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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002: Rising Senior
Top PF's & Posts--(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 PF & Post Players (Class of 2002)

DeAngelo Collins   6'-9"  PF/C   Inglewood
Seth Davis   6'-8" F   Muir
Kevin Gardner   6’-8"  PF/SF   Peninsula
Ryan Hollins   6'-10" F/C   Muir
Terrence Jones   6'-6"  PF   Crenshaw
Mercedes Lewis   6'-7"  PF   Long Beach Poly
James Matthews   6'-8" F   Fremont/Verbum Dei
Paul Meynan   6'-11"  C/F   Redondo
Moulaye Nyiang 6'-10" C/F El Cajon Christian
Bryce Prather   6'-9"  F/C   Villa Park
Matt Salinas   6’-9"   PF   Sonora
Thomas Shewmake   6’-9"  PF   Cathedral City 
Shamar Shire   6'-8"  PF/SF   San Diego
Lance Soderberg   6'-8"  PF/SF   Corona Centennial
Jamaal Walls   6'-6"  PF/SF   Crenshaw/Manual Arts

SoCalHoops Next Top 15 PF's & Posts (Class of 2002)

Ronald Allen   6'-8"  F   Artesia
Sebastian Anderle 6'-10" F Montclair Prep
Curtis Battles   6'-9" F   Dorsey
Rodique Benson   6'-9" F   Torrey Pines
Andrew Bruckner   6'-9" F   Valencia
Chad Carter   6'-8"  F/C   Arlington
McKensie Clark   6'-6"  F   Pasadena
Alex Elliott   6'-6"  F   Rolling Hills Prep
Gary Hamilton   6'-9" F   Crenshaw
Anthony Jones   6'-6"  F   Verbum Dei
Blaise Louh   6'-9" F   Montclair Prep
Ryan Meilleur   6'-8" F   Artesia
Mike Roche   6'-6"  F   Long Beach Poly
DaShawn Strong   6'-5"  F   El Segundo
Jon Todd   6'-8"  F   Chaminade
Souleymane Traore  6'-9" F   SLO Mission Prep

Now here's the long explanatory note:

Just about everyone understands what a power forward is:   Someone who can play both facing the basket (more often than not), bigger than a small forward, an inside player, shot blocker, rebounder, who often times can and will also play with his back to the basket.  Likewise, a center needs very little defining and is pretty much self evident, but the other thing that is self-evident is that most high school teams really don't have centers, but usually use three guards and two bigger guys up front.   The players we've identified as centers are those who we think actually have the potential to project out in a year or two as good college centers.    And after this year's NBA draft and the scarcity of true centers in college, we may be engaging in a bit of wishful thinking....but that's why we don't get paid anything to do this and college coaches do.   In short, there are damn few real centers out there.

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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