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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCal Recruiting: Stuff,
Stuff & More Stuff--(Sept. 16, 2000)

We've been compiling a bunch of seemingly random stuff, a lot of it from Clark Francis, and rather than post it all up separately, since we don't have the time right now to do a major editing job on it, well, we'll just do this all at once:

Jamal Sampson (6'-11" Sr. C) from Mater Dei had a home visit with UCLA on Thursday night, and from what we have heard from our sources, we're betting on UCLA for this one.  We're also betting that teammate Cedric Bozeman (6'-5" Sr. PG/SG/SF) picks UCLA as we reported on Sunday following the Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic.

Dustin Villepigue (6'-9" Sr. PF) from Simi Valley has thus far had visits with Santa Barbara, St. Louis, and SMU, and he has a couple more set up. We'd put our money for now on the Big West and Santa Barbara if we had to say right now, but there are some other schools coming in, including Gonzaga, and Penn which is getting involved late.  Hey, we hear Spencer Gloger's spot is opening up too. . .

Jamaal Williams (6'-5" Sr. F) from Corona Centennial had a terrific visit with New Mexico coach Fran Fraschilla, who offered, but Jamaal has not yet committed.  The Lobos would be an excellent spot for Jamaal and he would fit right in with Fraschilla's system, not to mention the other good talent he's got coming in. He had an in home visit with the UC Riverside last night.  Jamaal is also receiving interest from St. Louis, Washington State, Villanova, Tulsa and USF, but we still think he's good enough to go higher in the Pac-10 than Washington State (not that there's anything wrong with that, but with UCLA's pursuit of his more renowned freinds Cedric, Josh and Jamal, Williams finds himself being called a 'tweener, which we think is just not accurate. Jamal will get in home visits from Villanova on the 18th, St. Louis on the 20th and USF on the 23rd.

And for those of you who missed it, Fox has pumped a bunch of money into Student Sports and the now it's the Fox Student website and Jacey Zembal, who covers much of the SoCal basketball scene for Fox is now also writing for that site while Frank Burlison continues to cover recruiting for Fox, but lately he's also been writing about some of that weird spheroid stuff.   In any event, in his column on Friday, Jacey reports the following:

Coach Brad Holland at USD is about to get a commitment from Mike McGrain (6'-3" Sr. PG/SG) from Portland Jesuit.  Jacey reports that one of the motivating factors with McGrain is likely going to be the prior commitment from Nick Lewis.

Scott Borchart (6'-8" Sr. PF) from West Hills Chaminade is getting recruited by Santa Clara and Georgia, and he's had home visits with them both, including a recent visit from Jim Harrick last night. Borchart is reportedly setting up official visits with both schools.

Mike Stephens (6'-10" Sr. C/F) who played with the Double Pump Arizona All Stars, on a team with the Fontenets, Channing Frye, Jon Wilkens, and others, is looking at and being looked at by some of the same schools as fellow-Double Pump'er Dustin Villepigue:  UC Santa Barbara, Yale and SMU, as well as Gonzaga and Santa Clara (well, the only school that isn't also looking at Dustin is Santa Clara).

Joe Frazier (6'-2" Sr. SG) from Pasadena Muir committed to Cal State Northridge over the weekend (specifically the commitment was on Saturday).  Northridge may also be very, very close to getting a commitment from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame's Cody Pearson (6'-4" Sr. SG/SF), who is looking to stay close to home according to the most recent reports.

Clark Francis of the HoopScoop online had some interesting news and notes in his daily column about some of the guys at the Fall Hoops Classic. Here's the gist of what he had to say about some of the players (we've edited his stuff slightly in order to put the stuff he noted about each player next to the player's name, which to us makes it read much easier:

Most of the top players in the loaded senior class in Southern California were present at the 2000 Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic at Lynwood High School in Lynwood, CA. . .

In the case of 6’6 Jamal Williams from Corona (Centennial) CA, who ranks #99 nationally by the HOOP SCOOP. . . Williams has Long Beach State, New Mexico, St. Louis, Villanova, Pepperdine, Memphis, Purdue, UC-Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and Tulsa all on his list.

6’11Chad Bell from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA, who in addition to UCLA, is also considering New Mexico, Kentucky, North Carolina, Memphis, and Villanova.

Clark even threw in a whole little compendium of UCLA's recruiting possibilities for this season, and we heard some of the same at the Fall Hoops Classic as well:

UCLA has a chance to land any combination of the following: 6’1 Aaron Miles from Portland (Jefferson) OR, 6’5 Cedric Bozeman from Santa Ana (Mater Dei) CA, 6’6 Josh Childress from Lakewood (Mayfair) CA, 6’7 Andre Patterson from Los Angeles (Washington) CA, 6’5 Dijon Thompson from Redondo Beach (Redondo Union) CA, and 5’10 Terrance Ford from Sugar Land (Willowridge) TX. Right now it’s a three horse race for Miles among UCLA, Kansas, and Arizona. Florida appears to be the leader for Bozeman, but UCLA still has to be considered the co-favorite. Childress told us that Kansas came into his home last week and Stanford has an in-home visit scheduled for next week. He also mentioned UCLA, Arizona, and maybe still North Carolina, although the Tar Heels already have commitments from 6’9 Jawad Williams from Lakewood (St. Edward) OH and 6’6 Jackie Manuel from West Palm Beach (Cardinal Neumann) FL, both of whom are also wing players. [Andre] Patterson still has the same four schools - Michigan, UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky - on his list. The top three [schools] for [Dijon] Thompson are Arizona, UCLA, and Connecticut.

But back to other players. . . here's what Clark had to say about some others:

6’7 Jr Evan Burns from Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA. . . now ranks as the #1 junior nationally by the HOOP SCOOP, tells us that UCLA is one of his early favorites, along with Duke and Cincinnati.

Looking even further ahead Stanford is the early favorite for 6’8 Soph Harrison Schaen from Santa Ana (Mater Dei) CA, who ranks as the #1 sophomore in California by the HOOP SCOOP. However, he also mentioned UCLA, Califoria, USC, Arizona, Purdue, Syracuse, Tulsa, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Francisco, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, and Virginia. 

6'7 Jr Evans Burns from Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA, . . . is ranked as the #12 junior nationally by the HOOP SCOOP, as well as the #1 junior in California. But this weekend he took his game to another level! As a matter of fact, there is nothing this phenomenal athlete can't do. He can beat you inside or outside, he can spot up or take you off the dribble, and he's got the hang time and explosiveness necessary to defy both gravity and description. As a result, Burns, who likes UCLA, Duke, and Cincinnati, now ranks as the #1 junior nationally ahead of 6'6 Jr Leonard Cooke from Old Tappan (H.S.) NJ and 6'9 Amare Stoudamire from Durham (Mt. Zion Christian) NC. He also might just be the best player on the West Coast regardless of class and that's pretty strong statement, because the senior class in Southern California is absolutely loaded.

Juniors (note, we've put this in alphabetical order, which is NOT the way Clark had it listed in his original article; the language however is Clark's):

6'9 Jr DeAngelo Collins from Inglewood (H.S.) CA--As usual, Collins used his body and athleticism to be a dominant force inside.

6'6 Jr Reggie Butler from Long Beach (Poly) CA--Butler is raw, but he's got incredible leading ability and natural talent. However, where he gets recruited at the next level will be determined by how much more he grows or whether he develops perimeter skills.

6'5 Jr Keith Everage from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA--Everage is a good rebounder for size, but he's another one who will likely fall into the tweener trap when get recruited for the next level. As a result, Everage projects as an excellent mid-major player.

6'0 Jr David Gale from Sherman Oaks (Buckley) CA--Gale also is prime target for somebody at the mid-to-low Division I level, because he gets the most out of his ability, usually makes good decisions, and is an excellent floor general.

6'2 Jr Brandon Heath from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA--Heath is extremely quick off the dribble and he's a great penetrator and passer, but he needs to work on his outside shooting and at times he needs to make better decisions.

6'11 Jr Martin Iti from Villa Park (H.S.) CA--Iti is a good shot blocker and his offensive skills continue to get better and better. However, he still needs to work on his agility and coordination. But like they say, you can't teach somebody to be almost 7-feet.

6'6 Jr Bobby Jones from Compton (Dominguez) CA--see Darius Sanders notes.

6'7 Jr Bryant Markson from Monrovia (H.S.) CA--Markson has the skills, athleticism, and god-given talent, but is he willing to work hard enough to become a great player.

6'5 Jr Darius Sanders from Compton (Dominguez) CA--Sanders and Jones provide the perfect complement to 7'0 Tyson Chandler from Compton (Dominguez) CA. Right now we like Sanders better, because he's such a prolific scorer in transition. However, Sanders doesn't have Jones ability to play out on the perimeter, so Jones projects as the better of the two down the road.

6'7 Jr Jamaal Walls from Lakewood (Mayfair) CA--Another inch or two would ensure Walls' status as a prime Pac-10 recruit, but he is still mobile inside, where he makes his living off rebounds and put-backs.

6'7 Jr Adam Zahn from Redondo Beach (Redondo Union) CA--Zahn is a lot more athletic and versatile than his older brother (Andrew Zahn). As a result, he can beat you both inside and outside at this level. However, down the road Zahn projects exclusively as wing forward and ranks in the 50-100 range nationally.


6'3 Jason Braxton from Moreno Valley (Canyon Springs) CA. He's got that incredible quickness just like several of the other top point guards in the senior class, including 6'0 Jonathan Hargett from Durham (Emmanuel) NC, 6'0 Charles Frederick from Boca Raton (Paul VI), and 510 Terrance Ford from Sugar Land (Willowridge) TX. While he's not quite as naturally talented nor is he as prolific a scorer, his decision making might be better than all three. As a result, Braxton should be ranked among our top 30 or 40 nationally and it is easy to see why Arizona State was willing to let 6'0 Brandon Brooks from Portland (Jefferson) OR, who signed with the Sun Devils last spring, go the junior college route, instead of trying to get him to sit out as a non-qualifier.

6'6 Soph Trevor Azisa from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA--Azisa. . . right now is like a deer just learning to how to run. He doesn't finish much of anything, but he's got good moves and is very explosive to the basket. In other words, his upside is tremendous, especially if he work hard and continues to grow, which appears likely (his father is 6'10 and his mother is 6'0).

6'8 Soph Harrison Schaen from Santa Ana (Mater Dei) CA--Schaen, who already ranks as the #1 sophomore in Southern California, as well as top five nationally, by the HOOP SCOOP, got more than his share of rebounds and finished better than when we've seen him in the past. But he still needs to get bigger and stronger.

6'3 Soph Wesley Washington from Santa Ana (Mater Dei) CA--Washington is a versatile combo guard who reminds Dinos Trigonis, who is Washington's coach on Belmont Shore, as well as the tournament director, of former Missouri star point guard Keyon Dooling.

And apparently Francis also agreed with our assessment of the performances of the Paladins' Terrell Stovall and our selection of him as the unofficial MVP of the tournament.  Here's what Clark had to say:

The MVP of the tournament (Dinos are you listening?) should have been 6'2 Terrell Stovall from Inglewood (H.S.) CA. Stovall had 21 points in the championship game, but even more more important he had 39 points in the semi-finals and 36 points in the quarterfinals. Obviously Stovall is a scoring machine, as he beats you inside, outside, and in-between, but he's not very flashy about it and, as a result, almost goes unnoticed until you start looking at the box score. Also, he's at that in-between size, which is why he won't get recruited schools at the big-time level.

Finally, here's the rest of Clark's piece on the Fall Hoops Classic from last weekend.  We can't say we very much care about all this "Who's #1" stuff, but it's fun reading anyway:

6'7 Andre Patterson from Los Angeles (Washington) CA also had 19 points in the championship game. Instead, the difference in the game the lack of production inside by 6'7 Doug Thomas from Inglewood (H.S.) CA, who scored only four points and was unable to get it done inside against Chandler, Sanders, et al. No, Chandler didn't rise to the occasion and dominant the game. As a matter of fact, he only had 12 points. But he did show flashes and is a presence inside at this level whether he plays hard or not. It's too bad you can't combines Chander's size with the intensity and body of 6'6 Jamaal Williams from Corono (Centennial) CA. Williams is a tweener, but you have to love his warrior like demeanor on the court. We also thought 6'7 Dijon Thompson from Redondo Beach (Redondo Union) CA really played well this weekend. He's much better than #42 nationally, which is where we had him ranked when we came out with our rankings of the top seniors nationally a month ago. However, he's not as good as Trigonis thinks he is and, if you don't believe it Dinos, just refer back to that sensational performance that 6'6 Josh Childress from Lakewood (Mayfair) CA turned in on Court #1 in his final game. While we've always been high on Childress due to his incredible understanding of the game, excellent 3-point shooting, and tremendous skills level, he's not the best player in the Southern California over Chandler.  Instead, that honor goes to Burns. And remember where you heard it first!

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