MORE BOYS BB STATE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

In addtion to Mr. Basketball, there are seven others who've been selected for a top statewide honor, some for the first time in their lives. See who got the nod among juniors, sophomores, freshmen and for each CIF state enrollment division.

Junior: DeMarcus Nelson (Vallejo)

The high-scoring, unstoppable 6-3 guard already has 2,400 career points and more than 1,100 career rebounds and 591 career assists. Nelson was the state freshman and sophomore of the year for 2001 and 2002 and topped his class again, beating out Bryce Taylor (Harvard-Westlake), Arron Afflalo (Compton Centennial) and Robert Swift (Garces). After announcing last summer he would commit to Duke, Nelson showed no let up this season. He scored over 45 points three times and finished with averages of 33.3 points, 13.4 rebounds and eight assists per game. A big senior season could see Nelson become the state's all-time leading career scorer.

Sophomore: Jamal Boykin (Fairfax, Los Angeles)

There are other sophomores with higher scoring averages than Boykin, but it's doubtful any of them had to play the type of opponents this 6-7 center did. Three outings caught our attention especially: 20 pts vs. Seattle Franklin, 20 pts vs. Miami Christian and 20 pts vs. Montrose Christian of Maryland. All three of those teams were nationally-ranked and the Boykin-led win over Montrose Christian was the only time that team lost all season. Boykin was named all-tourney at the prestigious Iolani Classic in Hawaii and has been named first team All-L.A. City. His senior brother, Ruben Boykin of L.A. University, joined him on that squad. Jamal averaged 11 points per game on a team that prided itself on being balanced.

Freshman: Jervaughn Johnson (Centennial, Compton)

High expectations arrived with Johnson on the Centennial campus this season and the 6-6, 215-pound physical specimen delivered. He was frequently the Apaches' second-leading scorer behind standout junior Arron Afflalo and had as many as 18 rebounds in a game.

Div. II: Wesley Washington (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)

As balanced in their scoring as any Monarchs' team ever, Washington still found time to earn a starring role. His quick and explosive hops, combined with a solid mid-range jumper, helped him average nearly 16 points per game. The University of Minnesota recruit led Mater Dei to the Div. II state title and has been named Orange County Player of the Year by the Orange County Register for the past two seasons.

Div. III: Bryce Taylor (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood)

The 6-5 junior soared for 28 points per game, including a season-high of 54, and established himself as one of the top prospects in his class nationally. Although Harvard-Westlake lost in the Div. III state final to Foothill of Sacramento, Taylor was the game's best in points (23) and rebounds (16). He had 34 points in a Div. III state playoff game against Compton Centennial. Taylor's father, Brian, played in the NBA and was formerly a coach for Harvard-Westlake's girls team. In fact, he was the Div. III girls state coach of the year.

Div. IV: Jared Dudley (Horizon, San Diego)

The 6-7 senior bumped up his scoring average to 23.2 points per game in leading the Panthers to their second straight Div. IV state championship. He's also been named the San Diego Union-Tribune's Player of the Year. Dudley's value to Horizon was most shown in the team's 59-56 win over Garces of Bakersfield in the Southern Regional final. He finished with 25 points and as correspondent Harold Abend put it "carried them on his back until his team had won."

Div. V: Curtis Allen (Rolling Hills Prep, R.H. Estates)

With four-time Div. V state champ Price of Los Angeles boasting of an extremely balanced lineup, the door was left open for a player the Knights know a lot about. Allen, a junior, connected for 21.6 points and brought down nine rebounds a game. He's been regarded as one of the top players in his class since his freshman season and has already committed to USC.


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