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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Class of 2002 Top Small
Forwards 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 third group we're going to focus on is the class of 2002's small forwards, and we've selected the players we believe are the top 35 in the class at this position. We've arranged them generally by category (Top 15, Next 20). We have not used numerical rankings. Maybe we should, and maybe someday we will, but for now we haven't done so.

Why not use numerical rankings? Because 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 in a position to actually recruit them, i.e., the college coaches.  Most fans, club coaches, high school coaches, and other players already know about the guys listed here, as do a lot of the colleges already, but on the off-chance that there's someone out there who doesn't know them, that's reason enough to do the lists. But other than create two loosely defined "Best" and "Next Best" groups, we've not ranked individual players.  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 SoCal (Dave Benezra and Mark Mayemura), Fullcourt Press, Clark  HoopScoop,   PrepStars Recruiting, and others).  Some are "ranked" elsewhere by the other guys, and many have appeared on regional and/or national "top player" lists.

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 small forwards. What we mean by "small forward", or sometimes a "shooting forward" is one of the larger players on the floor, but a guy who is generally a face-up player, often out on the wings, a slasher to the hole, but sometimes a post player; also often a slasher to the hole, who can also spot up from either in close or three-point range, and who may also be an excellent catch-and-shoot player but is
generally bigger than a guard (either point or shooting) but not generally as big or as strong as the inside a power forward/center players, and typically not a post player.

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 35 Small Forwards/Wings in SoCal:

Top 15 SoCal Sophomore Small Forwards/Wings

Evan Burns (6'-6" So. SF) Fairfax
Reggie Butler (6'-5" So. SF) Long Beach Poly
Sterling Byrd (6'-6" So. SF) Compton Centennial
Keith Everage (6'-5" So. SF) Westchester
Tye-Juan Hatter (6'-5" So. SF/SG) Upland
Bobby Jones (6'-6" So. SF/SG) Dominguez
Terrence Jones (6'-4" So. SF/SG) Crenshaw
Daniel Knott (6'-5" So. SF) Diamond Ranch
Mike Roche (6'-5" So. SF) Long Beach Poly
Jordan Rush (6'-4" So. SF/SG) Westchester
Shamar Shire (6'-7" So. SF) San Diego HS
Mike Strawberry (6'-5" So. SF) Mater Dei
Matt Sweeny (6'-3" So. SF/SG) Capistrano Valley HS
Jonathan Todd (6'-7" So. SF) Chaminade
Adam Zahn (6'-7" So. SF/SG) Redondo Union

Next Top 20 SoCal Small Forward/Wings

Marlon Brisco (6'-3" So. SF/SG) Antelope Valley
Chris Chester (6'-4" So. SF) Tustin
Vince Cofield (6'-5" So. SF) Long Beach Poly
Pete Decases (6'-5" So. SF/SG) Capistrano Valley
Kevin Edmonds (6'-6" So. SF/SG) Fountain Valley
Deon Harris (6'-6" So. SF) Lynwood
Doug Hall (6'-6" So SF/PF) Venice
Jeremy Hopson (6'-3" So. SF/SG) El Segundo
Onye Ibekwe (6'-5" So. SF) Upland
Ryan Love (6'-5" So. SF) LB Poly
Ryan Neff (6'-5" So. SF) La Jolla Bishops'
Travis Niesen (6'-5" So. SF) Mission Viejo
T.J. Norris (6'-5" So. SF) Carson HS
Djbril N'Diaye (6'-2" So. SF) Price
Shane O'Connor (6'-6" So. SF) Claremont
Franklin Robinson (6'-3" So. SF) Littlerock HS
Aaron Shaddean (6'-5" So. SF/SG) Claremont
DeShawn Strong (6'-4" So. SF) El Segundo
Greg White (6'-3" So. SF) The Bishop's School
Jackson Wood (6'-5" So.SF) Beaumont
Khalid Young (6'-4" So. SF) Morningside

The Swish Award
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