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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCalHoops Freshman Class: Top Developing
Power Forward/Post Players 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 of the developing post-power forward players who have thus far been identified in the class.

This class is a little like the current crop of juniors when it comes to centers, because there really isn't anyone yet identified who is as dominating (or even as tall) as the guys in the sophomore class. In fact, we really struggled to call anyone in the current freshman class a true center, and perhaps there really are none yet.  Several of these guys may yet go through growth spurts and get there, but then you never know.  So for now, just about everyone is a power forward type player.

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.

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 smaller than the rest, in fact it's relatively tiny. 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.   [Well, maybe. . . there's been some rumors about DeAngelo Collins, including that he may only have one more year of eligibility left.  How's that?  Well, the rumor has him having attended a high school in northern California prior to moving to SoCal two years ago.  When he moved here with a guardian, he was then enrolled in the 8th grade.  But if he had previously been a high school student, his "eligibility clock" would have started to run, and by the time he entered Tustin this past season, he would have only one more year of eligibility, because without special dispensation from the CIF, players only get four years. . . But for now it's little more than a rumor, so we'll continue to list DeAngelo as one of the top current freshmen.  By now, most people also know the story published in the Orange County Register and the Times about his fight with another student that resulted in (a) his transfer to Inglewood and (b) the other student's lawsuit against the Tustin School District, so we won't bother with the details of that here.   Suffice it to say though, that DeAngelo, whatever his temperament off the court--and we won't or can't comment on that because for now the evidence is still unclear--is a very talented basketball player. ] 

Again, if there's someone we missed (and we're sure there are many we did) let us know and we will consider adding 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 Developing Freshman Power Forwards/Post Players

Chad Carter (6'-7" Fr. PF) Riverside Arlington
DeAngelo Collins (6'-9" Fr. C/PF) Inglewood
Paul Fraley (6'-4" Fr. PF) La Jolla Bishop's
Samir Hernandez (6'-7" Fr. PF) New Roads
Paul Maynen (6'-9" Fr. C/PF) Redondo Union
Ryan Neff (6'-5" Fr. PF) La Jolla Bishops'
Mike Roche (6'-5" Fr. PF) Long Beach Poly
Charlie Rodriquez (6'-7" Fr. PF) Fresno Clovis West
Darius Sanders (6'-5" Fr. PF) Dominguez
Thomas Shewmake (6'-9" Fr. PF/SF) Cathedral City
Jonathan Todd (6'-6" Fr. PF) Chaminade
Jamal Walls (6'-4" Fr. PF/SF) Crenshaw

 The Swish Award
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