Posted On: 02/12/20 6:00 AM
The Parkville Knights have quietly put together a very impressive season as they currently boast a 16-2 record. A big reason for their success has been the play of senior point guard John Godinez. In fact, ever since Godinez transferred to Parkville last fall, they’ve experienced drastic improvements as a program.
The 5-foot-9 floor general is probably the best player in the Baltimore area that you haven’t heard much about. He is averaging 19 points, 3.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. When it comes to overall basketball IQ, I put Godinez right up with some of the highly recruited guards in Baltimore. He is extremely crafty with everything he does, so whether it’s getting the ball up the court against pressure or driving the lane and locating open teammates with no-look passes, the opposing team has to stay on their toes at all times.
Another wrinkle that makes Godinez a tough check is the fact that he can score from all three levels. He shoots with the same efficiency off the catch or off the dribble. He has range on his jumper that extends about five feet beyond the three-point line and although he’s very shifty, he can stop on a dime and pull up in the mid-range while keeping his balance.
As a play maker Godinez can be a surgeon in pick-and roll situations. One area in which he is elite is using the screen and keeping his man on his back as they try to recover. It forces the defense to make a decision on weak side rotations. From there, he effectively anticipates rotations before they happen so he can locate which teammate will be the most open for a shot or lay up.
There’s no doubt that Godinez is ready for the college level offensively, but he’s focused on improving his play on the other side of the ball in order to be an immediate impact.
“Definitely my defense,” said Godinez when asked what he needs to improve on. “I feel like if I can get better on that end I’ll be in good shape. I want to get better at pressuring my guy full court and being able to move my feet quicker.”
While his size could bring concern to some college programs, Godinez has active hands and benefits from his IQ to be in the right place at the right time.
Parkville welcomed a number of transfers this summer that would ultimately lessen Godinez’s responsibility as the primary ball handler.
“Last year I was expected to do pretty much everything with getting the ball up the floor,” Godinez told Prep Hoops. Darrius [Tilghman] and Malik [Scipio] have been great in taking over some as the ball handlers. It makes my job easier and lets me improve as a player playing off the ball. It’s obviously been working really good for us.”
It’s good to see Godinez accepting the ball not being in his hands as much. While he’s still the primary ball handler when the game is on the line, Tilghman and Scipio are capable play makers and as Godinez mentioned, it has allowed him to improve on his play off the ball.
Godinez is being courted by a handful of Division III programs. He told me that Hood, Delaware Valley, Albright and a Division II program in Cal U (Pa) are the schools he is hearing from most.