The Best of Nevada

Here's a rundown of the best prospects in the state of Nevada this season, including all classes -- from seniors to freshmen...

It's an exciting time to be a basketball fan in Nevada, with
Charlie Spoonhour taking the coaching reins at UNLV, Trent Johnson
revitalizing the UNR program,  and George Tarkanian (Son of Jerry)
recently announced to lead the first JC basketball program in the state
(Community College of Southern Nevada, slated to start play in 2002).
Besides that, four sparkling new 4A high schools opened in the Fall,
Coronado (Henderson), Sierra Vista (Las Vegas), Spanish Springs (Reno),
and North Valleys (Reno), bringing NIAA membership to an all-time high
of 87 schools.  Three players have made early DI commitments (C.J.
Watson to Tennessee, Frank Brown and Martrel Johnson to Montana St.),
and another 4-6 more figure to draw serious DI attention before it's all
said and done.

      The Class of 2002 lacks size as well as depth at the point, but
both forward positions appear well-stocked.  The current crop of juniors
might represent the strongest class in state history, and they got off
to an early start at the Easter Class ic tournament in 1999 when a Las
Vegas team beat a squad from Houston that featured nationally-ranked
suprstars Ndidi Ebi and Kendrick Perkins.  The sophomore class includes
at least 7 players who were varsity starters as freshmen, all in the
backcourt.  Not much interior talent is evident yet, but some prospects
have materialized over the summer.  It's early to talk about the Class
of 2005, but if bloodlines count for anything, at least one big-time
player is on his way.

Class of 2002

   1. C.J. Watson 6-2 PG Las Vegas Bishop Gorman (Tennessee)
           The best point guard from Nevada since Greg Anthony, and
first Nevadan to sign with an SEC school in at least an awfully long
time, maybe ever.  Watson plays outstanding defense, he gets to the
basket with ease, and his shot is improving all the time.  He'll have to
carry a Gorman squad decimated by graduation and transfer, but if
anybody's capable, it's C.J. Watson.

   2. Jeremy Atwater 6-5 PF Las Vegas HS
           Atwater was the one member of the Las Vegas Rebels AAU team
who consistently held his own at the adidas Big Time, no matter who the
opponent was.  Nobody is likely to forget his domination of super junior
David Padgett at the state tournament last spring anytime soon either.
His wingspan makes him effectively 6-8, and he jumps as high as he needs
to  in order to snatch every errant shot at both ends of the floor, and
he plays with great enthusiasm.  His offense is beginning to move away
from the basket, but if he never hits another shot past 5', he's still
worth a look from every mid-major on the west coast.

   3. Martrel Johnson 6-4 SF Las Vegas Durango (Montana St.)
            This is the lowest Johnson has ever been ranked in this
class, but through nearly no fault of his own.  Johnson keeps adding new
wrinkles to his offensive repertoire. He'll be starting for the fourth
consecutive year for one of the best basketball programs in the state,
so he's mostly seen and done it all.  He's still not the 6-7 or 6-8 that
would make him an All-American, but Montana St. got a guy who should be
a reliable starting forward for at least two years in the Big Sky.

   4. Joe Heaton 6-4 2G Reno Galena
             He's not quite a Jerod Hasse, but he's the closest thing to
the former Cal/Kansas guard to come out of Northern Nevada in the past
10 years.  He's strong and aggressive with the ball, and his shooting
range is practically limitless.  High-majors are taking a look, but
Heaton could be more than a designated shooter at a mid-major.

   5. Johnny Wheeler 6-4 SF North Las Vegas Cheyenne
              Missing a practice cost Wheeler his spot on the top Las
Vegas team at the Big Time, so Wheeler hasn't quite gotten the exposure
his game warrants.  He outplayed highly-touted Texan Bracey Wright at
the East-West Be the Best Classic in Las Vegas in June (Wheeler finished
with 19 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 3 stls, while Wright put up 12 pts, 5 rebs,
and 2 asts), and he has a very real shot at leading the Desert Shields
to their first ever state basketball championship this season.  His shot
is still a bit of a line drive at times, but he finishes as well as
anybody, and he plays stifling man to man defense.  The sooner he sheds
the forward label and become a full-time big guard, the sooner the
majors will come calling.

   6. Frank Brown 6-1 PG Las Vegas Durango (Montana St.)
               The other half of the Durango package heading to Bozeman
next year, Brown does everything well except shoot.  His long arms make
him a troublesome defender, and he's a creative leader with the ball in
his hands.  The shooting quaesiton will have to be answered if he's ever
to become a starter for the Bobcats, but he handles and defends at the
Pac-10 level.

   7. Nick Porter 6-2 SF Las Vegas Desert Pines
               Relentless and explosive, Porter appears armed and ready
to make a run at the state scoring title this year.  He's not the guy
I'd want taking a wide-open three pointer, although he has begun to
address his long-range deficiency.  Nobody attacks the basket better,
and there may not be a better 6-2 rebounder anywhere.  Porter would be a
good candidate for a spot on the first CCSN squad, where he could
complete the transition to the backcourt and earn a spot on the roster
at a fairly big-time college program.

   8. Matt Alleman 6-4 SF Elko HS
               Pushing 6-5 and weighing in at around 215 lbs., Alleman
is a sturdy combination forward with his eye on the Ivy League.  He's an
outstanding student who plans to put his veteran ballclub on his back
and carry them as far as he can with his wide range of skills before
making the coach at some high-powered academic institution very happy.
More lateral quickness couldn't hurt, but Alleman can hit the three and
he backs down from nobody inside.

   9. Cory Tyler 6-8 PF Henderson Silverado
               If he decides he really wants it, Tyler can play at the
DI level, although time may be running out.  He's gotten himself in much
better shape, but a few pounds could still stand to be shed, and he
ought to be in the weight room with the football team every single day
and twice on Sunday.  He has some terrific footwork in the post, but
just not enough lift to consistently score against players his size.
Worth monitoring, and a good candidate for a juco if he wants to
contribute at the DI level.

 10. Kevin Richardson 6-4 SF North Las Vegas Cheyenne
                An outstanding QB in the fall, Richardson plays as if he
still has the pads on in the winter.  He plays inside out of necessity
on a small high school team, but he's effective guarding bigger players
due to his tenacity.  He can handle and pass the ball more like a guard,
but due to his confusion as to what represents a good perimeter shot,
his offensive game is more suited to the baseline.  Loads of potential,
hi teams with Johnny Wheeler to give Cheyenne the ebst forward tandem in
the state.

 11. Jeff Rowe 6-5 2G Reno McQueen
                 Another terrific football player (Also a QB) who feels
equally at home on the hardwood.  Rowe has played in the shadow of Karl
Aaker (Freshman 2G at Portland this year), but he'll be the #1 option
for the Lancers as a senior.  He shoots it as wel as anybody this side
of Joe Heaton, and he might be a better athlete than his counterpart at
Galena.  If he can score against defenses geared to stop him, rather
than being an opportunistic player finding seams when teammates are
doubled, he might belong much higher up this list and his future could
be indoors rather than on the gridiron.

 12. Anthony Washington 6-9 C Las Vegas Eldorado
                   A slender, mobile shot-blocker, Washington won't win
any weightlifting contests or scare anybody with his shooting, but he
continues to improve and move past the "project" label he wore last
year.  Multiple coahcing changes at his high school over the past two
years probably haven't helped his development any, but there's a player
in there somewhere.

  13. Teo Mastrejuan 6-5 SF Winnemucca Lowry
                   Although his collegiate, and quite possible
professional, future lie in the sport of rodeo, Mastrejuan is no sluch
on the basketball court either.  He's hit as many as 10 3's in a single
game with his unusual release, and his muscle and rodeo attitude make
him a fearsome rebounder.  If he'd ever decided to concentrate full-time
on hoops, he'd be fighting for a spot in the top three in the class.

  14. Tay Matthews 6-5 SF Las Vegas Western
                   As the first man off the bench for the 4A state
champion Warriors last season, Matthews proved that he run, jump, and
score in bursts.  Whether or not he can do the same given starter's
minutes remains to be seen.  He was a bit of a summer disappointment,
but if he can sustain his effort for 25+ minutes, look for him to shoot
back up this list.  Quick release and high elevation on his mid-range
shot make him a very intriguing prospect.

  15. Robert Young 5-8 PG Las Vegas Cimarron-Memorial
                    A  clever little floorleader who shoots it better
than any lead guard in the state.  His size will scare DI recruiters
away, but he can certainly make an impact at a fairly strong DII.

  16. Trumaine Ross 6-5 SF Henderson Green Valley
  17. Keith Richardson 5-10 PG North Las Vegas Cheyenne
  18. Martin Trovela 5-5 PG Reno Hug
  19. Brandon Knott 6-4 SF Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
  20. Derek Brown 6-0 PG Las Vegas Desert Pines
  21. Mike Holmes 6-5 SF Reno HS
  22. Mike Paulos 5-11 PG Las Vegas The Meadows School
  23. Kevin Marshall 5-11 SF Henderson Foothill
  24. Dykes Lopez 6-4 PF Reno Hug
  25. Vince Inglima 6-3 SF Carson City Carson
  26. Anthony Egnor 5-10 PG North Las Vegas Mojave
  27. Justin Daw 6-3 SF Las Vegas HS
  28. Grant McBride 6-6 PF Reno Bishop Manogue
  29. Kinson Jean-Francois 6-2 2G Las Vegas Clark
  30. Nick Miller 6-6 SF Henderson Green Valley
  31. David Robinson 5-11 PG Reno Galena
  32. Glenn Thomas 6-1 2G Las Vegas HS
  33. Pat Fain 5-9 PG Henderson Silverado
  34. Mario Collins 6-6 PF Las Vegas Palo Verde
  35. Jareal Gray 6-0 PG Las Vegas Western
  36. Ryan Buttner 6-4 SF Carson City Carson
  37. Travis Hansen 5-8 PG Smith Valley HS
  38. Justin Jones 6-0 PG Henderson Green Valley
  39. Steve Ross 6-0 PG Elko HS
  40. Brian Young 6-5 PF Las Vegas Durango
  41. Cody Coesens 6-0 2G Reno McQueen
  42. Dustin Hall 6-1 SF Sparks Reed
  43. Kevin Zener 6-7 PF Reno Bishop Manogue
  44. Chris Tisdell 6-1 PF Las Vegas Valley
  45. Chris Holm 6-9 C Henderson Green Valley
  46. Sam Hill 6-5 PF McDermitt HS
  47. Joe Anderson 5-10 PG Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
  48. Jake Deen 5-10 PG Dayton HS
  49. Matt Kaylor 6-6 PF Las Vegas Eldorado
  50. Matt Lambeth 6-3 SF Fernley HS
  50. Tim Hines 6-5 PF Fernley HS

Class of 2003

    1. David Padgett 6-11 C Reno HS
           The best big player in state history, Padgett continues to
make his mark on the national scene.  His father Former UNR star Pete
Padgett) has returned as his high school coach after a year spent as a
college assistant in California, which can only help.  His development
could be stunted by his normally much shorter competition, but Padgett
is a gifted shot-blocker, he scraps on the glass, and he can shoot to
the elbow with confidence.  One of the premier centers in the nation in
the class.

    2. Mitch Platt 6-10 C Henderson Green Valley
             Overshadowed a bit by Padgett, Platt is putting together an
outstanding resume of his own.  His weight loss has helped to increase
his mobility, yet he's kept enough weight to be strong enough to bang
with just about anybody inside.  He has a remarkably soft touch, even
stepping out to the arc at times.  Stamina might be a concern, but he'll
be a major recruiting target as a senior.

    3. Jason Petrimoulx 6-3 SF Las Vegas Cimarron-Memorial
             Not the quickest guy in the world, and he won't impress
with his dunking or dazzle with his ball-handling, but Petrimoulx might
be the most effective pure scorer in the state in any class.  He shoots
from all angles and distances, and he has the strength to venture inside
and get the ball to the basket.  His game isn't always pretty, but if
it's effectiveness that counts, he's proven time and again that it's
very difficult to keep him out of the scorebook.

     4. Lorenzo Wade 6-5 SF North Las Vegas Cheyenne
              A year younger than the rest of his class, this
long-armed, almost painfully skinny wing is getting better and better
all the time.  Nobody is likely to pass Padgett for the top spot in the
class, but if Wade continues to develop, he could at least create a
debate rather than letting the big center win by a landslide.  Wade can
play either guard position or wing forward, and he's following the same
path Demetrius Hunter took (Transferring from Green Valley to Cheyenne
for his final two seasons) to major college basketball (Georgetown, now

    5. Mark Hill 6-5 PF Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
                Not many players will be more eager for the 2001-02
season to begin than Mark Hill.  Hill has spent the past two seasons as
a frontocurt reserve on some deep Bishop Gorman teams, but this year
he'll have a starting job.  He rebounds well and he's a clever passer
from the high post.  His scoring skills are a bit of a mystery at this
point, but his strength and quiet defensive effectiveness will make him
a valuable  teammate as C. J. Watson attempts to play in his third
conescutive state championship game.

     6. Chad Ferguson 6-6 SF North Las Vegas Cheyenne
     7. Ron Dunlap 6-5 PF Henderson Green Valley
     8. Shyon Clark 6-4 SF Las Vegas Desert Pines
     9. Josh Wood 5-11 PG Las Vegas Durango
    10. Kenny Crockett 6-8 PF Las Vegas (?????)
    11. Tyler Hatley 6-7 PF Reno Hug
    12. Nick Green 6-4 SF Las Vegas Valley
    13. Taj McKnight 6-2 2G Las Vegas (?????)
    14. Todd LaMasters 6-4 SF Las Vegas Palo Verde
    15.Ramond White 6-5 PF Henderson Green Valley
    16. Jason Johnson 6-2 2G Las Vegas Valley
    17. Mike Philogene 6-0 2G Las Vegas Clark
    18. Adam Hunter 6-0 PG Sparks Reed
    19. Marques Ramos 6-5 PF Henderson Foothill
    20. Whip Thompson 5-11 PG Reno Galena
    21. Trevor Manley 6-2 SF Round Mountain HS
    22. Kevin Woodruff 5-9 PG Las Vegas Clark
    23. Dalton Turnbow 6-4 PF Reno Galena
    24. Brandon Hawkins 6-2 SF Henderson Basic
    25. Maurice Andrews 5-11 2G Las Vegas Palo Verde
    26. Cody Wagner 6-5 PF Fernley HS
    27. Steve Stowers 6-0 2G Las Vegas Durango
    28. D.J. Richo 6-4 SF Las Vegas Bonanza
    29. Freddy Ortega 5-11 PG Overton Moapa Valley
    30. Brett Kerns 5-10 2G McDermitt HS

Class of 2004

     1. Harvey Perry, Jr. 6-3 2G Henderson Green Valley
               A spectacular athlete with the skills to play either
backcourt position, Perry had the most impressive rookie campaign in Las
Vegas since Kevin Gaines.  He could top out around 6-5, and with normal
development he's a McDonald's All-American caliber talent.

      2. Stanley Copeland 5-9 PG Las Vegas HS
               Among the city leaders in assists as a freshman, Copeland
could lead the state as a sophomore.  He darts in and out with the
dribble, finding open teammates wherever they might be, and nailing the
15' jumper when he finds himself open.  He needs to extend his range a
bit, but with all his gifts, the relative shooting weakness doesn't hurt
very much.

       3. Tywain McTyer 5-11 2G Las Vegas Durango
               Yet another freshman starter last year, the younger
brother of former Durango and TCU PG Thomas McTyer had a productive
rookie campaign.  He's at his best attacking the basket, and he grabs
many more offensive rebounds than a player his size should.  He's a
high-energy guy who finds a way to score, but displays no eivdence of
long-range aptitude.  His game will have to evolve out of the paint and
behind the arc, assuming he isn't going to grow 5" over the next three

       4. Chris Stanko 6-0 PG Reno HS
       5. Ryan Klekas 6-0 PG Elko HS
       6. Allen Carroll 5-11 2G Las Vegas Valley
       7. Nick Summers 5-11 2G Minden Douglas
       8. Luke Rippee 5-10 PG Minden Douglas
       9. Nick Transversie 6-3 PF Sparks HS
      10. Roemon Turner 5-9 PG Las Vegas Western
      11. Cory Anderson 6-2 SF Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
      12. Scott Jeannes 6-2 SF Reno HS
      13. Dedrick Gray 6-4 PF Las Vegas Bonanza
      14. Joey Ballaro 6-0 PG Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
      15. Iain Hill 6-6 C Reno Galena
      16. Steven Derby 5-10 PG North Tahoe HS
      17. Terry Johnson 6-4 PF Reno HS
      18. Kenshun Ford 6-4 PF Henderson (?????)
      19. Brandon Bell 6-2 PF North Las Vegas Mojave
      20. Jeremy Lattin 6-2 SF Reno Hug

Class of 2005

        1. Kashif Watson 6-2 PG Las Vegas Bishop Gorman
        2. Lamar Folley 5-10 PG Las Vegas Durango
        3. Jarrell Hughes 5-11 2G Las Vegas Valley
        4. Jessie Walker 6-0 PF Las Vegas HS
        5. Greg Williams 5-10 2G Las Vegas Bishop Gorman

Class of 2006

        1. Andre McFarland 6-3 PF Las Vegas Gibson Middle

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