Players? You want players? We have players.
Starting with . . .
Adam Keefe (6-9, center), Woodbridge--Baby-faced and polite, Keefe is the county's best big man since LeRon Ellis. OK. So Ellis played last season.
Keefe averaged 23 points and 12.8 rebounds a game last season. What seems to amaze people even more is his ability to play hard every game, be it blowout, summer league or state championship.
Many think of him as the most fundamentally sound big player around. He's strong inside, and he can shoot from the perimeter. Keefe was the 2-A player of the year last season, and there's every indication he'll repeat.
Over the summer, in several all-star leagues, he proved he can dominate against top-caliber talent.
This season he'll dominate Orange County.
THE NEXT FIVE
Steve Guild (6-6, forward), Marina--Averaged 16.3 points a game sharing space in the key with 6-10 Mark Georgeson. With Georgeson now at Arizona, look for Guild to get 20 a night.
Bret Johnson (6-1, guard), El Toro--The same qualities that make him an exceptional quarterback make him an exceptional point guard (17.9 points, 7.1 assists). Determination and an innate ability to win.
Bobby Joyce (6-7, center), Santa Ana--Has as much raw ability as any big player around (19.3 points a game, 15.2 rebounds). When he decides to use all that talent, he's something to see. When he doesn't, it's time to look elsewhere.
Erik Martin (6-6, forward), Whittier Christian--Beginning his third season as a varsity starter, Martin is big and strong with some growing to do--he wears a size 15 1/2 shoe. Martin has been instrumental in Whittier Christian's back-to-back appearances in the 1-A final.
Kevin Rembert (6-5, forward), Mater Dei--Rembert is in his third season as a varsity starter, having played in the shadows of Stuart Thomas as a sophomore and LeRon Ellis as a junior. A great leaper, Rembert should jump into the Mater Dei spotlight all by himself this season.
A STEP AWAY
Scott Campbell (6-4, forward), La Quinta--An all-Garden Grove League selection last season as a sophomore, Campbell (15 points, 4 rebounds) may develop into the league's dominant player by next season.
Gylan Dottin (6-5, forward), Saddleback--A strong, talented player (16.4 points, 11.2 rebounds) who just may have enough talent to turn a fifth-place team into a league champion.
Mike Goff (6-6, center), Magnolia--A center who can play and shoot outside. Runs the court well, but has a tendency to run into people--he fouls a lot.
Mike Hopkins (6-4, guard), Mater Dei--Exceptional outside shooter nagged by a foot injury that caused him to miss all the playoff games last season. Still, his performance was good enough to get a full ride to Syracuse.
Brian McCloskey (6-7, forward), Sunny Hills--Averaged a relatively modest 13 points a game last season but had a great summer. He was rated one of the top 50 players at the prestigious Superstar Camp in Santa Barbara.
Joe Small (6-2, guard), Bolsa Grande--Averaged 22.9 points and 11.9 rebounds to lead Bolsa Grande to its first league championship. He can do it all. The question is, can he do it this season without point guard Nam Cao (16.2 points, 5.9 assists), who graduated?
Chris Tower (6-9, center), Westminster--A three-year starter, Tower averaged 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds a game last season. He has signed with New Mexico.
Geoff Probst (5-11, guard) Corona del Mar--Probably the county's best pure point guard. However, that fact had a tendency to get hidden last season because Markus Muller-Stach (21 points per game) tended to have a monopoly on show time. Muller-Stach has graduated. Welcome to show business, Mr. Probst.
Brett Pagett (6-0, guard), Los Alamitos--Pagett is right behind Probst as a ballhandler. However, he didn't get much of a chance to show that last season because Mark Parkinson (7.4 assists a game) started at the point.
Char Ruppel (6-6, center), Mater Dei--Ruppel had the unenviable task of being LeRon Ellis' replacement off the bench last season. Anyone would suffer in that translation. The fact is that Ruppel is a player. He can score from the outside, play tough inside. There are people who think that by season's end Ruppel, not Hopkins, will be the Monarchs' second-best player behind Rembert.
Cherokee Parks (6-9, center), Marina--Freshman. The kid is 14 and skinny (196 pounds). Good hands, decent range as a shooter (10-12 feet). And how about that name?
Scott McCorkle (6-5, forward), Capistrano Valley--Sophomore. Your basic 190-pound athlete. Strong, very strong, inside. He's good now. In two years, watch out.
Keith Walker (6-4, forward), Brea-Olinda--Sophomore. Like his brother Kevin (at UCLA), the kid can and will shoot from anywhere.
A HEAVY LOAD
Mike Peters (5-11, guard), San Clemente--Peters, who set a school record with 207 assists (8.6) last season, is described by his coach, Dion Kerhoulas, as being "ultra quick." He'll need an ultra effort just to make the Tritons (3-20, 0-10) respectable.