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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Top SoCal Players:  Best PF's & Centers
In The Class Of 2003--(Sept. 1, 2002)

Given our extremely busy June, July and August this year, we decided to wait until all the dust had settled on the summer before posting our listings of top players in SoCal.   It's been a while since we've updated the lists for the class of 2003 and 2004 (coming soon) but as we say, better late than never. As in our prior lists, we've broken the players down into various categories, with the most talented and promising (in our very humble opinion) listed first, followed by the next best, and so on and so forth.   We've sort of changed the last category (which used to be called "Best of the Rest"),  and we're now calling it  "Players to Watch For This Season," and we actually think that more aptly describes why we have these guys listed in the first place.  Our lists are not intended, as some others apparently are, as expressions of who we think has reached the pinnacle of achievement, not by any stretch.  All we're doing is listing players that we think are talented, to one degree or another, some more than others.  But everyone we've listed has shown potential and if you don't know all of these guys, then you may want to make it a point to check them out during the upcoming high school season or at one of the fall tournaments taking place in the next few weeks.  Not everyone plays club or travels during the summer, so some of these names may seem a bit surprising or may not be as well known as others, but everyone listed has shown us some good things when we've seen them play.   In other words, there are enough sleepers out there that someone may just have a fantastic high school season and blow up even if they're not too well known right now.  

This list bears a special mention that we didn't make for the previous position lists:  There are obviously fewer really skilled big men than there are guards and 'tweeners' at the high school level.  Heck, forget about really skilled big men, any big men are at a premium.  That's why we have fewer players listed at the top of each category.  Some could argue that a few of our PF selections really are small forwards, but in high school, that's sometimes a distinction not worth arguing about.  In our humble opinion, everyone listed at the top of a category is a pretty special player, regardless of whether one can argue about the niceties of position play that one might find at the next level. And in our view, there are only a couple of guys, five in all, who are really centers.  Anyway, as we've said, we don't want to make this intro any longer than necessary, so if you really want to know why we've listed someone somewhere, or haven't, read the explanatory notes below.

Top 10 Power Forwards of 2003
(Listed Alphabetically)

Alex Bausley 6'-6" Fairfax
Scott Cutley 6'-5"  LA Westchester
Oscar Edwards 6'-5" Price
Chris Hemphill 6'-7" Gardena Serra
Mark Lovein 6'-8" Esperanza
Evan Moore 6'-8" Brea-Olinda High
Sean Phaler 6'-9" Villa Park
Harrison Schaen 6'-8" Mater Dei
Nick Stiggers 6'-8" Montclair Prep
Austin Waggener 6'-8" Culver City

Top 5 Centers of 2003
(Listed Alphabetically)

Mohamed Abukar 6'-9"  San Diego Rancho Bernardo
Jarrod Boswell 7'-0"  San Diego El Capitan
Ekene Ibekwe 6'-9" LA Carson
Rodney Timmerman 6'-11" Paso Robles
Donnell Wright 6'-9" Leuzinger

Next Top 10 PF/Post Players of 2003
(Listed Alphabetically)

Mario Avery 6'-9" Anteleope Valley
Andrew Bruckner 6'-9" Valencia 
Travon Free 6'-6" Compton Dominguez
Ryan Hynes 6'-6" LB Millikan
Deon Marcus 6'-8" Compton Dominugez
Todd Martin 6'-7" Upland
Owen Olson 6'-8" La Costa Canyon
Chris Rucker 6'-7" Loyola
Brent Smith 6'-8" Brea-Olinda
Jeff Warkentin 6'-8" Reedley Immanuel

Other PF's & Posts of 2003 To Watch This Season:
(Listed Alphabetically)

Steve Bertrand 6'-7" Mira Costa
Danny Calin 6'-8" Sherman Oaks Notre Dame
Kenny Chambers 6'-6" Capistrano Valley
Simon Coetzee 6'-8" La Canada
Brian Colby 6'-7" Banning (Banning)
Oneil Cousins 6'-6" Eastside Christian
Richard Estes 6'-4" Redondo Union
Mezhron Evans 6'-7" SD Horizon Christian
George Fedorovstev 6'-8" Capistrano Valley
Andre Foy 6'-7" Inglewood
Tommy Frazier 6'-7" Long Beach Jordan
Saam Golpashin 6'-6" Saugus
Ian Gomez 6'-8" Hemet West Valley
Jimmy Griffin 6'-4" Santa Clara
Tyler Hauck 6'-8" Claremont
Robert Hearsch 6'-9" Pasadena
Jesse Hills 6'-7" Esperanza
Earl Isaacson 6'-7" Indio
Paul Kovacs 6'-8" Santa Barbara
Gavin MacGregor 6'-7" Ridgecrest Burroughs
Jermaine Middleton 7'-1" Crenshaw
Manuel Montano 6'-8" Chaparral
Matt Mosko 6'-7" Viewpoint
Phillip Okunma 6'-9" Antelope Valley Christian
Ian Parks 6'-5" Montebello
Keith Richard 6'-6" Torrance
Scott Roberts 6'-5" Santa Monica
Cesar Rodriguez 6'-7" Bishop Amat
Alex Sanchez 6'-8" JW North
Jason Saunders 6'-9" Calabasas
Rob Selway 6'-6" Northwood
Rene Shabastari 6'-9" Stoneridge Prep
James Shoup 6'-7' Murrieta Valley
Charles Stokes 6'-7" Santa Monica
Ashton Thomas 6'-8" LA Westchester
Dreshawn Vance 6'-7" Walnut
Kyle Waite 6'-7" Canyon Country Canyon

Now here's the long explanatory note about the list above (and the other lists of other position players that you'll see posted shortly):

Caveat 1: We have not ranked everyone based on college potential.  Obviously, those we've ranked the highest and grouped into the top group, we believe are a pretty solid bet to continue their playing careers after high school at some level in college;  we think the most talented of the groups have the potential to be D-I guys, but at what level that happens to be isn't for us to say.  These players are clearly not finished products, and many of them will continue to grow or develop earlier or later than others.   At bottom, what we are doing is 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 will someday, but not for now.   Others who rank players use numbers to distinguish who their "No. 1" guy is.  We don't necessarily think anyone sees enough of any of these players on a consistent enough basis to make such a statement.  We've heard a lot of good reasons to do numerical rankings, but we think there are just too many subtleties to any kid's game, and besides, these are still just high school guys, and we don't want to add to the "head blowing up" syndrome.   Our purpose is simply to recognize talented players.  Let others pick the nits, and tell us how this or that player is "No. 7" out of more than 10,000 high school players in Southern California.  

Caveat 3: We have not seen every player in SoCal, and we would venture that no one has.   Some of what we've done in listing these players is the result of a consensus which comes from others we speak with, high school coaches, or club coaches, and even more than a few college coaches. We can't possibly have been everywhere, and likewise, not every kid in Southern California who plays hoops for his high school played this summer.  So, please try to keep some perspective on these lists when you read them and take them for what they are. 

Caveat 4:  Lastly, and not to be too repetitive, if we've left a player off the list, it may or may not be an oversight.   It actually may be intentional.   On the other hand, if you think someone deserves to be on the list who isn't, let us know.  Send us an e-mail and we'll consider adding the name to the lists of top players.

Caveat 5:  Remember to have fun with this.   Lists like this are not the end of the world.  If your name is there, congratulations, but keep up the good work. And if it's not, well, keep working.  But remember to have fun.  


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