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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002 Top Power
Fwds & Posts In SoCal--(Oct. 24, 1999)

It's time for SoCalHoops' own annual post-summer, pre-season fall list of  "Top Players in SoCal" at each position in each class. The last group we're going to focus on is the class of 2002's power forwards and post players, and we've selected all the top players that we know about. If there are more out there, well, we have yet to find them, but hey, there's still another three years before these guys will graduate. We've arranged them into two groups, the post players (all three of them), and the power forwards (a larger group). Like the rest of the groups we have listed, we have not used numerical rankings. Maybe we should, and maybe someday we will, but for now we haven't.

Why not use numerical rankings?  Well, college coaches make their own evaluations, and the point of our lists is not to "rank" players, but to get the word out about players to those who are in a position to actually recruit these players, i.e., the college coaches.  Most club coaches, high school coaches, recruiting services, and other players already know about the guys listed here, and likewise, everyone's got an opinion of who is "best" or "better" than the next guy.  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.  All of them have the chance to, but they'll need to get it done in the classroom first. The bottom line is that it's  too early to tell what will happen to these players. And that's also one of their real plusses too:  They're young, have got more of their high school careers in front of them than they have behind them, and if they work hard and are lucky enough to avoid injury, they'll continue to improve, get bigger, stronger, and eventually make it to the next level.

We obviously have not seen every player in SoCal in the sophomore class.  We've listed those players we believe are among the best who have played particularly well this past summer and fall,  especially at some of the higher profile events.  We've reviewed all of our prior lists, all the rosters from tournaments we viewed this summer, re-read articles we've written since last June, and reviewed our notes and tapes of players.  The list include players from Fresno in the North, to San Diego in the South, i.e., the entire SoCal region.  Most of the players listed have already drawn the attention of other recruiting services (such as Recruiting USA (Benezra and Mayemura), Fullcourt Press, Clark Francis at the HoopScoop,  Dave Telep of PrepStars Recruiting, and others).  Some are "ranked" elsewhere by the other guys, some are not.  No matter, we believe they are worthy of note.

Each player is listed at his primary position. If you don't see a player on a list where you'd expect, look at another position because he may be listed elsewhere. The list which follows is of the sophomore power forwards and post players.  In case you hadn't noticed, the list of post players is miniscule, and even the power forward list is kind of small, at least in comparison to some of the other positions, and certainly in comparison to some of the other classes. This group is a little like the current crop of seniors, at least when it comes to big men, because there really aren't a lot of guys like there are in the current junior class (2001), which is unbelievably deep (e.g., Jamal Sampson, Tyson Chandler, Rory O'Neil, Dustin Villapigue, etc.), and while there are some big guys in the class of 2002, other than Martin Iti, we really struggled to call anyone in the current sophomore class a true "center." Maybe a few others will develop into centers or true five men, and maybe they won't. For now though, just about everyone projects out to play at the power forward spot.   

Lastly, 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 shown, just let us know.  Here are the Top Power Forwards and Post Players in SoCal in the Sophomore Class:

SoCalHoops Top Centers

Martin Iti (6'-11" So. C/PF) Servite
Paul Meynan (6'-10" So. PF/C) Redondo Union
Lance Soderberg (6'-8" So. PF/C) Mater Dei

SoCalHoops Top 16 Power Forwards

Kevin Cape (6'-6" So. PF) St. John Bosco
Chad Carter (6'-7" So. PF) Riverside Arlington
DeAngelo Collins (6'-9" So. C/PF) Inglewood
DeWayne Chamberlain (6'-7" So. PF) LA Washington
Paul Fraley (6'-4" So. PF) La Jolla Bishop's
Samir Hernandez (6'-7" So. PF) Compton Dominguez
Mercedes Lewis (6'-7" So. PF) LB Poly
James Matthews (6'-7" So. PF) Palisades HS
Ryan Meilleur (6'-7" So. PF) Artesia
David Patten (6'-7" So. PF) Placentia
Brice Prather (6'-7" So. PF/C) Villa Park
Charlie Rodriquez (6'-7" So. PF) Fresno Clovis West
Darius Sanders (6'-5" So. PF) Dominguez
Thomas Shewmake (6'-9" So. PF) Cathedral City
Travis Wilder (6'-5" So. PF) LB Poly
Jamal Walls (6'-8" So. PF) Crenshaw

The Swish Award
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