John Valore, one of the winningest coaches in South Jersey history, takes over the Cumberland Regional High School boys basketball program.

Valore retired after the 2011 season after 35 seasons at Cherry Hill East. Valore's career record is 549-363. His teams were almost always among the region's best and won 20 or more games 10 times.

Valore stepped down because he retired from teaching and he wanted his protege, Dave Allen, to replace him as the head coach.

"I missed it," Valore said of coaching. "It was time for me to turn the reins over to someone else at East. But I missed the competitiveness of it all."

Valore takes over a program with little basketball tradition. Cumberland finished 5-21 last season.

Still, Valore tested the Colts against some of South Jersey's best teams in the preseason. Cumberland scrimmaged St. Augustine Prep, Bishop Eustace and Paul VI.

"The kids are great," Valore said. "I understand (Cumberland) is not known for basketball. It's a work in progress. No question about it."

Valore's East teams played an uptempo style and shot as many 3-pointers as quickly as they could.

That won't be the style at Cumberland. Valore said the Colts will play a more deliberate offense.

"My system is running and gunning," he said. "But I have to look at it differently. We have to have more disciplined, more selective shooting and putting people in positions where they don't have to move as much. We're going from one end of the spectrum to the other."

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League: Tri-County Conference Diamond Division

Group: South Jersey Group III

Coach: John Valore (first season at Cumberland but 549-363 in 35 seasons at Cherry Hill East)

Last season's record: 5-21

2012-13 prediction: Rebuilding - Valore should pump some life into this program.

Key players: Joseph Ordille, Jr., 5-8, G; Milton Morris, Sr., 5-10, G; Dwayne Parker, Jr., 6-1, F; Gerald Durham, Sr., 6-1, F; Gabe Hemighaus, Sr., 6-3, F; Wesley Savage, Sr., 5-11, G.

Key games:

Dec. 18 vs. Glassboro

Dec. 27 vs. Schalick

Feb. 5 vs. Woodstown

Feb. 14 vs. Gloucester Catholic