I also gave some thought to recounting, in depth, some of my memories of the three Final Fours (1987, 1993 and 2003) Final Fours I covered in New Orleans. Ultimately, though, to do so from my perspective would be to trivialize the devastation that the city, and the rest of the Gulf Coast region, and so many thousands of human beings have suffered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 College comments Long Beach State’s players began organized workouts a week ago today, one day after the start of classes. Apparently senior Jibril Hodges, whose jump shooting helped the 49ers win seven of their final eight regular-season games last season, didn’t miss a jump shot all of last week. Highly touted transfers Mark Dawson (Pasadena City College) and Aaron Nixon (San Bernardino City College) looked as good as advertised and are likely to be on the floor as much as anyone for Coach Larry Reynolds’ team this season. Tory Jackson, a 5-11 senior from Buena Vista High in Saginaw, Mich., visited USC over the weekend. I’d planned to lead this column with several humorous references to spending my first “non-basketball’ vacation a six-day stint in Maui in many years last week and how tough it is to adjust to being a sports writer again. All things considered, though, I think any attempt at witticisms about sunning myself in front of the beach or the pool in Wailea, while power-reading novels and drinking Mai Tai’s, is strictly inappropriate right now. One of the Top 10 point guards in the national Class of 2006 (I saw him play well during the USA Basketball Youth Festival in June, and the Nike All-America Camp in Indianapolis in July), Jackson visited Michigan and Florida in the spring. Coach Tim Floyd already has a lot of backcourt talent in place (including sophomore Gabriel Pruitt and freshman Ryan Francis). But if Jackson is on campus a year from now, he’ll get a lot of immediate playing time, no matter who else is wearing a Cardinal and Gold uniform. Brandon Rush, brother of JaRon (a two-year starter at UCLA) and Kareem (formerly of the Lakers and now of the Charlotte Bobcats), was cleared for freshman eligibility at Kansas by the NCAA Clearinghouse last week. Rush, if you recall, was one of the high school (prep school, actually; he’s soon to be 20) players who entered the NBA draft pool last spring. But he withdrew a week before the June draft when it became apparent he wasn’t going to be chosen in the first round. He joins an already strong freshman class for Coach Bill Self that includes 2004-05 Best in the West selections Mario Chalmers and Micah Downs. Speaking of Best in the West selections … Jerry-Davon Jefferson and Seketoure Henry, seniors at Lynwood last season, are attending classes at a new prep school, The Patterson School, located in Lenoir, N.C. Jefferson and Henry signed letters of intent with UNLV and Arizona State, respectively, last November but didn’t meet NCAA minimum academic requirements to be eligible as freshmen. Both played well for the L.A. H-Squad (now called Team Danny Williams) over the spring and summer. Jefferson, and possibly Henry, is expected to submit his name into the 2006 draft pool. High school hoopla The Fullcourt Press/Pangos Fall Showcase, always one of the better fall “evaluation” events held in the West, is scheduled to be played Sunday at Dominguez High, beginning with a game expected to feature some of the best freshmen in the Southland. Play starts with the freshmen game at 10:30 a.m., followed by games involving sophomores at 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m., junior games at 2:15 and 3:30, and seniors at 4:45 and 6 o’clock. Event director Dinos Trigonis said Monday that he expects the likes of Brandon Jennings (Dominguez), Demar DeRozan (Compton), Larry Drew (Taft) and Jrue Holliday (Campbell Hall) to participate in the 1 o’clock sophomore game. Among the better freshmen expected to play is another Dominguez player, 6-7 Aaron Moore, who played well at the adidas Superstar Camp in Suwanne, Ga. in July. There could be a dozen major college prospects from the Compton Unified School District (Dominguez, Centennial and Compton) alone. Patrick Christopher, a 6-4 guard at Dominguez (and a transfer from Mayfair in the spring), is expected to be one of the prime players in the final game in the Dons’ gymnasium Sunday evening. He’s scheduled to be back in Southern California in time after returning from a weekend recruiting trip to the University of Texas. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!