1. Shawnee (29-3 last season): The Renegades return all five starters from a South Jersey Group 4 championship team that pushed North Jersey power Linden to the brink in the state final at Rutgers. Leading the way will be seniors such as 6-foot-6 forward Dylan Deveney, 6-4 forward Daevon Robinson, 6-5 wing Sean Heine and 6-1 guard Dean Noll along with 6-3 junior Pat Kernan. They all are skilled, polished players with great feel for the game and each other. Kane Feudtner, a 6-4 senior, and 6-3 junior guard Connor Deveney are top reserves who would start for almost every other team in South Jersey.

2. Camden (24-7): The Panthers' pursuit of that elusive 12th state title will be led by 6-6 senior Myles Thompson and 6-0 senior Corey Greer, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. Ethan Tarte, a 6-2 junior guard, is a third returning starter. Senior twins Nasir and Nasim Hinson, a pair of 5-6 athletes, will supply energy off the bench. This team will get a huge lift when 6-8 sophomore Lance Ware, a transfer from Life Center, becomes eligible after 30 days.

3. Atlantic City (21-7): The Vikings have a top all-around player in 6-5 senior Ray Bethea, a Howard recruit. Other returning starters include 6-4 senior Nah'Sir Morgan, 6-2 senior Nazim Derry and 6-2 senior David Aikens. The Vikings' inside game will get a boost after 30 days when 6-8 junior Zion Teague, a transfer from Vineland, becomes eligible.

4. St. Augustine (26-3): South Jersey's most accomplished program in recent years is rebuilding a bit this season. The Hermits will be led by 6-6 senior Marlon Hargis, a three-year starter, as well as 6-2 senior Travis Stoll, another returning starter. Junior lead guard Jordan Kendricks and 6-5 junior forward Charles Solomon are players to watch as well.

Cherokee’s Tymere Bennett (35), vying for a rebound against Timber Creek in January.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Cherokee’s Tymere Bennett (35), vying for a rebound against Timber Creek in January.

5. Cherokee (21-7): The Chiefs will be led by 6-6 senior Tymere Bennett, a Bloomfield recruit, and 6-3 junior Anthony DiCaro, a top outside shooter and playmaker. This is a deep team that also features 5-10 senior Tyler Ludwikowski and should get a lift from 6-0 junior Olare Oladipo, a transfer from Union.

6. Camden Catholic (20-7): The Irish have a top combination in 6-4 senior swingman Dominic Dunn and 6-5 junior forward Baba Ajike. Dajuan Feliciano, a 6-1 senior guard, is another player to watch, and the Irish could get a big lift from 6-7 junior Oche Okafor, an inside force who missed most of last season with an injury.

7. Haddonfield (24-6): The Bulldawgs will be led by 6-0 junior guard Mike DePersia as well as 6-2 senior guard Will Bond, a pair of top outside shooters. Other veterans include 6-4 junior Aiden Blake, 6-3 junior Dylan Heine and 5-10 junior Louis Evans. Dan Fleming, a 6-7 junior, is another player to watch.

8. Eastern (14-13): The Vikings returned an experienced group led by 6-0 senior Jesse Barbera and 6-2 senior Troy Edwards, both of whom averaged double figures last season. Onye Okoro, a 6-7 senior, is an inside presence while 6-0 junior Andrew Heck, a transfer from Pemberton, is a top outsider shooter. The Vikings will get a big lift in January with the eligibility of 6-5 senior Matt Cotton, a Yale recruit who will sit out 30 days as a transfer from St. Benedict's.

9. Rancocas Valley (16-12): The Red Devils return four starters, including 6-1 senior Kadian Dawkins, a top playmaker, as well as 5-10 senior Curtis Bright, 6-1 senior Naair Campbell and 6-2 senior Darnell St. Clair. The Red Devils could get a boost from a pair of skilled sophomores in 6-3 Damilola Mosaku, a transfer from Japan, and 6-0 Javontae Jones, a transfer from Patrick School.

10. Bishop Eustace (22-7): The Crusaders are a battled-tested group led by 6-4 senior Peyton Vostenak and 6-0 senior Pat Fish, a three-year starter. David Cross, a 5-10 sophomore, and 6-3 junior Matt Kempter could be impact players as well. The Crusaders also will feature 6-6 junior Mattia Morini, a transfer from Italy who could develop into a Division I-caliber player.

11. Lenape (23-4): The Indians have a top returning player in 6-6 senior Andrew Sims and a top defender and all-around athlete in 6-0 senior Jake Topolski. Other players to watch include junior guard Steve Matlack and junior forward Alex Matthews.

Timber Creek’s Isaiah Sanders, fouling Triton’s Brian Rinaldi during the second quarter of a South Jersey Group 3 semifinal in March.
LOU RABITO / Staff
Timber Creek’s Isaiah Sanders, fouling Triton’s Brian Rinaldi during the second quarter of a South Jersey Group 3 semifinal in March.

12. Timber Creek (12-15): The Chargers have one of South Jersey's best 1-2 combinations in 6-6 senior swingman Maurice Murray, a pure scorer, and 6-4 senior forward Isaiah Sanders, a top athlete. Other returning starters include 6-0 senior Ricky Martin and 6-2 senior Dylan Elliott.

13. Wildwood Catholic (16-10): The Crusaders will be led by 6-2 senior Caleb Fields, a Bowling Green recruit. Other key players include 6-2 senior Charles Fields, Caleb's twin, and 6-7 sophomore Taj Thweatt, one of South Jersey's top young players. Jahlil White, a 6-4 sophomore, is another player to watch along with 6-0 sophomore Jacob Hopping, a transfer from Holy Spirit who will sit out the first 30 days.

14. Highland (19-7): The Tartans will be led by 6-2 senior Dante Masino and 6-5 senior Damola Dairo, a pair of three-year starters. Another three-year starter, 6-1 senior guard Zafir Brower, is projected to return in early to mid-January from a foot injury.

15. Holy Spirit (16-10): The Spartans return four starters — 5-10 senior guards Andrew Gallagher and Reece Miller and 6-2 senior swingmen Sam LaMonaca and Joe Marczyk. Joe Glenn, a 6-8 sophomore, could develop into an impact player along with 6-3 sophomore Isaiah Gerena and 6-2 junior Jake LaMonaca.

Tyshon Judge (right) of Paul VI, colliding with Tim Schultice of Timber Creek last December.
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Tyshon Judge (right) of Paul VI, colliding with Tim Schultice of Timber Creek last December.

16. Paul VI (14-13): The Eagles have a strong junior class led by 6-2 swingman Tyshon Judge, 6-5 forward Hartnel Haye, 6-0 guard Tariq Johnson and 6-1 guard Nick Villa.

17. Moorestown (19-7): The Quakers return four starters led by 5-10 junior Jagger Zrada, a top playmaker. Other veterans include 6-2 junior forward Nick Cartwright-Atkins, 5-10 junior guards Vinny Caprarola and Akhil Ghiri and 6-2 junior swingman Brian McMonagle.

18. Delsea (18-10): The Crusaders have a top all-around player in 5-9 junior guard Javon Gordon, a creative playmaker and top defender. The team has seasoned seniors such as 6-1 guard Aziz Saud, 6-1 forward Will Hawkins, 6-0 guard Nate Cox and 5-9 guard Kolby Braxton. Zion Jamison, a 6-5 junior, is a player to watch.

19. Woodbury (26-4): The defending South Jersey Group 1 champions have a top junior in 6-4 guard Aaron Estrada, a rangy lefthander who could develop into one of South Jersey's top players. Other veterans of last year's run to the Group 1 state finals include juniors Jay'Shawn Harvey, Tommy Carter and Isaiah Bailey, senior Marcus McGruder and sophomore Andre Parker.

Williamstown’s Mike Patterson (right), shooting against Kingsway in January.
AKIRA SUWA / For the Inquirer
Williamstown’s Mike Patterson (right), shooting against Kingsway in January.

20. Williamstown (20-8): The Braves re-emerged as a top squad last season and should build on that behind 6-0 senior guard Mike Patterson, who averaged 12.4 points, and 6-7 junior Nick Kenton.

21. Burlington City (22-8): The Blue Devils, the defending Central Jersey Group 1 champions, have a top inside player in 6-5 senior D'Andre Thurmond and a sophomore to watch in 6-2 Deonte Woodbury.

22. Pleasantville (10-15): The Greyhounds have a top playmaker in 5-9 junior Divine Anderson, who averaged 18 points and eight assists last season. Other players to watch include 6-3 junior Jacob Valeus as well as 6-2 junior Sahmir Jones, a transfer from Mainland who averaged 12.5 points for the Mustangs as a sophomore.

23. Bordentown (20-9): The Scotties have a top all-around player in 6-1 senior Jacquey Mendez, who averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists. A strong sophomore class led by guards Rashone VanKline and Jordan Martin could make a big impact for the Scotties.

24. Sterling (14-12): The Silver Knights return three starters led by 6-0 senior guard Chris Roe, who averaged 17.1 points, as well as 6-2 senior Zakobe Streater and 6-7 junior Noah Syer. Other players to watch include 6-3 senior Kyle Smith and 6-0 senior Chris Jones.

25.Haddon Heights (17-11): The Garnets have a top playmaker in 5-9 senior guard Jared Latane, who averaged 17.8 points and already has 1,128 career points. Other players to watch include 6-0 senior Jake Campbell, 6-1 junior Jared Bolling, 5-10 junior Jabari Higgs and 6-1 sophomore TeSean Pressley.

Under consideration: (listed alphabetically) Cherry Hill East (17-11), Gloucester Catholic (16-11), Middle Twp. (11-15), St. Joseph (19-7), Wildwood (22-7), Winslow Twp. (18-13).