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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002: Rising Senior
Top Combo Guards--(July 2, 2001)

We wanted to get our summer lists posted before the July NCAA recruiting period and the commencement of the camps, and we managed to do that by feverishly working through our notes, rosters, scouting stuff, and prior lists of players we've posted..  The NCAA July recruiting period this summer is split into two sessions, from July 8-14 and from July 25-31.   Hopefully these lists will identify the players we believe should be watched.  Some of these players will be at some of the national elite-level camps such as ABCD and Nike Camp, and some have also participated in other camps such as the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, the NBA Players Development Camp in Washington, DC, and other camps.  Many will play at the adidas Double Pump West Coast All Star Camps or at Dinos Trigonis' Fullcourt All West Camp (some will be at both), and most everyone will be playing at the adidas Big Time which this year will feature a record 334 teams.  A few, those on the Nike circuit, will be at the Augusta Peach Jam, or the Nike Supershowcase in Orlando.  Finally, just about all the top players will be at either the Pump's "Best of Summer", which will feature 128 teams, or at the Slam N Jam Elite 8x2 up in Berkeley. . . it will be a busy summer.    This time, we'll post the lists first, and then the narrative explanation and rationale will follow.  Here are the lists:

SoCalHoops Top 15 Combo Guards (Class of 2002)

Hassan Adams   6'-4" PG/SG   Westchester
Dontae Bradford   6'-1" SG/PG   Mayfair
Nate Carter   6'-4" SG/PG   San Diego Lincoln Prep
Geoffrey Clayton   6'-3" SG/PG   Crenshaw
Steve Graybill   6'-1" SG/PG   Dos Pueblos
Jamel Gay   6'-3" SG/PG   LB Poly
Marvin Lea   6'-3"  SG/PG   Riverside MLK
Matt McCraw   6'-3"  PG/SG   Mayfair
Michael Mehanna   6'-1" PG/SG   Glendora
Leon Rosborough   6'-2" SG/PG   Canyon Springs
Kevin Stacey   6'-3"  SG/PG   Santa Margarita
Giovanni St. Amant   6'-2" PG/SG   St. John Bosco
Chris Tarne   6'-1" SG/PG   Crescenta Valley
Josh Zazulia   6’-1" SG/PG   Palm Desert
Dino Wilburn   6'-2"  SG/PG   Pasadena

SoCalHoops Next Top 25 Combo Guards (Class of 2002)

Lee Abair   6'-1" G   Oxnard
Deshalen Barber   6'-4" G   Verbum Dei
Marques Calcote   6'-0"  G   Morningside
Talani Calhoun   5'-10"  G   Riverside Notre Dame
Marvin Carraway   6'-2" G   Fresno Washington Union
Eric Chamblee   6'-1" G   San Diego Morse
JoVance Coleman   6'-4"  G   Fresno Hoover
Steven Cotten   6'-2" G   Valley Christian Cerritos
Trenton Cleveland   6'-1"  G   Burbank
Chris Dickson   5'-9" G   Pasadena Muir
Ronald Essene   6'-4" G   Inglewood
Damian Frias   6'-0" G   Jurupa
Joshua Garrett   6'-0"  G   Temescal Canyon
Nate Gilkes   6'-2" G   Troy
Kyle Gregory 6'-1" G Ayala
Terrance Henderson   5'-10 G   Artesia
Leon Jacobs   6'-2" G   Manual Arts
Chris Johnson   5'-10" G   Crenshaw
Jose Laboy   6'-2" G   Artesia
Dan Larson 6'-3" G Ayala
Gavin Lee   6’-3" G   Bishop Montgomery
Cameron Munoz   6'-2" G   Ontario
Josh Okoebor   5'-11" G   Fontana
Gold Okolugbo   6'-1" G   Fontana
Andre Payne 6'-2" G Cajon
Michael Stevenson   6'-0" G   Highland
Steve Topete   6'-1" G   Downey

Now here's the long explanatory note:

Classifying guards in high school as either "points" or "combos" or "shooting guards" can be a bit tricky,  and really, it's just mostly a matter of personal preference.  Some players who play a lot of point, will be found on the combo lists;  others who are principally off-guards will be found on the shooting guard list.  If you don't see someone on one list, check another guard-specific list because it's likely that anyone not on one is on another. 

We don't think it's really necessary to define "combo guard," but it never hurts to at least share a view of what the position entails:   These are the guys who can play both the one and the two guard spots, and frequently do both. They will bring the ball up, set the the offense,  and can also shoot the ball really well.  In short, they are usually very versatile players.  

Caveat 1: We are not ranking or rating players based purely on their "potential" as college players, nor are we doing so based entirely on whether they are finished products, i.e., accomplished high school players who have no room for improvement. We are simply listing the top players in SoCal who we believe have talent, potential and have demonstrated that they are not only excellent high school players, among the best in SoCal, but also have shown skills which we think will make them good college prospects.

Caveat 2: This will sound like a broken record, but we haven't used numerical rankings for individual players. Maybe we should and maybe someday we will, but for now we won't.  Others who rank players use such a system, but we're just not sold on the value of that concept.  Most of the recruiting gurus on the internet use strict numerical rankings.  We've had many conversations over the years about why feel a need to rank in this fashion, and while we've heard a lot of good reasons  we're still not sold.   In our opinion, there are just too many subtleties to each player's game, too many variables, whether opponents, game situations, level of play, coaching,  injuries, etc, which can influence how a player might look on any given day, and there are admittedly far too few opportunities to see a player.  In short, it's kind of like art:  We know what we like and what we don't.  Which is basically what all of this comes down to.  Keep in mind that we like everyone on these lists, just some a bit more than others.   But there isn't anyone listed whose game we don't think is excellent, among the top in Southern California.  Remember, we're listing in the aggregate something like 200 players total, out of more than 10,000 or so who play high school and club basketball in SoCal.   Which ought to tell you that we really like each of the players listed.    So, just keep these lists in the proper perspective. i 

Caveat 3: We have not seen every player in SoCal, and we would venture that no one has either.  in the current sophomore class.  Most of what we know about a player comes from seeing a player several times, either with his high school team, or with a club team at a tournament or camp.  But we can't be everywhere, and we can't see everyone. 

We've tried to list those players who played particularly well this past season and spring, who are among the more promising players.   The list include players from Fresno in the north, to San Diego in the south, i.e., the entire SoCal region.  Many of the players listed have already drawn the attention of some of the traditional recruiting gurus (e.g., Recruiting USA, Fullcourt Press, Clark Francis'  HoopScoop,  PrepStars Recruiting, PacWestHoops,  and others).  Some are still undiscovered.   But in our view, all of them are excellent players. 

Lastly, not to be too repetitive about this, but if we've left a player off the list, it may or may not be an oversight, but if you think someone deserves to be on the list who isn't, let us know via e-mail.

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