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Central Cali Prospects - Workout 2

By Paul Hernandez, 08/04/20, 12:00PM PDT


The players that have attended the workouts have come from the areas of Bakersfield, Fresno, Lancaster, Palmdale, the Central Coast and Orange County. The purpose of these workouts is to provide exposure for players during a time that has seen players miss out on an entire AAU season, as well as individual player events. The following write-up is an evaluation of the players that have attended the Prospect Workouts. This will be a multiple part series of evaluations, as Part 2 looks at 10 players that have attended the workouts over the past month.

2022 6’4 Lejuan Watts (Clovis West):

Watts impressed a few of us at the Prospect Workouts with his overall skill set and ability to impact both ends of the court effectively. Offensively, Watts has solid ball handling skills, quality perimeter moves to create off the dribble, physical build to get into his defender and finish through contact, can score efficiently from all 3 levels, and has a unique ability to control the ball with one hand making it hard for defenders to anticipate his moves. Defensively, Watts reads passing lanes well, good bounce to get up and block shots, strong on the glass and communicates very nicely. Joseph Hunter is the consensus Top 2022 Prospect in Central California but after seeing him outside of the high school setting I would put Watts #2 behind Hunter. MM D1 Prospect with potential to be a HM guy.

2022 6’5 Louis DiModica (Nipomo HS):

The top sleeper from the Prospect Workouts has been Rising Junior Louis DiModica. Part of the idea behind these workouts was to find out who has talent but has yet to jump on anyone’s radar outside of the league they play in. DiModica is definitely a player that falls into that category. A strong and physical body type, at six foot five inches DiModica is a noticeable force on the glass on both ends. DiModica has skill and good hands around the basketball and is able to finish around or through contact. The more impressive aspect of DiModica’s game was his ball handling abilities and smooth shot from beyond the arc. Despite being the only player from the Central Coast to attend these workouts, DiModica has great leadership and vocal skills on defense, communicating to fellow defenders with ball screens and off the ball. DiModica does not hesitate to grab the rebound and push the tempo with the ball and put pressure on the defense. Also a great student in the classroom with a 4.4 GPA. D2/D3 Higher Academic Prospect.

2021 6’3 Nate Towsley (Kingsburg HS):

Towsley was a core part of the Vikings Championship run in the Central Section D4 win over Delano HS. Towsley was another player that has flown under the radar but has a lot of next level talent and skill. Through the skills portion of the Prospect Workouts, it was evident that Towsley had a sweet shooting form and displayed good ball handling skills. As was anticipated, Towsley was knocking down the deep ball. Towsley has really good perimeter moves, quality handles, and is able to create space to get his shot off or attack and finish at the rim. Towsley has a good feel for the game and knows where to be on the court, especially finding his spot in transition for the catch and shoot 3 ball. Defensively, Towsley has the size and foot speed to guard the 1 through 3 positions and does a nice job on the boards. A solid student in the classroom as well with a 4.1+ GPA. Higher Academic (D3) Prospect.

2023 6’1 Maurice Wright Jr. (Paraclete):

Coming off a productive freshman year at Paraclete HS, Wright has continued to improve his overall level of play and his growth as a true Lead Guard has led some prominent scouts to compare his game to some very elite point guards. Wright is always under control with the ball in his hand and plays very well in transition and the half court setting. Wright has really nice handles and creative moves to get by his defender and has really developed into a high level playmaker. Wright has the ability to hit from deep efficiently putting more pressure on the defense. Wright’s court vision is solid and he puts a lot of pressure on the defense when coming off a ball screen. Wright is currently a D2+ prospect with a game that will attract D1 schools as he enters his sophomore year.  

2023 6’1 Daniel Rodriguez (Wonderful Prep):

Rodriguez is another player that has been putting his game and name on display at the Prospect Workouts. Rodriguez has a long wingspan and a relentless motor on the court but keeps his movement with the ball under control. Rodriguez is a true 3 level scorer and reads defenses well to determine how to get off the best shot. He uses his rangy arms to rock defenders to sleep with the crossover and then has a good blow by ability to finish at the rim. Rodriguez has a really nice shot and has sniper potential behind the arc. Given his ability to hit from deep and get to the basket, Rodriguez does not hesitate to see the opening and pull up for the mid-range jumper. Love his energy and toughness regardless of what level of player he is going against. Tough to make a bold prediction but I would say that Daniel has D2 potential if he stays on the grind and continues to develop as a lead guard.

2022 6’3 Robert Buckenberger (Buchanan/Fresno):

I have not seen a lot of Buckenberger’s game outside of the West Coast Elite Fresno All-Star Camp last October. However, I had heard from reliable sources from the Fresno area that he was one of the top lead guards in the 2022 class in that area. Needless to say, the things I had been told were spot on. Buckenberger has a pretty shot and nice form and can hit from beyond the college 3. Given his size and solid build, Buckenberger is a good rebounder and he pushes the pace in transition very nicely. The most impressive part of his game at the moment is his court vision and passing ability. He finds open players that the defense does not feel are a threat and makes some amazing no look passes to wide open teammates. Buckenberger makes these reads in the half court setting but really has a feel for the open court and is a willing passer that makes the right play, whether its a pass or finish on his own. Solid student in the classroom as well with a 3.5+ GPA. D2 Prospect/Higher Academic Prospect.

2021 6’6 Lendl Henderson Jr. (Bakersfield Christian):

Henderson continues to show he is one of the top prospects in the Central Section and his showing at the Prospect Workouts displayed the strengths of his game and areas he has been improving. Henderson has been well known for his athleticism and high flying dunks, which he had on full display with a transition one handed rim shaker that had his head nearly at the rim. Henderson has continued to be a more consistent threat from deep and hit a few threes beyond NBA range. His form looks really good and he is using the mid-range shot a little more frequently. Henderson also has improved his perimeter moves and had one of the top plays over the past month with an in-n-out to the right, down the lane for a nasty tomahawk dunk that was electric. Currently Henderson is a MM D1 Prospect with interest from some HM schools.

2022 5’9 Jajuan King (Sunnyside/Fresno):

As a varsity player since his freshman year, King has continued to stay active and improve his level of play as a guard and as a tough defender. King has solid handles and keeps his dribble tight allowing him to create space and get by his defender. King does a nice job of staying on the attack and gets into his opponents body with the ability to finish through contact. King also has a nice floater and uses the backboard to bank in his floater over taller defenders. The part of his game that stood out the most was his tough, gritty approach on the defensive end. King is a solid on ball defender and stays up in his man creating turnovers that led to easy points. NAIA Prospect with possibility to play at a smaller D2 school.

2021 6’1 Jaylen Randle (Roosevelt/Fresno):

Randle was a player that I had not seen play and was not on my radar of players to keep an eye on in the Section. That has been the beauty of these workouts. Finding players that can hoop but just haven’t had the exposure and seeing how deep the talent is in Central Cali. Randle plays the right way and impacts the game in a variety of ways. Randle has a long wingspan and he was disruptive in the passing lanes or picking up opponents at half court. He had a few really nice reads that led to easy transition buckets. Randle also has the ability to score in a variety of ways. He showed the skill to take his defender off the dribble in isolation situations, has the ability to hit the 3 ball with some consistency and uses his athleticism to get up the court in transition and score. Randle has a good feel for the game and does a nice job of doing a little bit of everything that always helps a team. Hard to determine level of prospect with minimal scouting on my end but could be a D2 player at a smaller school if Randle could generate more exposure. JUCO route could be helpful.

2021 6’5 Jose Martinez (Kingsburg): 

Martinez is coming off a solid season that was capped off with a Central Section D4 championship win, as Martinez was named Player of the Game. Martinez has a sound game fundamentally in the paint and knows how to score around the cup effectively. Martinez is a dominant rebounder, as was evident in the D4 Section Championship game; grabbing 21 boards. Martinez used his size and frame to seal off opponents and controlled the glass at the Prospect Workout. Martinez also is very efficient around the basket and has a nice little hook shot that he hits consistently. Martinez has a nice mid-range game from the elbows. Martinez is a JUCO prospect and if he puts the work in on foot speed and developing some range from deep could play at the four year level. Tough player that lets his presence be known on the court.  

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