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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

SoCalHoops Sophomore Class: Top Power
Forwards 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 fourth in the series are the power  forwards among the current sophomores (juniors to be this summer and next season). And this is a pretty good group, too. Heck, most of them could be centers in the current junior class.  Which tells you a little bit about the guys who are the centers and post players in the soph class.  Yes, unlike the current junior class, there are several notable high D-I prospects at the post.  All of these guys are still young and developing, so a lot can still happen, but this is a very strong class.

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. 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.  Most on these lists are D-I material, many are certainly at least D-II, III and virtually all of them will play somewhere when they graduate from high school.   All of the players are varsity level players, and many are the top prospects on the West Coast; several are even high level national recruits.

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.

As with the juniors,  what we mean by " power forward" is generally what you think it means: Someone who has the body of one of the largest players on the court, strong, tough, usually an inside banger type, one who can generally play outside and sometimes shoot out on the wing (but who rarely does), a guy who looks more like an inside player; someone who blocks down low well, but who often does't generally play the low post except to defend or rebound; not really a "back to the basket" guy, but more of a slashing rebounder and sometime scorer, with a reasonable dribble and ball skills, but who generally uses power moves to the basket. A guy who is probably not among the quickest players on the floor, but not biggest or the most lumbering either. You know, a "4" (who can and often does double-duty at the three or a five positions in high school).  And because these guys are only sophomores, they will all probably still be going through growth spurts, so many of these guys might project out as 5's by the time they get into their junior year and beyond.   Only time will tell. 

Again, all the players listed below are currently sophomores ("rising juniors"), almost all are currently varsity level players (there may be a non-varsity guy, but then it's someone who plays club or traveling ball with a good team, or who will play next year at the varsity level) . Most of them have already drawn the attention of college coaches, and some have drawn national media attention as well.  Most of the players listed below have been team, league, or even CIF stats leaders, and almost all have received varying degrees of attention from the basketball or general media, or are already established stars. Some are obviously not as well known: For those in the "Rest of the Best" category, they've shown promise or potential, and could break out during the summer circuit or during their senior year and thus have the potential to attract the attention of the colleges at the D-I through NAIA levels. In other words, we believe they are all players.

All the listings are in alphabetical order. We have not assigned numerical rankings, but we have grouped the players into "Top 10 Prospects",  and the "Next Top 15"; because this list is so small, we don't have the "Best of the Rest" for the power forwards because frankly, this is about all there is, or at least all we've been able to identify so far in the class.  

For those who are counting, there are only 25 players on the list that follows.  The reason why this list is relatively small is that most of the players who are currently playing varsity or on the high profile travel teams are juniors or unsigned seniors.  As a result, this list probably represents the upper-end, skilled power forwards in the class who have been identified.  As time goes on, more players who are currently playing frosh-soph ball and jv will move up and be identified, and the great thing is that these players really have two full years of high school eligibility left to improve and grow.   But for now, these are the top prospects among the sophomore power forwards.

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 10 Sophomore Power Forwards

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
Keith Sconiers (6'-7" So. PF/C) Fresno Washington Union
Craig Smith (6'-6" So. PF) Fairfax
Douglas Thomas (6'-7" So. PF) Pasadena
Dustin Villepigue (6'-9" So. PF) Simi Valley

SoCalHoops Next Top 15 (+1) Sophomore Power Forwards

Thomas Brossard (6'-5" So. PF) Hawthorne
Shaun Cody (6'-5" So PF/SF) Los Altos
Sean Cole (6'-6" So. PF) Pacific Hills
Shaun Crosner (6'-6" So. PF/SF) Loyola
Lionel Davis (6'-6" So. PF) Upland
Earl Felix (6'-5" So. PF) Manual Arts
David Harris (6'-5" So PF/SF) Torrance West HS
Albert Hill (6'-6" So. PF) Garey
James Jenkins (6'-7" So. PF/SF) Crescenta Valley
Brandon Jones (6'-8" So. PF) Canyon Springs
Matt Mosebar (6'-8" So. PF) Santa Ynez
George O'Garra (6'-6" So. PF/C) Sylmar
Jacob Padgett (6'-8" So. PF/C) Hemet
Antoine Russ (6'-7" So. PF/SF) Pomona
Neal Smith (6'-6" So. PF) Ocean View
Spencer Smith (6'-5" So. PF) Pomona

 The Swish Award
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