The Fullcourt Press Fall Showcase Top 24 Freshman game featured some of the best players in Southern California class of 2006. Here's an early look at some players you'll be hearing about in the next couple years.
Jervaughn Johnson, 6-5 SF Compton (Calif.) Centennial. Johnson was too big and strong for most of the kids in this game. Gets to the basket seemingly at will, but also showed a very good feel for the game. Made several nice passes and played unselfishly. Could be a four man if he grows, but good enough with the ball that he projects just fine as a small forward if he doesn't get bigger. Outside shot is just decent at this point.
Joe Johnson, 5-8 PG Gardena (Calif.) Serra. May not get a lot bigger, but could be one of the rare kids who can play at a very high level despite being undersized. Quick on quick, Johnson is really skilled with the ball. Breaks down defenders at will. Can stop on a dime and shoot a midrange fallaway that's very tough to defend.
Taylor King, 6-6 PF Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. King is only going into the 8th grade next year, but we were told that he'll probably end up at Mater Dei. A lefty with a very good bball body, King was as impressive as any player in this game. He can shoot it out to three-point range, but will rebound in traffic and block shots. He handles the ball like a three man and made a couple nice passes. He's very active and makes plays all over the court. Great hands and instincts.
Tyrone Armstrong, 6-5 SF Atascadero (Calif.) High. Very skilled with the ball and a terrific athlete.
A.J. Laguana, 5-6 PG Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. Laguana reminds us of a young Wesley Stokes. Great feel for the game, sees the court well and a very nice stroke. Small frame, but a very skilled young point guard.
Tim McLauren, 6-1 SG Lynwood (Calif.) High. A scorer who can make plays all over the court. Good frame, nice looking shot out to three-point range.
Brandon Bell, 6-6 C Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. A big wide body with soft hands and pretty good feet. Needs to firm up his body, but an interesting post prospect if he grows some more.
Matt Shaw, 6-7 C Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei. Another wide body like Bell (both kids look like offensive tackles), Shaw showed a decent outside shot. Needs to play with a little more urgency.
Mike Mayo, 6-0 SG Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Slender shooter with a very nice stroke.
Konrad Reuland, 6-4 PF/C Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. A physical young post player with pretty good skills. Showed a decent shot and pretty good hands. Needs to grow -- probably won't play on the wing -- but interesting if he gets bigger.
Donovan White, 5-7 PG Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Baby faced point guard with a small frame and very good stroke. Played unselfishly.