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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Top SoCal Players:  Best Small Forwards
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.  

As some will also notice as you read through all of the lists, the names of some players one might expect to see are not listed, and we're talking about those guys who have opted to attend prep schools in the east.  For example, the name of Marcus Williams, formerly of Crenshaw, isn't listed with the point guards because he's going to be attending Oak Hill in Virginia.  There are a lot of other players like him who have taken their games back east, but 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 Small Forwards of 2003
(Listed Alphabetically)

Ruben Boykin 6'-7" LA University
Marcus Dove  6'-7" LB Millikan
Jared Dudley 6'-5" SD Horizon Christian
Marcus Slaughter 6'-8" JW North
Wendell White 6'-5" Redondo Union
Alan Wiggins 6'-7" San Diego Horizon Christian
Keenan Gooch 6'-7"  Fresno Washington Union
Keith Spencer 6'-6" San Diego Eastlake
Perrin Johnson 6'-7" Claremont
Dorrell Wright 6'-7" Leuzinger

Next Top 20 Small Forwards of 2003
(Listed Alphabetically)

Randy Adams 6'-7" Canyon Springs
Sam Betty 6'-6" Stockdale
Chris Boldig 6'-6" Woodbridge
Reggie Brown 6'-5" Artesia
Yancy Clark 6'-4" Ribet Academy
Chris Childress 6'-5" Mayfair
Djadi Daffe 6'-6" Villanova Prep
Kaelen Daniels 6'-5" Artesia
Mike DeLong 6'-6" Northwood
Brett Goodman  6'-3"  Riverside MLK
Jason Goodman 6'-7" LA Fremont/Prep School
Carlton Holmes 6'-6" Compton Centennial
Josh Kramer 6'-7" San Diego Torrey Pines
Randy Meru 6'-4" Newbury Park
Desmond Newman 6'-6" Los Angeles
David Reichel 6'6" Camarillo
Anthony Taylor 6'-7" Crenshaw
Todd Wolfson 6'-8" LA El Camino Real
Brandon Woods 6'-8" Canyon Springs

Other Small Forwards of 2003 To Watch For This Season:
(Listed Alphabetically)

De Andre Bennett 6'-4" Cabrillo
Matt Borland 6'-5" Trabuco Hills
Nathan Botten 6'-7" Arrowhead Christian Academy
Aaron Burgess 6'-6" Murrieta Valley
Brandon Burgess 6'-4" San Diego Escondido
Justin Davenport 6'-5" Ayala
Brian Dragus 6'-5" San Dimas
Chris Dwight 6'-6" Arroyo Grande
Michael Earl 6'-7" Diamond Ranch
Royce Edgington 6'-6" San Gorgonio
Patrick Fitzgerald 6'-5" Calvary Chapel Downey
James Gollaz 6'-6" Walnut
Kyle Gunther 6'-4" Camarillo
Tommie Harris 6'-7" LB Jordan
Ronald Hughes 6'-3" Littlerock
William Hunt 6'-5" Elsinore
Travis Gibb 6'-6" Redondo Union
Brandon Glenn 6'-5" San Diego HS
Phillip Jones 6'-5" Brea Olinda
Cody Kase 6'-3" Hart
Scott Lanois 6'-5" Villa Park
Joey Lindquist 6'-7" Estancia
Jason Madsen 6'-5" Moorpark
Kirk McConnell 6'-6" Lompoc Cabrillo
Allan McMillian 6'-6" LA Cleveland
Marc McRae 6'-5" Canyon Springs
George Milton 6'-5" Inglewood
Maurice Newton 6'-6" Alta Loma
Patrick O'Connor 6'-6" Loyola
Brandon Papez 6'-3" Diamond Bar
Richard Patapoff 6'-6" Glendora
Ronnie Pentz 6'-4" El Toro
Brandon Price 6'-4" Silverado
Jose Rodriguez 6'-5" Moorpark
Darion Slider 6'-6" Torrance
Randy Smith 6'-5" Inglewood
Steven Trujillo 6'-4" Hesperia
Christian Vonalt 6'-6" Riverside Poly
Steve Urrutia 6'-5" El Segundo
Chris Veit 6'-5" Ridgecrest Burroughs
Robert White 6'-6" San Diego Hoover
Jeff Woods 6'-4" Brea Olinda
Eric Woodward 6'-6" Whittier
Jim Zucca 6'-4' Jurupa Valley

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):

What's a small forward?  Bigger than a big guard, smaller than a power forward or a post player, usually plays facing up to the basket, but more of a forward type who can play with finesse rather than a true power player, with decent ball skills. Imprecise to be sure, but most people know one when they see it. Kind of like don't need a critic to tell you when you like something, and vice versa. 

Anyway, that's how we've chosen to categorize these guys listed above.  Now onto the caveats about what these lists are and are not intended to convey:

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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