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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002: Rising Senior
Top Point 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 10 Point Guards (Class of 2002)

Derrick Clark   6'-1" PG   Leuzinger
Ashanti Cook   6'-2" PG   Westchester
Timothy Drisdom   6'-4" PG   Calvary Chapel Downey
Keith Ellison   6'-1" PG   Redondo Union
David Gale   6'-1" PG   Buckley
Patrick Haddan   6’-1" PG   Woodbridge
Keon Kindred   6'-3" SG   Dominguez HS
Rommel Marentez   5'-11" PG   San Diego St. Augustine
Carlos Rivers   5'-11" PG   Long Beach Poly
Travis Smith   6'-2"  SG   Santa Margarita

SoCalHoops Next Top 15 Point Guards (Class of 2002)

Jeremiah Barnes   6'-0" PG   Rowland HS
Jemar Davis   5'-11"  PG   San Bernardino Pacific
Josh Dillon   5'-10"  PG   Victor Valley
Allan Ellis   5'-11"  PG   Crespi
Duane Fortune   5'-11" PG   San Marcos
Aaron Gipson   5'-8"  PG   Etiwanda
Mark Holmquist   5'-9" PG   Saugus
Eugene Jeter   5'-9" PG   Gardena Serra
Asher Kupperman   5'-11"  PG   San Marcos
Chris Lynwood   6'-1" PG   Santa Maria Valley Christian
Alex Martino   6'-1" PG   Hillcrest Christian Granada Hills
Jason McKinney   5'-10" PG   Inglewood
Greg Nelson   5'-10"  PG   Carlsbad
Mike Washington   5'-11" PG/SG   Long Beach Poly
Ben Wohlfeil   5'-11" PG   El Cajon Christian

SoCalHoops "Best of the Rest" Point Guards (Class of 2002)

Chris Abi-Chaker   6'-0" PG   Chaminade
Omar Amral   5'-9"  PG   Bolsa Grande
Brendan Behan   5'-9"  PG   Redondo
Dante Bogan   6'-1" PG   Santa Barbara
Lauren Brown   6'-0" PG   St. Anthony's
Romel Cabrera   5'-9"  PG   Bell-Jeff
Edwin Castro   5'-11" PG   South Gate HS
Kyle Cech 6'-2" PG Torrey Pines
David Conte   5'-11" PG   Costa Mesa
Jacob Crawley   5'-6" PG   Woodbridge
Terrence Dalton   5'-8"  PG   Fresno Washington Union
Dante DeRose   5'-10" PG   Santa Barbara
Beto Delgado   6'-0" PG   Narbonne HS
Eric Flournoy   5'-7"  PG   LA Dorsey
Erik Geisler   6'-0"  PG   Brea Olinda
Marlon Harris   5'-11" PG   Banning
Alfonso James   5'-10"  PG   Canyon Springs
Chris Johnson   5'-9"  PG   Manual Arts
Eric Johnson   5'-9" PG   Venice
Tyler Kealy   5'-11"  PG   Bell-Jeff
Justin Martin   5'-9"  PG   Verbum Dei
Carl McCullough   6'-0"  PG   El Camino San Diego
Kenneth McCullum   5'-10" PG   Fairfax
Jon Milgrom   5'-10" PG   Milken
Alex Nieto   6'-1"  PG   La Jolla Bishops
Kevin Prins   6'-0"  PG   San Diego Calvin Christian
D'wan Rice   5'-8" PG   Pasadena
Jamaar Sloan   5'-9"  PG   Compton Centennial
Jonathan Smith   5'-8" PG   Compton Centennial
Cory Stinson   5'-7"  PG   Victor Valley
Royal Taylor   5'-8" PG   Canyon Springs
Chad Vakili   5'-11 PG   Costa Mesa
Craig Weinstein   5'-11"PG   Harvard Westlake

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 "point guard," but it never hurts to at least share a view of what the position entails:   There's probably a consensus that a "point guard" is typically the guy who brings the ball up the floor on offense, sets up the offense,   usually guards the other team's point, is typically more of a playmaker, a guy who is looking to get the ball to the open man but will also score himself if the opportunity presents itself.

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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