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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCalHoops Freshman Class:
Top Developing Shooting 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  "shooting guard" is generally what you think it means: Someone who shoots the ball, either a spot up shooter or a catch and release shooter coming off screens; it also means someone who slashes to the hole off a cut, someone who can spot up from either in close or three-point range, and someone who plays defense typically on the other team's off-guard. It's generally a player who also has the skills to play point, may sometimes bring the ball up, and occasionally sets up the offense. Sometimes though it's a guy who also plays out on the wing, or in a three-guard offense may play point, but primarily shoots or goes to the basket. In other words, it's the "two guard," "off guard" or the other guard on the floor who is not playing point. You get the idea.

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 Freshman Shooting Guards

Lee Abair (6'-1" Fr. SG) Compton Centennial
Kevin Edmonds (6'-3" Fr. SG/SF) Fountain Valley
Brandon Epps (6'-2" Fr. SG) Compton Centannial
Timothe Fehoko (6'-1" Fr. SG) LA Washington
Dontae Foster (6'-2" Fr. SG) LA Washington
Brandon Heath (6'-2" Fr. SG/SF) Westchester
Jeramie Hopson (6'-3" Fr. SG/SF) El Segundo
Charlie Kranzdorf (6'-2" Fr. SG/SF) Montclair Prep
Matt Llewellyn (6'-1" Fr. SG) Loyola
Matt McCraw (5'-10" Fr. SG) Mayfair
Corey McJimson (6'-2" Fr. SG/SF) Fontana
J.R. Reese (6'-3" Fr. SG/SF) Corona Centennial
Brandon Rohe (6'-1" Fr. SG) Santa Margarita
Leon Rosborough (6'-0" Fr. SG) Canyon Springs
Giovanni St. Amant (6'-1" Fr. SG) St. John Bosco
Jon Stefanson (6'-3" Fr. SG) Lakewood Artesia
Kevin Stacey (6'-2" Fr. SG/PG) Santa Margarita
Ricky Thornton (5'-10" Fr. SG) Artesia
Aaron Tudor (6'-0" Fr. SG) Trabuco Hills
Jess Valero (6'-1" Fr. SG) San Pedro
James Webster (6'-3" Fr. SG) Mater Dei
Ike Williams (5'-11" Fr. SG) Murrieta Valley
Donald Wilson (6'-2" Fr. SG) LA Dorsey

 The Swish Award
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