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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCalHoops Sophomore Class:
Top Centers In SoCal--(May 11,1999)

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 entire sophomore class in SoCal.  The last article in the series for this class is the centers. Post players. The big men. 

Centers?  Yes, Virginia, there really are centers in this class. Ok, well some of them could be power forwards too, but we think that they'll all project out at the college level as true centers or post players who do what centers do:  Play the low post, block shots, dunk, and score (virtually at will for some of these guys) in close or near the basket, whether on turn around drop-step moves (like Hakeem) or with a nice hook shot or a fall away jumper (like Kareem). Well, ok, there aren't too many of these guys who are doing the sky-hook, but then we've seen a couple attempt it with varying degrees of success.  And while we don't think many of these guys have reached anywhere near the top of their development yet nor  have they developed into true college post players yet; but the operative word is "yet" because we're pretty certain that if their development continues, they will be among the best and brightest of the national class when it comes time for them to sign national letters of intent.  Again, these guys are young, and a lot can happen, but we're betting they'll be big impact players. 

As with the current junior class, 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.

As with the other lists, to compile this one, 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 the best in SoCal, or in the case of the centers, well . . . we selected the centers.  Hey, there's only 9 guys on this list, so how tough can it be to have identified them.  These guys are hard to miss in a crowd.

The list is in alphabetical order. We have not assigned numerical rankings. When you're talking about sophomores and when there are only 10 on the list, what difference does it make who's No. 1 except to the guy who thinks he should be No. 1. Remember, there are several other "power forwards" who probably also play the post or center on their high school teams. Guys like Scott Borchart (6'-8" So. PF) Chaminade, Nick Curtis (6'-7" So. PF) Oxnard, Kyle Egkan (6'-7" So. PF) Villa Park, Apolinar "Amaury" Fernandez (6'-8" So. PF) Artesia,  Jack Martinez (6'-8" So. PF/SF) Artesia, Rory O'Neil (6'-10" So. PF) Ridgecrest Burroughs--and we actually think Rory will probably ultimately be a center-- and there are probably a handful of other guys who might also be on this list too.  But for now, it's probably better to continue to classify these other guys as power forwards, at least until they develop a bit more.

Oh, and if there's a 7'-0" guy out there in Southern California somewhere who we missed, we'd really like to know about him.  Send us an e-mail or let us know by leaving a message on the board.   

SoCalHoops Top 10 Sophomore Centers

Chad Bell (7'-0" So. C) Westchester
Tyson Chandler (7'-0" So. C) Compton Dominguez
Jeff Day (6'-9" So. C/PF) University of San Diego HS
Isaiah Fox (6'-9" So. C) Crossroads
Alex Graham (6'-11" So. C) Redlands
Phillip Johnson (6'-11" So. C) Arroyo Grande
Greg Jones (6'-8" So. C) Venice HS
Jamal Sampson (6'-10" So. C) Mater Dei
Erik Soderberg (6'-9" So. C) Mater Dei
Adam Tancredi (6'-9" So. C) Mater Dei

 The Swish Award
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