Here's a look at South Jersey boys' basketball in each group:

South Jersey Group 4

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Cherry Hill East.

FAVORITE: Atlantic City.

CONTENDERS: Cherry Hill East, Cherry Hill West, Rancocas Valley.

DARK HORSES: Shawnee, Lenape.

BREAKDOWN: Atlantic City, which won Group 4 state titles in 2012 and 2013, will be good in December and better in February, as coach Gene Allen integrates three key transfers, including former Holy Spirit star Leon Daniels and 6-11 sophomore Keonsis Hearns, with veterans Kevin Allen and Lamar Thomas.

Rancocas Valley is another team that will get a big boost from a transfer as former standout Ned Ogoemesim, who led the Red Devils in scoring as a sophomore, returns after spending last season at Life Center. He likely will sit 30 days but should emerge as a strong complement to flashy junior point guard Adam Perry.

The battle of Cherry Hill will be staged on high ground this season as East features Penn-bound senior guard Jake Silpe along with 6-8 junior Tim Perry while West has one of South Jersey's more intriguing players in senior swingman Can Oztamur and a seasoned lead guard in senior Elijah Bey.

Shawnee has a sharpshooter in senior Alec Warren while Lenape should be highly competitive with a defense-first mentality and disciplined offensive approach led by senior point guard Ryan McMahon.

South Jersey Group 3

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Delsea.

FAVORITE: Delsea.

DARKHORSES: Mainland, Westampton Tech, Timber Creek, Winslow Township.

BREAKDOWN: Delsea has one of South Jersey's most talented teams with senior swingmen Keith Braxton and Kwame Morton and his brother, junior lead guard Kaleb Morton. The Crusaders also could get a lift from the continued development of 6-10 senior Will Conrey.

Mainland lost by a point to Delsea in the sectional final last season and has some experience in the backcourt with returning starters Drew Dalzell and Sam Jackson, plus a 6-9 center in junior Jake O'Neill.

Westampton Tech has one of South Jersey's top scorers in senior swingman Lamar Morgan, who averaged 23.1 points last season.

South Jersey Group 2

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Camden.

FAVORITE: Camden.

CONTENDERS: Haddonfield, Pemberton.

DARK HORSES: Middle Township, Medford Tech, Collingswood.

BREAKDOWN: The Panthers return four starters from the team that stunned undefeated Haddonfield on the 28-0 Bulldogs' court in the sectional semifinals last season.

Leading the way will be juniors Brad Hawkins and Jamal Holloway, with senior Rasool Hinson poised for a big season.

Haddonfield returns four-year veteran guards in twins Rob and Nick DePersia, along with senior swingman Jake Robinson and senior big men Tyler Klaus and Luke Leverick.

Pemberton pushed Camden to the brink in the sectional finals last season and the Hornets return seasoned juniors in I'Javion Ivory, Antoine Wilson and Tyrae Johnson.

Middle Township has one of South Jersey's most highly touted freshmen in Cory Greer, the son of former star Lamar Greer, while Medford Tech will feature a deep, aggressive team led by junior guards Shakwel Vincent and Derrick Jones.

Collingswood's Isaac Destin is a top big man while senior guard Jordan Wallace is a top defender.

South Jersey Group 1

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Pitman.

FAVORITE: Paulsboro.

CONTENDER: Schalick.

DARK HORSES: Penns Grove, Haddon Heights, Burlington City.

BREAKDOWN: Paulsboro has a deep, talented squad led by senior forwards Theo Holloway and Saleem Little, a pair of four-year veterans, and senior guard Brandon Hamilton. Junior Tyrique King is a rangy, athletic board-crasher.

Schalick has one of South Jersey's top players in burly senior forward Mike Holloway, a Fairleigh-Dickinson recruit, and an experienced lead guard in junior Tyler Lunsford.

Coppin State recruit Lucian Brownlee leads a dangerous Haddon Heights team while Penns Grove features senior swingman Davon Davis.

Non-Public South A

DEFENDING CHAMPION: St. Joseph Metuchen.

FAVORITE: Union Catholic.

CONTENDERS: Camden Catholic, St. Joseph Metuchen, Christian Brothers.

DARK HORSES: Bishop Eustace, St. Augustine, Gloucester Catholic.

BREAKDOWN: Camden Catholic looms as the top local squad in this loaded group, with a top set of senior forwards in Brendan Crawford and Courtney Cubbage, plus an 'X' Factor at center in 6-8 senior Demola Onifade.

Bishop Eustace will be in the mix behind senior center Brandon Cazan and senior swingman Connor McLaughlin, along with junior lead guard Mike Cohen, an Auburn recruit.

St. Augustine has one of South Jersey's top sophomores in forward Justyn Mutts and a creative, experienced point guard in junior Sa'eed Nelson, while Gloucester Catholic has a seasoned squad led by seniors Matt Green and Fran Kinsey.

Non-Public South B

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Roselle Catholic.

FAVORITE: Roselle Catholic.

CONTENDERS: Patrick School, Gil St. Bernard's, Trenton Catholic.

DARK HORSE: Holy Spirit.

BREAKDOWN: This group probably features four of the Top 10 teams in the state. Locally, Holy Spirit will be led by senior guard John Middleton, one of South Jersey's top players, along with senior forward Jordan Taylor.

St. Joseph of Hammonton is generating some buzz under new coach Paul Rodio, the son of the legendary St. Augustine coach of the same name. The Wildcats have a top senior in swingman B.J. Mitchell.

panastasia@phillynews.com

@PhilAnastasia

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