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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002: Top SoCal Sophomore
Combo & Shooting Guards--(June 5, 2000)

This is our our final, post-season, post-spring, pre-summer listing of  the class of 2002, the current crop of sophomores, the guys who are about to become "rising juniors" in a few weeks.  We may add some names or move others by the end of the summer, but this represents the guys who we believe deserve to be recognized as among the best in this class at their positions.  We've already done our listings for the Top Juniors (Class of 2001) and the Top Seniors (Class of 2000), and all of the SoCalHoops  "Top SoCal Players" lists can always be accessed by clicking on the link on the navigation bar at the left.   We're busy working on the the Class of 2003, this year's current Freshman class, and we'll post that up shortly as well. 

Classifying some of these guys as either shooters or as combos (i.e., guys who also can and do sometimes play point in addition to shooting the ball) was a bit tricky, and we're sure we'll get a lot of disagreement on this subject, but we thought it was more useful to separate the various guards  into those who primarily play the off-guard, shooting spot from those who occasionally also play the point.   Likewise, many of the taller and/or quicker guards also can (and do) play sometimes more often at the "wing" (the three position) and for them, we've tried to separate them out as well, listing them on the "wing/small forward" list.   Not always an easy categorization to make, but with most of these guys, it wasn't too tough either.

The bottom line is that if you're looking for one player in particular who is listed overall as a "guard", and don't find him listed below, be sure to check our list of top point guards and the list of wing players.  We've tried to apply some method to what could be just a huge list of players, but just recognize this is all a matter of opinion. 

One huge caveat about this (and other) lists:  Please don't get hung up about previous lists, about where a player may have been listed before if you don't see him in the same place again this time.  Some players have left the area (Jon Steffanson comes to mind immediately) or have left for prep school (like Lawrence Carrier last fall), and they aren't listed any longer.  Still other players may have been moved to a different position, and can be found on another list.  And some may not have been listed inadvertently.  And some have played better or up to the expectations we had over the season, while others either didn't get the playing time because of a large number of seniors and juniors on their teams,  and others   may just be taking longer than some of their peers to develop.     The bottom line is that this list, and lists like it everywhere are just a matter of opinion.

We've broken the list down into three overall groupings:   Top Combos, Top Shooting Guards, and Best of the Rest among the two positions.   As with our other lists, we haven't used numerical rankings for any individual player.   Maybe we should have, and maybe someday we will, but for now we don't really care for the concept of listing a player as the "No. 1" or "No. 2"  "No. 30" in the class.  Others do it, and for them, it's an expression of their opinion too.   For us, we're just not sold on the value of the concept, especially for players who still have two years to develop. 

Many of the recruiting services will use numerical rankings, and we've spoken with several about why they do that, and we've been told various things. . . mostly the view seems to be that the guys who run these services are doing this for a living, rating players and selling their services to the college coaches, so they want to be as helpful to the coaches who may use their reports.  That's fine for such services;  they're in business and they're entitled to conduct business any way they want, and they won't get any arguments from us about that. 

On the other hand, we believe that college coaches use even the most painstakingly-prepared numerical rankings only as a guide about which players they want to see during the open evaluation periods, and that after a coach has seen a player he'll make up his own mind about where that player "ranks" among his recruiting priorities.  So from our perspective, at least with the SoCalHoops' lists,   our point is not necessarily to "rank" players individually by number, but really to get the word out about a group of players we believe are among the best at their positions in a given class.

Most college coaches have already heard the names of most of the players listed here; but there are probably more than a few who we've identified who have not been seen, and so in that way, we hope that more coaches decide to check these guys out either this summer and over the course of the next two academic years. 

Some of these players will be good enough eventually and lucky enough to get recruited at the D-I level, while others will get recruited at various other levels, whether D-II, D-III or NAIA.  Some will wind up at JUCO's because they may not qualify, but in our view, if they can get it done in the classroom, many of them have a chance of getting recruited at a four year school.   

Another huge caveat:  We have not seen every player in SoCal in the current sophomore class.  Most of what we know about comes from seeing those few sophomores who played varsity this past season, or who have consistently played with some of the better clubs and travel teams.   We've reviewed all of our prior lists, every CIF playoff team roster from this season,  all the tournament and showcase rosters, and spring league rosters, in an effort to at least consider everyone we've seen or know about.  But we have not seen everyone there is to see in this class.  A huge number of the class of 2002 played at the JV or frosh-soph level this past year, and while they will yet emerge over the course of the next two years, we'll be the first to say that we probably haven't seen even half of the class of 2002.  But finding out about new players we've never seen is part of what makes this stuff so much fun, so we're looking forward to seeing even more players identified over the next two years.

We've tried to list those players who played particularly well this past season and spring, who are among the more promising players, those we think have a chance of getting recruited at some level.   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.

SoCalHoops Top 10 Combo Guards
(Class of 2002)

Nate Carter   6'-4" So. SG/PG   San Diego Lincoln Prep
Geoffrey Clayton   6'-3" So. SG/PG   Magnolia
Chris Dickson   5'-9" So. SG/PG   Pasadena Muir
Gavin Lee   6’-3" So. SG/PG   Bishop Montgomery
Will Sheslow   6'-0" So. PG/SG   Montclair Prep
Giovanni St. Amant   6'-2" So. PG/SG   St. John Bosco
Chris Tarne   6'-0" So. SG/PG   Crescenta Valley
Mike Washington   5'-11" So. PG/SG   Long Beach Poly
Craig Weinstein   5'-11" So. SG/PG   Harvard Westlake
Josh Zazulia   6’-1" So. SG/PG   Palm Desert

SoCalHoops Top 10 Shooting Guards
(Class of 2002)

Joe Abrahams   6'-2" So SG   Crossroads
Marvin Carraway   6'-2" So. SG   Fresno Washington Union
JoVance Coleman   6'-4" So. SG   Fresno Hoover
Brandon Heath   6'-3" So. SG   LA Westchester
Donnie Jury   6'-0" So. SG   SB Pacific
Keon Kindred   6'-2" So. SG   Dominguez HS
Matt Llewellyn   6'-2" So. SG   Loyola
Donovan Morris   6’-4" So. SG   Cajon
Leon Rosborough   6'-2" So. SG   Canyon Springs
Brandon Rohe   6'-3" So. SG   Santa Margarita

SoCalHoops Next Top 35 Sophomore Combos & Shooting Guards
(Class of 2002)

David Anderson   5'-11" So. G   Thousand Oaks
Mike Axelson   6'-3" So. SG   Coronado
Donte Bradford   6'-1" So. SG/PG   Mayfair
Marques Calcote   6'-0" So. SG   Morningside
Talani Calhoun   5'-10" So. SG   Riverside Notre Dame
Richard Chaney   6'-4" So SG   Lynwood
Casey Clark   6'-3" So. SG   Fountain Valley
Rummel Clark   6'-3" So. G   Cajon
Trenton Cleveland   6'-1" So. SG   Burbank
Jason Collins   6'-0" So. SG   Victor Valley
Timothe Fehoko   6'-1" So. SG   LA Washington
Dontae Foster   6'-2" So. SG   LA Washington
Travon George   6'-1" So. SG   LA Jordan
Dale Graham   6'-3" So. SG   Fresno Washington Union
Jamaal Hall   6'-2" So. SG   Pasadena Muir
Dontay Holloway   6'-2" So. SG   St. Paul
Joe Holly   6'-0" So. SG   Victor Valley
John Haywood   6'-3" So. SG   Bishop Amat
Greg Johnson   6'-1" So. SG   Cajon
Michael Maloney   6'-0" So. SG   Granite Hills
Matt McCraw   6'-3" So. SG   Mayfair
Hampton Nunley   6'-2" So. SG   St. Monica
Donald Quiroz   6'-0" So. SG/PG   St. John Bosco
Malik Rahh   6'-0" So. SG   San Pedro
Matt Raitz   6'-3" So. SG   Long Beach Millikan
Brian Ricks   6'-0" So. SG   Murrieta Valley
Chris Robinson   6'-3" So. SG   LaJolla Country Day
Daniel Robinson   6'-3" So. SG   Barstow
Jamar Sloan   5'-10" So. SG   Compton Centennial
Joel Smith   6'-5" So. SG   Lompoc
Travis Smith   6'-2" So. SG   Santa Margarita
Hayden Socci   5'-9" So. SG   Santa Margarita
Justin Turman   6'-0" So. SG   Daniel Murphy
Mychael Williams   5'-8" So. G   Quartz Hill

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