We get tips on players all the time (often from friends or family of the player) and we're generally skeptical when we're told about a "big-time" player that we've never seen play. And when the player happens to play in our own backyard (the San Fernando Valley), we're really skeptical.
But when Marlon Morton, assistant coach at Westchester, told us recently that we had to check out Jordan Farmar, a rising junior point guard from Taft, we paid a little more attention than usual. Marlon knows talent and he's given us a number of accurate evaluations in the past.
So we drove down to Carson High to watch Taft take on Lynwood in a tournament game Sunday afternoon. We weren't disappointed. In fact, we were so impressed, we went back Monday to watch him play again.
Morton described Farmar as "like Mike Bibby" and it's an apt description. Obviously, he's nowhere close to Bibby in terms of talent, but Farmar's that kind of player. A pure point guard, with outstanding feel, instincts and PG skills, who can also shoot the lights out. He's got a terrific stroke on his jumper and deep range. At 6-1, he's a good, but not great, athlete (slender, but wiry strong). He's deceptively quick, though, and he penetrates very well. Very good body control and makes excellent decisions when he gets in the lane.
We spoke with Jordan and asked why we hadn't heard of him before last weekend. In turns out that he hasn't played AAU ball. He played six games at Birmingham as a sophomore, but decided to transfer to Taft for academic reasons and didn't play again last year. He told us that he currently has a 3.1 GPA.
Based on what we've seen so far from the class of 2004, Jordan ranks among the top 3-4 point guards in the west. We would expect to see him recruited by elite high majors across the country.
Jordan will play at the Pump Camp first session next week and he'll play on the Double Pump team at the Big Time and Best of Summer.