Posted On: 04/13/18 8:57 PM
Francisco’s Finest: Southern California Tip Off (Jack of All Trades)
GARDEN GROVE, CA—The club basketball season has arrived and it was time to make a trek down to the Next Level Complex for the Southern California Tip Off. Gerry Freitas, a Nor Cal basketball guru who puts on events during the spring and summer, did another outstanding job of corralling the best teams and players from around the area. However, at the end of the day it would be highly touted sophomore by the name of Nico Mannion that would steal the show.
D’Maurian Williams (Westview/AZ) Club Team: Powerhouse
2019, CG, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds
Joel’s Take: Williams can play all three perimeter positions and is arguably one of the Top 25 “basketball” players on the West Coast. He can play off the ball, but he is at his best running the show and impacting the game with his savvy passing and overall decision making. His moxie and motor allow him to rebound at a more consistent rate, considering his size and he can lead the break as well.
Oscar Lopez (Bishop Montgomery) Club Team: WCE 17 UAA
2019, WF, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds
Joel’s Take: Lopez has transformed his frame and he now reaping the benefits. The skill and feel were always part of the package—now the athleticism is kicking into full gear. He has quick feet, excellent instincts and doesn’t need to score to impact the game. Whether it’s posting up on the block (knows how to carve out space) or handing out nifty assists, Lopez is on the rise. As his 3-point shot gets more consistent, his stock will continue to rise.
Keith Dinwiddie (Culver City). Club Team: Truth EYBL 16u
2020, SG, 6-foot-2, 165 pounds
Joel’s Take: Dinwiddie is getting well-tutored by Reggie Morris Jr. at Culver City. He is a scorer first and foremost and his skill package allows him to score at all three levels, but he is at his best attacking off the dribble and finishing in traffic. He plays with a good motor and he is engaged at both ends as a defender, finisher, and scorer.
Isaiah Johnson (Crean Lutheran) Club Team: Dream Vision 16u
2020, PF, 6-foot-6, 200 pounds
Joel’s Take: Johnson reminds me of a young Jamal Boykin (Duke/Cal-Berkeley). The lengthy Johnson plays at a great pace, rebounds at a high-level, and has soft hands. He can explode in transition and finish above the rim or attack the glass for the tip-in finish. He shows a soft touch at the elbow and gives an honest effort at both ends. His IQ is impressive as he rarely forces the issue. A prospect on the rise.
Josh Vasquez (Bishop Montgomery). Club Team: Cali Stars 17 Elite
2019, CG, 6-foot-2, 165 pounds
Joel’s Take: Vasquez is an evolving point guard prospect who impacts the game at both ends. He can shoot the 3-ball off the catch or off a dribble pull-up. His burst is getting better and he is becoming a more efficient finisher in the paint. Defensively, he has been well taught by Doug Mitchell and his staff and he has the moxie to defend at a high-level, rebound in traffic, and find open shooters off the bounce.