Los Angeles Preps: Kyle Caudill

State basketball: Five things from the CIF playoffs

March, 27, 2011
3/27/11
9:08
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  1. The best basketball player in California is a girl. If there was any doubt Mater Dei’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was the most talented basketball player in the state, she put it to rest in the championship game against Berkeley. After going scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game, she went on a scoring binge in the final minute of the first quarter and the entire second quarter. She scored 15 of her team’s 24 points in the first half. She helped her team erase a 12-point deficit and take a four-point lead into halftime. She ended up with a game-high 33 points. After the game, she said she wasn’t 100 percent healthwise. She hurt her quad in practice two days before the championship game. After hitting her first shot in the first quarter, she had a noticeable limp the rest of the game. Even when she was hobbled and playing on at best one-and-a-half legs, she was the best player on the court. The University of Connecticut will be in good hands for the next four years, as if it needed any more help to continue to be the best college basketball team in the country.
  2. Wesley Saunders and Kenyatta Smith are going to make Harvard a force in basketball. Saunders from Windward and Smith from Flintridge Prep decided on the Ivy League for their college basketball careers. They probably could have played anywhere they wanted in the country. Saunders was highly recruited and guided Windward to the Division IV state championship. The 6-foot-6 forward scored 15 points and had nine rebounds in the state title game against Salesian. Smith’s size, at 6-8, made him an attractive recruit. He towered over his opponents through the Southern Section and state playoffs. Harvard hasn’t been to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament since 1946 and came within a last-second, desperation jumper from Princeton to going this year. Saunders and Smith might be the California connection to help end that drought.

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Inland Empire: Daniels makes college decision

February, 19, 2011
2/19/11
2:11
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It's official, Jordan Daniels is off the board.

The 5-foot-8 senior for the Etiwanda High boys' basketball team made his decision about where he is going to spend the next four years of his life on Friday and committed to Boston College despite having scholarship offers from several other schools.

“Boston College was the right fit for me, I liked the coaches and how they treated me during the whole recruiting process, I got a good vibe from them,'' Daniels said. “I'm in a good place right now and am ready to continue my basketball career back East.''

The Eagles coaching staff has had some recent success in landing players from the Southland. Once Daniels arrives on campus at Chestnut Hill, he will join Long Beach Poly's Ryan Anderson, Brea Olinda's Kyle Caudill and Valencia's Lonnie Jackson.

The point guard is one of the Southland's premier players at his position and ranks right up there with Division I-bound peers such as Woodland Hills Taft's Spencer Dinwiddie, Los Angeles Price's Askia Booker and Corona Centennial's Michael Caffey.

With Daniels now seemingly set in terms his future at the next level, college coaches and scouts figure to turn their attention toward Bellflower St. John Bosco's Cezar Guerrero and Anaheim Canyon's Chris Anderson, a pair of unsigned floor generals.

“I can't speak too much about the other point guards, but I have no problems singing Jordan's praises,'' Etiwanda coach Dave Kleckner said. “He's a young man with a ton of talent and a ton of character. I've been doing this for 20 years and I can tell that he has what it takes to succeed and make it at the next level. We have not seen the best from Jordan Daniels yet.''

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Simi Valley's Jonathan Davis draws plenty of attention

February, 12, 2011
2/12/11
6:09
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SIMI VALLEY -- Those in the know, namely Division I basketball coaches and scouts, do not agree on many things when it comes to recruiting. Seemingly everyone has their own system, their own idea on how to properly identity a potential prospect.

It's far from an exact science.

One topic most evaluators tend to agree on is this: Ventura County has not been considered a hotbed for high school hoops talent in the past.

Every once in a while, there is an exception. And when it comes down to illustrating such a notion, no one has recently done it better than Jonathan Davis from Simi Valley. Plain and simple, the powers that be could no longer ignore the senior.

“Out in Ventura County, I don't know if we get much respect. There are a lot of guys out here that can play though and I'm one of them,'' Davis said.

Indeed he is. It probably explains why the 6-foot-7 wing player was receiving varied levels of interest from programs in the Pac-10 Conference and had scholarships offers from schools such as Hawaii, Southern Methodist, Texas El Paso and Utah.

Ultimately, he decided George Washington was the best fit. Davis sealed the deal with a commitment to the Colonials in early September.

“I have a chip on my shoulder, I want to prove I can play just as well as anyone,'' Davis said. “My goal is to go out there and get after it, make some noise.''

He has done just that this season, make some noise.

Davis is averaging 18.7 points and 10.5 rebounds, to go along with 2.5 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals for Simi Valley (19-7 overall), which will learn its opponent for next week's Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs on Sunday afternoon.

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