It wasn't long ago that Farmingdale, with a starting lineup consisting of three sophomores and two freshmen, resembled a junior varsity basketball team at the varsity level.
But they were being groomed for this season and now the Dalers have their best chance to win a county title for the first time since 1980.
It's a deep team with interchangeable parts, but the catalyst is four-year starter Dalique Mingo, a guard who can slash, shoot and post up. The rest of that old JV lineup includes center Matt DiCarlo, forwards Kevin Petit-Frere and Curtis Jenkins and point guard Jack Burke.
County-runner up Uniondale, a quick team that can go big when necessary, is led by lone returning starter Aaron Cust, who handles and shoots the ball well, and shooting guard Jerel McGary.
Hempstead is led by 6-4 center Tidell Pierre, who averaged 19.9 points last season, and point guard Tywan Watson.
Freeport features an offensive threat in Kyhiem Chaplin.
Massapequa will spread the court with guards Mike Delaney, Dylan Balducci and Brian Flecker.
Oceanside features a dominant big man in 6-8 Hunter Sabety.
Baldwin, the defending county champ, has many options, including 6-5 power forward Jordan Williams, a great rebounder and shot blocker, point guard Travis Hilton, who can get to the rim or hit the pull-up jumper, and shooting guard MiKing Richardson, who could be a force offensively.
A senior-laden Hicksville team surrounds 6-5 center T.J. Danns, a presence inside who can step out and hit the jumper, with point guard Nick Petrucelli and three-point threats Ryan Mannix and Michal Julka.
Valley Stream Central will be in contention behind its floor general Lwimba Mukuka and slasher Jonathan Grimsley.
MacArthur features Andrew Seniuk, a 6-3 power forward with a nice shooting touch, and a backcourt duo of Tom McAndrew and Gerard Cunningham.
Point guard Tristan Brown, who facilitates and gets others involved, runs the show in Elmont, which also includes shooting guards Marc Campbell and Timothy Lewis.
Herricks returns one of the Island's top scorers, Andrew Fellus, who can also distribute.
Defending Class A champion South Side will use its quickness to its advantage with swingman Gerald Mitchell, the versatile Dean Flaherty and key defender Brendan McDerby.
County runner-up Jericho will push the ball and light up the scoreboard with Garrett Johnson, a 6-3 shooting guard who can score off the dribble, in the post or from downtown. David Orr takes over at point guard and 6-3 center Eric Kantz will control the boards.
Alec Ludwig, Evan Dorman and Great Neck North look to build off their surprise run to the semifinals.
Wantagh returns its starting backcourt of Gerard Roche and Eric Regenbogen and its 6-8 center Brendan Devine, a double-double machine.
Roslyn is led by 6-6 center Mark Gjonlekaj, an inside presence on both ends, Harris Silverstein and Eric Kramer.
Defending Conference A-II champion Glen Cove returns a duo of Kewan Beebe, one of the Island's top three-point shooters, and Franklyn Mickens, a dynamic scorer.
Last year's top seed Lawrence is deeper and more athletic this season, led by Eddie Robinson, a physical 6-foot guard who can shoot from anywhere and speedy point guard Dwayne Daniel, who is hard to stop when he penetrates. They're joined by Clifton Lyerly and 6-5 center Randy Wallace.
West Hempstead returns athletic point guard Tyree Glascoe, who averaged 21 points last season. James Curley leads Seaford and Mike Waszychuk leads Mineola.
Classes B, CWheatley features a playmaker in point guard Christian Hyon, outside shooters in Alex Israel and Kevin Martins and promising sophomore forward Sam Fieldman.
Defending Class B county champion Locust Valley returns Jake Nastasi and Ray Catalla.
Malverne is led by Aaron Jackson and James Wheeler.
Oyster Bay plays hard-nosed, man-to-man defense with David Carl, Nick Carbone and Chris Papantoniou.
Last season's Class C champion East Rockaway, which moves up to Class B, returns David McClure, Billy Humes and Kevin Blessington.
Friends Academy, unopposed in Class C, will play inside-out with 6-5 center Kellan Sehring, a strong low-post player, and athletic sophomore guard Tyrone Perkins.