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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCalHoops Freshman Class:
Top Developing Point Guards In SoCal--(May 13,1999)

Last year we only cursorily covered the underclassmen, and we decided to be a bit more thorough this year.  So we'll be posting a series of articles on the freshmen class in SoCal, at least those freshmen who have made their presence known this past year.  Which is not to say that we have any illusions that this list represents the entire pool of good freshmen basketball players in SoCal; far from it, this list that follows represents those players who we think represent the top 20 developing players who have thus far been identified in the class.

As with the other classes, we haven't ranked the players by number, because generally we think that's pretty silly and doesn't mean much. College coaches and other scout types see lists such as this and target the players they've seen or heard about anyway. Calling someone "No. 1" or some other number doesn't mean much, except perhaps to the player who thinks he's No. 1.   From our perspective, these lists are just an indicator that a player has made his presence felt in  recruiting, that he's a blip on some college coach's radar.   Of course, some players are bigger blips than others. Some deserve to be watched more closely than others, but that's generally a decision that is made by college coaches, not guys like us who follow the players and write about then. 

To compile these lists,  we've gone through all of the rosters and articles we've written the past year, gone through all the notes of the games we watched, reviewed tapes of many players, and selected those players who, in our view, are clearly D-I material, those who have potential, and those who play the position well enough to deserve recognition and who might have what it takes to play at the next level, whether that's D-I, D-II, D-III or NAIA. The lists include players are from Fresno in the North, to San Diego in the South. Generally the region constituted by the CIF Southern Region (including Central Section, Southern Section, LA City and San Diego Sections) of the CIF.

All the players on these lists are shown by their primary position. That may be the position they normally play in high school, or it may be the position they play on their travel or club teams.  At least it's the position we believe these players will be recruited at for college should their development continue during the next two seasons.  Again, if you don't see a player on the list where you'd expect to see him, look at another list, because he's likely listed somewhere.

What we mean by "point guard" is generally what you think it means: Someone who brings the ball up, sets up the offense, controls the team's play, and is generally (but certainly not necessarily) the smartest player on the floor, with the court sense, the best vision, who does the most to make his teammates better; he passes, dishes, and occasionally presents his own scoring threat, either off the dribble, the fastbreak or from the perimeter. 

All the players listed below are currently freshmen ("rising sophomores").   Virtually all of them on the list played varsity for their high school teams last year (we actually don't know of any who didn't) and many started.  Most of them have already drawn the attention of college coaches, and the attention of other recruiting services, including Recruiting SoCal (Dave Benezra and Mark Mayemura), Dinos Trigonis of Full Court Press, Clark Francis' Hoop Scoop, or other regional and national recruiting lists.   Most of the players listed below have been team, league, or even CIF stats leaders.

This list is relatively small. There's a reason for that: Most of the players who played varsity this last season or on the high profile travel teams are not freshmen; they're juniors or unsigned seniors, and even some sophomores.  But there were very few freshmen.  As a result, this list probably represents the upper-end, skilled point guards in the class who we've been able to identify thus far.  As time goes on, and the freshmen become sophs, and juniors and then seniors, more players who are currently playing frosh-soph ball and jv will move up and be identified.  Trust us, this list will definitely change over the next three years. It will get bigger. Players listed will get better, most will develop and some will not. 

But the best thing about this group is that they've got three more years of high school eligibility left.   And they've got three more years to get better, stronger and bigger.  And if there's someone we missed (and we're sure there are many we did) let us know and we will add them to the list.   And if you think someone doesn't belong on the list, let us know that too (but be nice; these are, after all still just kids). Either post a message on the board, or send us an e-mail. 

SoCalHoops Top 20 Freshmen Point Guards

Jeremiah Barnes (5'-6" Fr. PG) Rowland HS
Timothy Drisdom (6'-3" Fr. PG) Calvary Chapel Downey
Allan Ellis (5'-9" Fr. PG) Crespi
Keith Ellison (5'-9" Fr. PG) Redondo Union
Eric Flournoy (5'-6" Fr. PG) LA Dorsey
David Gale (5'-11" Fr. PG) Sherman Oaks Buckley HS
Aaron Gipson (5'-8" Fr. PG) Fontana
Stephen Graybill (6'-0" Fr. PG/SG) Dos Pueblos
Patrick Haddan (6'-0" Fr. PG) Mater Dei
Eric Johnson (5'-9" Fr. PG) Venice
Gavin Lee (6'-2" Fr. PG/SG) Bishop Montgomery
Franklin Matos (6'-3" Fr. PG/SG) Lakewood Artesia HS
Kenneth McCullum (5'-10" So. PG) Fairfax
Jason McKinney (5'-9" Fr. PG) Westchester
Alex Nieto (6'-1" Fr. PG) La Jolla Bishops
Will Sheslow (5'-11" Fr. PG) Montclair Prep
Jonathan Smith (5'-7" Fr. PG) Lynwood
Chris Tarne (6'-0" Fr. PG) Crescenta Valley
Craig Weinstein (5'-10" Fr. PG) Harvard-Westlake
Dino Wilburn (6'-1 Fr. PG) Pasadena

 The Swish Award
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