemany last year after moving to the region to live with his aunt, Debra Patterson.
But his father, Rodney, who lived in Dallas, wanted Brandon to move back to Texas.
"He was missing me," Brandon said of his father. "He didn't want me to spend all year out here. He sent me a bus ticket and I went back."
Now, father and son have moved to California.
Brandon prefers it that way, especially for basketball.
"Out there in Texas, it's kind of slow," he said. "Basketball out there is not a big thing. It's mainly one tournament at Christmas. The environment here is basketball, basketball, basketball. That's all I wanted."
The only uncertainty is whether Mike Hernandez will play at Alemany.
Hernandez, who averaged 15.9 points as a junior at San Fernando last season, has applied to Alemany.
Alemany Coach Darryl McDonald said school administrators have not decided whether to admit Hernandez, North Valley League player of the year.
"We're looking at it as if he's not coming," McDonald said. "He'd help, but we're ready with what we have right now."
Motivation, if any is needed, could come from Alemany's loss in the playoffs last season.
The Indians lost to San Dimas, 77-72, in a Southern Section Division I semifinal that featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties.
Maynard envisions a different playoff outcome next March.
"I think we could be a lot better," Maynard said. "I think we could go all the way."
With two-a-day football practices starting in August, the Canyon coaching post remains vacant.
The school is not expected to hire one of three finalists--Harry Welch, Mike Kane and Jack Bowman--within two weeks.
Welch coached Canyon to three Southern Section titles and, at one point, a 46-game winning streak.
He resigned after the 1993 season.
Kane is the freshman coach at Canyon and was a running back at Cal State Northridge.
Bowman has 28 years of coaching experience, including a stint at Saugus from 1991-96.
Allen Freemon, 28, a former basketball player at St. Francis, Glendale College and Occidental, has been hired as girls' basketball coach at Crescenta Valley, where he is a math teacher.
He is former boys' junior varsity coach at St. Francis.
Freemon replaces Damian Scribner, who was replaced after an investigation into his alleged inappropriate behavior with a female student.