The Rockfish Spring League, run by Dave Benezra and Mark Mayemura, is a terrific opportunity to see a large number of Southern California prospects in one setting. We spent the better part of Saturday and Sunday at L.A. City College and, as usual, it was time well spent. We saw a number of players that we hadn't seen before, as well as some guys that we hadn't seen since last summer. Here are our impressions on some of the juniors that we saw.
Justin Hawkins, 6-6 SF Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair. Hawkins had a great day Saturday, then played ok on Sunday. He is a terrific three-point shooter, but he's also able to score in a variety of ways. He spent some time in the post, showing off excellent footwork and post moves. He's not particularly quick, but he's solid enough in his fundamentals and ball skills that he's able to create space and get his shot from different spots on the court. He's only an average athlete and that may keep the elite high majors from recruiting him. However, he knows how to play the game and, with his size and skills, we'd expect him to be recruited at the low end of the high majors.
Austin Waggener, 6-7 PF Culver City (Calif.) High. A true sleeper, Waggener hasn't played on the AAU circuit and probably hasn't been seen by many, if any, D1 coaches. He's got a lot of natural ability but one gets the sense that he's played little organized ball and probably hasn't had a lot of coaching. He moves well and could add muscle to a pretty good frame. His ball skills are surprisingly good -- one move where he dribbled between the legs before pulling up for a jumper had onlookers saying, "where'd that come from?" Showed a nice shooting touch, hitting a couple threes. Also demonstrated some decent post play, including a very nice sequence where he got back up quickly to follow his own missed shot. Raw materials are there for a player, but he needs to learn how to play and, most importantly, play with more energy. Potential mid-major player.
Jason Gilzene, 6-6 SF Los Angeles Fairfax. Gilzene got lost on a loaded Fairfax team this past year and really didn't get a chance to show his ability. He's got a great body, very explosive and has developing perimeter skills. He can shoot it off the dribble from 15-17 feet, but needs to extend his range and work on catching and shooting. He may end up being more of a 3/4 at the next level, as he's very active inside and rebounds very well. A mid-major prospect.
Andrew Bruckner, 6-9 C Valencia (Calif.) High. Skill level isn't very high, but good size (big shoulders) and willingness to play hard will probably get him looks at the low major level. Still growing into his body, but has decent hands and has shown improvement from when we last saw him in December. Not very athletic, but takes up space and rebounds fairly well.
Jimmy Goffredo, 6-0 PG La Crescenta (Calif.) Crescenta Valley. A deadly outside shooter, who plays mostly off the ball, he probably needs to play the point at the next level. Lack of athleticism and size makes it difficult for him to finish plays inside. Also has trouble getting separation without a screen. But he doesn't miss many when left open, and he's reportedly a very good student, so we'd expect him to get looks from Ivy League schools.
Alan Wiggins, Jr. 6-7 PF Poway (Calif.) High. The son of a former pro baseball player, Wiggins showed some flashes over the weekend. A fairly good athlete, he blocked some shots and was active. Needs to get stronger and develop an inside game. Decent outside stroke. Possible low-major prospect.
Randy Adams, 6-7 PF Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs. A long and bouncy lefty who moves real well. Quick feet. Didn't get a chance to show much in the way of skills, as he rarely touched the ball, but he's very impressive from a physical tools standpoint. Potential mid-major player.
We'll cover the freshmen and sophomore in our next report.