The player evaluations are based on player performance at the Central Cali Prospect Workouts located in the Central Section of California. These small group workouts started in June and have continued through the month of September. The player evaluations in this write-up are from the Workouts held throughout the month of August and September. This evaluation looks at 11 players from the Northern California Region that attended 2 separate workouts but all displayed a lot of talent, skill and are next level abilities. The players evaluated are from Modesto, Sacramento, Vallejo and other cities.
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Jones, along with the other players in this evaluation, came to the Prospect Workouts from Northern Cali and showed out. Jones came out clicking on all cylinders on both ends of the court with his electric style of play. Jones has really solid ball handling skills to compliment his quick but strong moves off the perimeter. Jones does a really nice job of putting his defender on their heels then attacks the rim quickly with the body control to finish through contact. Jones has a smooth stroke from midrange with the ability to stop on a dime and knockdown his pull-up jumper. Jones excels in the open court and showed his versatility either with the ball or filling the lanes. When Jones has the ball in transition, he can push the tempo and find open teammates or use his speed to go coast to coast for the finish. Defensively, Jones has lock-up capabilities and has great lateral speed to frustrate his man. This led to turnovers and easy buckets in the open court. Jones showed he can hit the deep ball, which makes it even tougher on his defender given his ability to attack the paint and finish at the rim. High motor player that keeps his foot on the gas and competes at a different level.
Hampton, paired up with Jones during the open run portion of the Workouts, was equally electric on both ends of the court and will be a dynamic duo for Salesian HS this upcoming season. The main characteristic that Hampton featured at the Prospect Workouts was his leadership, verbal communication and positive feedback with teammates during the open runs. Hampton has solid lead guard skills and controls the ball well in transition, as well as the halfcourt setting. Hampton has a quick first step and uses his athleticism to get by his defender and into the paint, creating opportunities for himself or others. Hampton is dynamic in transition and as a lock up defender he jumps the passing lanes effectively, turning tough defense into easy offensive possessions. Hampton does a good job of getting into the teeth of the defense and showed consistency on his mid-range jump shot. I was really impressed with multiple aspects of Hampton’s game, which was fueled by his relentless effort and he made sure to leave a mark on the Prospect Workouts.
I really liked the style of play from Pierce, as his level of play kept rising up throughout the Workouts and showed a range of skills on both ends of the court. Pierce has the prototypical build for a wing/slasher that uses his size and length to impact various aspects of the game. Pierce rebounds the ball well and has handles to push the ball in the open court. Pierce shoots the ball well enough to force defenders to overplay him on the perimeter, which allows him to attack and finish at or above the rim. Pierce showed a good understanding of court awareness and seemed to always be in the right spot around the basket, allowing for numerous rebounds and put backs. Pierce uses his wingspan to alter shots around the basket, as well as contest shots on the wing. Definitely an intriguing prospect that I would love to see play again.
Goodwin had a very impressive showing at the Prospect Workouts and is a very interesting young prospect that has 3 years of high school left to keep developing what is already a really nice player. Goodwin showed early in the open run that he had really nice handles and was able to use his physical frame to bully defenders to the basket for the finish. In the first game, Goodwin had a really good move and knocked down a contested stepback 3 ball. I thought, does he really have that in his bag or was this a lucky shot. Goodwin hit another 3 or 4 threes in similar fashion and left no doubt in my mind that this is a part of his game and that made him even more difficult to defend. Goodwin showed nice court awareness and spacing in transition, as he would get to the 3 point line and was ready to catch and fire. Defensively, Goodwin is gritty and tough minded, and uses his strength to keep opponents off balance and flustered. I look forward to hearing Goodwin’s name the next few years as a rising prospect on the West Coast.
Johnson was another high energy player that left his mark on the Prospect Workouts. From the 1st game of the open run portion, Johnson was looking to attack the defense and get buckets. Johnson is a shifty combo guard that has nice ball handling skills and creative shot making capabilities. Johnson makes good use of the crossover, keeping his dribble low and looks to get into the paint and has the ability to finish in a variety of ways around the basket. Johnson also showed the ability to make plays when attacking from the perimeter and found open teammates. What was most impressive about Johnson’s game was his footwork in the paint and his use of the spin move to separate from his defender and create scoring opportunities.He used that move multiple times and showed nice body control and was able to finish through contact. Nice prospect that competes at a high level.
I was fortunate enough to have seen Alex play last year in Modesto Christian’s Holiday Classic Tournament. Argandar did get court time but with a solid group of seniors leading the way he was more of a role player at that point in the season. Fast forward to a few weeks ago at the Prospect Workouts and Argandar showed that his game has really improved and he is much more than a role player, he is a lead guard that can do a lot on the court. Argandar showed great poise when he was the primary ball handler and did a great job of surveying the defense and picking apart miscues. On the offensive end, Argandar has really good court vision, crafty moves to attack off the wing, efficient shooter from behind the arc, and makes the right play whether that is scoring or facilitating to others. Argandar plays the passing lanes well and forces turnovers that lead to easy transition points. Argandar has a solid basketball IQ and enjoys playing basketball the right way. A pleasure to watch and hope to see him again soon.
There have been some very intriguing prospects that have come through the Workouts over the past few months and Jones is up at the top of that list, as far as his upside. Jones does a nice job of playing in the post, but when he operated on the perimeter I could see the potential as a HM D1 Prospect if he puts the work in to refine his guard skills. Jones has the long and lengthy physical build that college coaches are looking for in contemporary basketball. Jones rebounds very well and has a soft touch around the rim, allowing for quick put back baskets. Jones was also active on the defensive end and used his wingspan and height to alter shots and be a shot blocker. Jones did show he can handle the ball, can create off the dribble, and has a decent 15 foot jump shot. Jones has great upside and with the proper work ethic and skill development he could be a HM D1 Prospect by the time his high school career is complete. Salesian has 2 really solid 2023 prospects in Jones and Goodwin that will allow them to remain one of NorCal’s power houses.
One of the best things to come out of the Prospect Workouts has been seeing players from high schools that do not play often outside of their region often. Jack was 1 of 2 players from Vallejo High School that attended the Workouts and he plays that bully ball style of basketball that I personally love watching, especially at the guard position. Jack is a really good athlete that has good ball handling skills and he uses his strong physique to create scoring opportunities in various spots on the court. Jack uses change of speed and hesitations to freeze his defender and get by his man to create space for scoring opportunities in the paint. Jack’s ability to knockdown the 3 ball consistently along with his capacity to get into the paint, really puts his defender at a disadvantage and opens up space for scoring opportunities.
Hunter was an absolute force in the key at a recent Prospect Workout and showed that he can play outside-in and inside-out effectively on the offensive end. Hunter is a high level rebounder that creates 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities on offense and limits his opponents to a single possession on the defensive glass. Hunter has great footwork in the paint and uses his size, strength and moves to create openings for him to score around the basket. Despite Hunter’s nice touch in the paint, what makes him a real threat on offense is his capacity to hit from beyond the arc and his willingness to get to the mid-post and knockdown the fifteen footer. Hunter showed patience and took what the defense gave him and this highlighted his ability to score from all three levels. The skill and moves were impressive but what made Hunter standout was the level of intensity and focus he played with on both ends. Tough competitor that asserted himself from the jump at the Prospect Workouts.
I first saw Manning-Fuimaono early in his freshman campaign during the preseason and you could tell he had game and skill but was just starting his high school hoops career. Kam recently attended one of the Prospect Workouts and needless to say he is blossoming into an elite lead guard and hit a growth spurt, which never hurts a player that has his skillset. Kam was in his bag and the first thing that caught my eye was his elite and shifty style of ball handling. Kam had the ball on a string and was able to keep his dribble under pressure showing his poise as a primary ball handler. Manning has good court vision and makes plays for others while keeping turnovers to a minimum. The shifty ball handling style that Manning possesses really forces the defense to play the guessing game, which inevitably leads to scoring opportunities that he is able to take advantage of at all three levels. Manning does a nice job of slicing through the defense and gets into the key using his floater off the glass or that pretty mid-range shot. The move that was most effective for Manning was the double between the legs into a pull up behind the arc. He was freezing his defender throughout the open runs with the use of various crossover moves that created the space needed to get his shot off. Love the upside of Manning-Fuimaono and look forward to seeing his growth the next few years.
Vallejo High School has a solid scoring lead guard in Jack whose game fits nicely with sophomore true point guard Donovan Saiyad. Saiyad did not stand out right away at the Prospect Workouts but once he got comfortable with his running mates during the open run he displayed an array of quality skills at the point. Saiyad has great handles, is super shifty with the ball in his hands, and keeps his defender off balance. Saiyad also displayed good court vision and with his ability to put pressure on the defense by attacking the basket, he showed solid playmaing capabilities. Saiyad was successful in the open court and made the right read to get the best basket possible. Really like how his game would fit with Jack’s shooting ability as they can play off of each other for Vallejo.