Here’s how next season’s Top 10 in South Jersey boys’ basketball could look, with this season’s record:
1. Atlantic City 26-5 (heading into Friday's T of C semis)
The Group 4 state champion Vikings return five players from their nine-man rotation, including 6-8 junior center Jahleem Montague as well as 6-4 junior forward Ga-briel Chandler and 6-2 junior swingman Dayshawn Reynolds. Dennis White, a 6-5 sophomore, could be in impact player. The key could be the development of 6-2 sophomore guard Isaiah Graves, a fearless slasher and scorer who likely will need to become more of a floor general.
2. Paulsboro 30-1
The Red Raiders will be led by 6-5 junior forward Xavier Lundy, a three-year starter who averaged 22.3 points this season and already has more than 1,500 career points. Also returning will be 6-8 junior center Julien Davenport, 6-2 junior guard Derrick Burgess and a pair of 6-3 freshmen swingmen in Theo Holloway and Saleem Little. The key for the Red Raiders will be developing ball-handling guards to replace seniors Juwan Alford and Calvin Johnson.
3. Shawnee 23-6
The Renegades return seven of their top nine players from the Olympic Patriot champions. Junior guards Josh Borrelli and Ryan Bodnar and junior swingman Tristan Polnitz will lead the way. Shawnee will be a veteran team as junior forwards Frank Destito, Jake Dean and Austin Lang all played major minutes this season.
4. Eastern 24-4
The Olympic American champion Vikings bring back three of their top eight, including leading scorer Devon Bell, a 6-2 junior swingman. Junior forward Avery Walker will be a force in the paint along with 6-6 sophomore center Matt Klinewski. The key for the Vikings will be developing perimeter players after losing senior guards Jordan Ifill, Brett Knoblauch and Mike Wilson.
5. Middle Township 18-11
The Panthers return five of their top seven from a team that beat St. Augustine twice, reached the Cape-Atlantic League tournament title game (losing to Atlantic City by 40-37) and won at Medford Tech in the South Jersey Group 2 tournament. Leading the way will be junior swingman Tom Feraco along with junior guards Tom Catanoso and Darrell Shelton and junior forward Lamarr Greer.
6. St. Augustine 22-5
The Hermits return three starters. They will be led by junior guards Mike Greenman and David Sullivan as well as junior forward Blake Rossell. They will miss senior center Austin Johnson’s inside presence but could get a lift from emerging 6-4 sophomore Joe Gatto.
7. Lenape 19-9
The Indians return four of their top eight players, including starters in junior forward Tabu Gaither and junior guard Sawyer Hand. Junior guard Arkemus Baskerville was the team’s top player in the overtime loss to eventual state champion Atlantic City in the South Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals. Junior guards Kendall Green and Marquis Perry also played important minutes.
8. Paul VI 26-4
The Eagles return three of their top six, including starters in sophomore forwards Jay Howard and Matt Risse. Sameen Swint, a 6-3 junior swingman, was the team’s sixth man. Junior forward Pat Kennedy should move into the regular rotation. The key will be developing guards to replace seniors Ron Curry and Kris O’Connor.
9. Camden Catholic 14-13
The Irish will be led by junior swingman Kyle Green, who led South Jersey with a 22.7-point average this season. A strong sophomore class is led by guard Ivan Robinson, who came on strong in the second half of this season. Freshman Brendan Crawford, a 6-5 forward, could be ready to make a big impact.
10. Haddonfield 22-8
The Bulldogs return four of their top six, including junior forward Chris Biddle and junior swingman Billy Griffin, the team’s top three-point threat. Freshman guards Nick DePersia and Rob DePersia made a major impact this season and should continue to develop.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically):
Camden (18-13): Panthers return 6-7 junior Amir Maddred as well as starting guards in soph Tavaris Headen and frosh Rasool Hinson. Could get a big lift from a highly-touted eighth-grader, according to the grapevine.
Delsea (23-5): Junior forward Cedric Elleby (17.7 points) will lead the way. The Crusaders also geturn 6-3 junior forward Ryan Colone.
Medford Tech (20-8): Sophomore guard Elijah Cain might be an emerging star and this program now is humming along at a high level.
Pitman (19-9): 6-8 frosh Tim Delaney (18.5) and soph swingman Eric Stafford will be a top combo for two more years.
Schalick (21-8): The Cougars started four sophomores, including 6-8 Rashaan Armstead (15.9).
-- Phil Anastasia