Many Key Players Returning in South Jersey Boys’ Basketball

by Marc Narducci | Mar 23, 2017
Many Key Players Returning in South Jersey Boys’ Basketball Many Key Players Returning in South Jersey Boys’ Basketball

There was one thing that caught the eye when looking at a recent all-South Jersey boys’ basketball team and that was the youth.

Frequently all-star squads in many sports are loaded with seniors and for good reason. Those players are often more athletically gifted and their experience can’t be discounted.

And while this year there were some top seniors in South Jersey, a look at The Philadelphia Inquirer’s first, second and third-team all-South Jersey squads, shows more than half the members will return next year.

Of the 15 spots, eight of the players return, which should lead to a strong season in SouthJersey.

On the first team Shawnee 6-6 junior Dyla Deveney (16.6 ppg.) was joned by Camden 6-4 junior Myles Thompson (16.7 ppg.)

On the second team Timber Creek 6-5 junior Maurice Murray (24.5 ppg.) was joined by Shawnee 6-1 junior Dean Noll (14.7 ppg.). And there were four non seniors on the third team. They were 6-5 Camden Catholic sophomore Baba Ajike (14.4 ppg.), 6-5 Atlantic City junior Ray Bethea (18.0 ppg.0, 6-0 Haddonfield sophomore point guard Mike DePersia (14.9 ppg.) and 6-2 Woodbury sophomore point guard Aaron Estrada (16.9 ppg.).

DePersia and Estrada play in the Colonial Conference and will meet one time in the regular season which should be a treat to watch with DePersia and Estrada operating the point.

Timber Creek’s Murray is a player who came on strong, especially during the state tournament. Even though the Chargers ended with a 12-15 record, they advanced to the South Jersey Group 3 final before falling to rival Winslow Township.

Murray scored 27 points in an opening tournament win over Pemberton, added 25 in a victory over Highland and 28 more in a semifinal triumph over Triton. Even in the 70-61 sectional final loss to Winslow Township, he scored 20 points, giving him an average of 25 points per game for the four playoff contests.

Players who have strong postseasons often carry it into the next year and Murray will again be among South Jersey’s most impressive scorers.

This list of non-seniors doesn’t even include Camden junior point guard Corey Greer, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the third game.

Greer expects to be ready for the season and if so, he could be among the top point guards not only in South Jersey but statewide and Camden, which has been to lost five straight state title games, will be a contender to get to a sixth.

There are many other top players besides the ones who made the all-South Jersey and that signals that the immediate future appears bright for South Jersey basketball.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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