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San Diego Section players to watch

12/07/2015, 9:24pm PST
By John Maffei

Best big men lead list of region's top talent


Brandon McCoy has transferred from Morse to Cathedral Catholic.

BEST BIG MEN

1. T.J. Leaf

Foothills Christian

Sr. | 6-10 | 220

A 5-star ESPN recruit, who has signed with UCLA. Averaged 27.4 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 blocks a game last season. ESPN: “Combines skill and athleticsm. Excels in transition and in a half-court game. Great shooter and has great first step off the dribble. Jumps with the best in the country.”

2. Brandon McCoy

Cathedral Catholic

Jr. | 7-0 | 230

A 5-star ESPN recruit who transferred from Morse. Has college offers from Arizona, Cal, UConn, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon and San Diego State. Averaged 19.7 points, 18.3 rebounds and 6.6 blocks a game as a sophomore. ESPN: “Exceptional athlete with long arms and soft hands, quick feet, a soft touch, length and bounce.”

3. Tommy Rutherford

Grossmont

Sr. | 6-10 | 215

A 3-star ESPN recruit, who has signed with UC Irvine. ESPN: “Top post prospect with long arms and impressive timing. Good hook shot with either hand. Good defender with a high motor. Runs the floor well.”

4. Tim Harrison

Francis Parker

Sr. | 6-8 | 180

A 3-star ESPN recruit, who signed with Rice after considering Cal, Lehigh, Vanderbilt, Virginia Commonwealth and Washington. An excellent student. ESPN: “Long and athletic. Runs the floor well.”

5. Richard Polanco

Army-Navy

Jr. | 6-8 | 215

A 3-star ESPN recruit, who has offers from Nevada, USC, USD and New Mexico State. Averaged 13.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists as a sophomore while making 61 3-pointers. ESPN: “Mature with broad shoulders and long arms. Must play under control.”

6. Miles Norris

Mater Dei Catholic

Jr. | 6-7 | 190

A 2-star ESPN recruit, who has offers from Cal, Oregon, USC, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and San Diego State. ESPN: “Highly mobile. Plays above the rim in traffic.” Scout.com has him as the No. 12 player in his class.

7. Keegan Cummins

Escondido

Sr. | 6-10 | 240

A 2-star ESPN recruit who helped Escondido to San Diego Section Division I title last season. ESPN: “Physical player. Good energy and solid hands. Good defender.”

8. Aziz Seck

Army-Navy

Sr. | 6-7 | 200

Signed with Northern Arizona. Averaged 14.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks last season. Scout: “Tremendous leaper who guards the rim. Runs the floor well. Plays both ends of the floor.”

9. Taeshon Cherry

St. Augustine

So. | 6-7 | 215

A breakout freshman season has piqued interest from Texas A&M, Colorado State, Nevada, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and San Diego State. Scout: “Has elite strength, size and athleticsm. Slasher. Improved game tremendously over course of freshman season.”

10. Robby Robinson

Kearny

Jr. | 6-8 | 205

A 2-star ESPN recruit. Averaged 13.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 blocks as a sophomore. San Diego State has shown interest in him. Rivals: “Considered one of the top local players in his class.”

11. Warren Washington

Escondido

So. | 6-9 | 200

Has grown 3 inches from last season and is starting to draw attention. Rivals has him as the No. 24 prospect in his class. Scout: “Post prospect with terrific upside. Good feet and solid hands. Has some bounce to his game.”

12. Burke Twyman

Mission Vista

Sr. | 6-8 | 205

One of the best-kept secrets in the county playing at a new, small school. Averaged 17.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 4.0 blocks last season. ESPN: “Sleeper for Division I level. Rangy four-man who plays at a frenetic pace.”

13. Jacob Gilliam

Torrey Pines

Jr. | 6-9 | 235

Averaged just 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds last season, but improved tremendously and showed flashes of brilliance. Scout: “Big body with skills in the paint. Loves to play and is determined to improve. Great student of the game with great big-man coach in John Olive.”

14. Armstrong Ojunkwu

Mission Bay

Jr. | 6-9 | 220

Averaged 9.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season. Full-Time Hoops: “Raw, but improving force in the middle.”

15. Jesus Garcia

San Ysidro

So. | 6-10 | 220

Averaged 5.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.1 blocks as a freshman. Scout: “Big-body player with a big upside. Needs to improve every aspect of his game, but has a great work ethic. Wants to learn and improve.”

MORE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Name / School / Ht. / Yr. / Comment

Luke Arvidson / El Camino / 6-3 / Sr. / Good shooter, great hustle

Tiberius Ballard / Guajome Park / 6-2 / So. / First-team all-league

Jordan Battaglia / San Diego Jewish / 5-10/ Jr. / Ocean League POY

Daevon Bazzo / Hoover / 6-2 / Sr. / Returning starter

Terrence Becvar / Valley Center / 5-10 / Sr. / Primed for solid season

Austin Beech / Cathedral Catholic / 6-5 / Sr. / Athletic with a big frame

Sean Birk / El Camino / 6-0 / Sr. / First-team all-league

Takoda Browne / Kearny / 5-10 / Sr. / Breakout football season

Marco Cobian / Ramona / 6-5 / Sr. / Top-flight football QB

Timmy Crawford / Montgomery / 5-9 / So. / Returning all-leaguer

Daniel Davis / Crawford / 6-4 / Sr. / Big-time leaper

Justin Davis / Morse / 6-4 / Sr. / Strong inside presence

Perry Davis / Kearny / 6-3 / Sr. / Strong, physical player

Carsten Denherder / Scripps Ranch / 5-10 / Sr. / Top-flight PG

Travis DeRoos / Tri-City Christian / 5-11 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Michael Diaz / Orange Glen / 6-2 / Jr. / Strong and can run and shoot

Bruce Edwards / LJ Country Day / 6-4 / Sr. / Averaged 14.7 points

Jordan Ellis / Valhalla / 5-11 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Josiah Esselstrom / LJ Country Day / 5-9 / Jr. / Averaged 10.6 last season

Reed Farley / La Jolla / 6-4 / Jr. / Averaged 16.5 points and 5.1 rebounds

Jalen Flanagan / El Camino / 6-2 / So. / Major impact as freshman

Raymond Gabriel / Crawford / 6-1 / Sr. / Versatile football recruit

Cameron Gage / Oceanside / 5-11 / Sr. / Transfer PG from Carlsbad

AJ Gaines / O'Farrell / 6-0 / Sr. / League POY

Trey Gaiter / Rancho Buena Vista / 6-4 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Cristian Garrett / Guajome Park / 5-11 / So. / First-team all-leaguer

Baka Gowolo / Hoover / 6-7 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Baylee Harvey / Hilltop / 6-1 / Sr. / First-team all-league

Jack Heller / Torrey Pines / 6-3 / Sr. / Steps up into key role

Cole Henderson / Valhalla / 6-3 / Sr. / Will play baseball at Nevada

Marcus Hentley / Escondido / 6-1 / Sr. / Quick, athletic guard

Bret Johnson / Santa Fe Christian / 6-0 / Sr. / Drawing college interest

Reid Johnson / Cathedral Catholic / 6-6 / Sr. / Strong, skilled inside player

Oscar Limon / Otay Ranch / 6-0 / Sr. / First-team all-leaguer

Connor McClurg / Army-Navy / 6-1 / Sr. / High-energy guard on big team

Johnny McWilliams / San Marcos / 6-5 / Sr. / Signed with Fresno State

Ryan Michaels / Canyon Crest / 6-3 / Sr. / Averaged 17.0 points

Moli Mojus / Lincoln / 6-3 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Eric Monroe / St. Augustine / 6-2 / Sr. / Headed to Yale

Cameron Moore / Cathedral Catholic / 6-0 / Sr. / Key, veteran contributor

Justin Moore / Mission Bay / 6-4 / Sr. / Averaged 22.8 points

Josh Moran / Serra / 6-4 / Sr. / First-team all-leaguer

John Murad / Valhalla / 6-0 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Darian Norwood / Mount Miguel / 6-3 / Jr. / Bears watching

Ben Okhotin / Westview / 6-3 / Jr. / Drawing college interest

James Ottey / Mira Mesa / 6-5 / Sr. / First-team all-league

J.J. Overton / Rancho Bernardo / 6-3 / Jr. / Returning all-leaguer

Marco Ovies / West Hills / 5-7 / Sr. / Three-year starter at PG

Trevor Owens / Orange Glen / 5-11 / Jr. Returning all-leaguer

Taylor Padilla / Fallbrook / 6-0 / Sr. / Potential to average 20

Nikko Paranada / Foothills Christian / 5-11 / Sr. / Top-flight point man

Bryce Parson / West Hills / 6-2 / Sr. / Team leader

Michael Pelaiz / Francis Parker / 5-9 / Sr. / Hardest worker in the program

Karlton Perry / San Ysidro / 6-6 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Marcus Perry / LJ Country Day / 5-11 / Jr. / Averaged 10.9 last season

Eric Pierce / El Camino / 6-5 / Sr. / Strong, quick inside

Bohannon Rankins / Monte Vista / 6-4 / Sr. / Strong inside player

James Rohde / Maranatha / 6-5 / Sr. / Has a big-time upside

Jason Simmrin / San Marcos / 6-5 / Sr. / Strong and skilled inside

Luis Salgado / Foothills Christian / 6-3 / Sr. / Among best shooters in county

Taurus Samuels / Vista / 6-0 / So. / Averaged 16.5 and 4.9 assists

Devin Sanders / Mira Mesa / 6-3 / Sr. / Returning all-leaguer

Jon Shetler / Escondido Adventist / 6-0 / Jr. / Scorer and rebounder

Omajae Smith / Foothills Christian / 6-4 / Sr. / Athletic, scoring wing

Jordan Starr / Foothills Christian / 6-6 / So. / Emerging Australian

Shai Stevenson / Monte Vista / 6-4 / Sr. / Strong inside presence

Jackson Strong / Torrey Pines / 6-4 / Sr. / Long, lean and athletic

Otto Taylor / St. Augustine / 6-1 / Jr. / High-energy guard

Martin Tombe / St. Augustine / 6-5 / Sr. / First-team all-league

Daymian Vajda / Canyon Crest / 6-3 / Jr. / Averaged 15.0 points

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