An Old College Try At Rating High Schoolers

Posted: February 04, 1986

Recruiters are hot on the trail of the city's best basketball players. Like always, however, which schools are showing interest in which players is subject to whim-induced change.

Yes, it's recruiting time again and the Daily News has decided to help for the ninth consecutive season by presenting a list of the top senior players in the three city leagues - Public, Catholic, Inter-Ac.

Our four categories are lead guards (LG), wing guards (WG), finesse forwards (FF) and strong forwards (SF), with the players being categorized according to the roles they are expected to fill in college. Also, remember that the role a player will fill can be dependent upon the basketball level of the school he attends.

The players in "The Best" category are those we feel could wind up at Division I or high-level Division II schools, or at top-notch junior colleges in the event of academic deficiencies. Of course, those deficiencies could force some players with I skills into II or JC environments.

At the end is our list of the Top 10 juniors.

Players who are academically ineligible are not included on this list.

LEAD GUARDS

The Best:

Dennis "Dink" Whitaker, Gratz, 5-11, Ohio University signee, distributor supreme, coach on floor, four-year starter; Ivan "Pick" Brown, Bonner, 6- foot, can dissect game, developing scoring ego, loves defense; Marshall Taylor, Southern, 5-11, quick hands, perfect for press, lefthander, unknown no longer; Tyrell "Magic" Cromwell, Mastbaum, 5-9, four-year starter, taking better care of ball; Frank Giunta, St. John Neumann, 5-11, deadeye standstill jump-shooter, quiet leader, low-level I interest; Bruce Harvey, Kensington, 6- foot, daily improvement, has played WG, also can score; Mark Burke, Chestnut Hill, 5-11, also must score, thrives when asked only to run offense, low-level I interest; Adrian Burke, Frankford, 5-11, quickest of lot, must carry scoring load; Eric Kegler, University City, 5-9, good penetrator, enthusiastic; speedy; Bernard Smith, King, 6-1, lefthander, has played WG, strong with ball; Melvin Hawkins, Roman, 5-10, former WG, assists now a turn- on, quick hands.

The Rest:

Chris Fletcher, Strawberry Mansion; Booker Holland, Franklin; Chris Gardler, St. James; Rob Tribuiani, Malvern; Scott Smythe, Bonner; Joey Evans, Edison; Orlando "Coach" Williams, Overbrook; Mike Gallagher, St. Joseph's Prep; Jim Lynam, O'Hara.

WING GUARDS

Mike Matthews, La Salle, 6-6, now plays forward, pure athlete, varied I interest, great build; Ellis McKennie, Washington, 6-3, George Washington University signee, does it all, sharp passer, best on move; Marvin Walters, Germantown Academy, 6-3, mid-level I offers, deep range, leaper, improving handle; Derrick Orr, Mastbaum, 6-3, eye-popping improvement, long strides, plays within self, explosive; Reggie Isaac, Bartram, 6-2, former LG, fancy feet, bombardier, instant offense; Kevin Cofield, Roman, 6-2, great in open floor and up tempo, loves to drive, possible gem; Otto Barbour, Olney, 6-foot, lefthander, sweet shooter, can run all day; Rick Shinholster, Central, 6- foot, also plays LG, dunks easily, B average; Bernie McCole, Ryan, 6-3, missed last two years with knee injuries, played well as sophomore, word spreading; Kevin Mason, Penn, 6-foot, nice touch, academically solid, unassuming.

Emanual "Vel" Davis, Kensington; Marv Dunmeyer, Penn Charter; Ricky Moyer, West Catholic; Mike Zahm, Haverford; Jim Giedemann, North Catholic; Damu Forman, SJ Prep; John Maddox, Edison; Rodney Kennedy, Engineering and Science; Keith Scott, Northeast; Bill Kirschner, O'Hara; Chris Stallworth, Kensington; Kirk Colomy, Parkway; Nick Goodwin, SJ Prep; Mike Brannan, O'Hara; John Przybylinski, Dougherty.

FINESSE FORWARDS

Lionel Simmons, Southern, 6-6, knows game, developing true jump shot, expected to decide between La Salle and St. Joe's, horse; Barry Bekkedam, Carroll, 6-10, Villanova signee, superior shooter, range extends 15-to-18 feet, room to fill out; Ernest Pollard, Roman, 6-7, Temple signee, continues to improve and perform better in traffic, good shooter; Rodney Jones, West Philadelphia, 6-7, great shot-blocker, surprising touch, runner and jumper; Tom Martin, Wood, 6-7, solid low-level I recruit, worker, now plays center; John Jekot, Egan, 6-5, low-level I interest, wiry frame, good shooter; Willie Hartsfield, Bok, 6-5, best days ahead, fluid, must add weight and mental toughness; Keith Walls, Gratz, 6-4, solid II recruit, tricky inside, good in transition.

The Rest: Al Baur, Southern; Len Ferguson, Bartram; David Holt, Lamberton; Mike Jackson, Roman; David Scott, University City; Barry Young, Overbrook; Warren Greene, Edison.

STRONG FORWARDS

Vincent "Butter" Smalls, University City, 6-3, levitates with strength, plays 6-7, rebounds at both ends, limited range; Shawn Kelly, Roman, 6-6, probable JC, blacksmith's build, gaining offensive polish; Jonathan Roberts, Olney, 6-5, can add 30 pounds, Textile-Cheyney type, acquiring toughness, runs well; Mike Iorio, Carroll, 6-8, growing, suffers do-nothing lapses but low Is are willing to gamble, decent jumping ability; Gavin Furbert, Northeast, 6-5, a tiger when motivated, good touch on baseline, powerful leaper; Sean Lloyd, Roxborough, 6-3, Charles Barkley body, brother of Houston Rockets' Lewis Lloyd, surprisingly mobile; Nick Horne, Dougherty, 6-5, can fill out, shoots in streaks, much potential but underachieving thus far; Mike Stock, Egan, 6-5, likes to mix it up, receiving as many looks as teammate Jekot.

Matt Moyer, La Salle; John Jones, Dougherty; Tony Waters, SJ Neumann; Steve Shook, Haverford; Ron Murphy, McDevitt; Clarence Jackson, Southern; Allan Hagans, Overbrook; Walt Jefferson, King; David Rosario, Central; Derrick Lee, West Phila.; John O'Hare, O'Hara; Pat Mooney, SJ Prep; Victor Pettis, Kensington.

CENTERS

None.

TOP 10 JUNIORS

Brian Shorter, Gratz, 6-7, SF; Doug Overton, Dobbins, 6-2, LG; Robert ''World" Stokes, Southern, 6-2, WG-FF; Ed McCrystal, Haverford, 6-foot, LG-WG; Tom Dunn, Carroll, 6-1, WG; Bryant "Sad Eyes" Watson, Franklin, 6-5, WG-FF; Clayton Adams, Roman, 5-11, LG; James Glass, University City, 6-5, SF; Eddie Savage, Gratz, 6-foot, LG-WG; Sean Hinson, Lincoln, 6-foot, WG.

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