One of the top sleeper prospects in the West almost two years ago was Reno, Nevada native and now 6-foot-5, 205-pound freshman forward Jalen Townsell. After mulling over his recruiting options as an unsigned senior during the spring of 2018, Townsell decided on the University of Nevada, where he would spend a red-shirt season at the program. After considering his options again for this season, Townsell decided to head toward the junior college ranks, where he will pick up his career now at Arizona Western Junior College.
I first saw Townsell in action as a rising senior high school prospect @ an event organized by myself and Gregg Rosenberg, formerly known as the Southwest All-American Camp, where Townsell was selected as the Camp Most Valuable Player, amidst loads of serious competition. The camp included more than 120 of the top prospects in the Southwest and Townsell stood out in the event with his play, becoming one of the top overall sleeper prospects in the West.
Recently, I observed Townsell in action @ the ACCAC JUCO Jamboree, and then again in the Mullen's Prep Showcase in the Desert event, and Townsell was among the top overall performers in both events. In both events that I observed, Townsell scored at a high rate and level and showed off excellent confidence and versatility. If Townsell's performance proved any indication of what to expect this junior college season, then Townsell is set to have a big freshman season for Head Coach Charles Harell and the AWC program.
A strong freshman campaign for Townsell would suit him very nicely, as Townsell was an academic qualifier out of high school. As a result, he will only need one season in the junior college ranks to improve his recruitment - providing an opportunity for him to advance to the division-I level with (3) years remainning of eligibility. As a juco freshman prospect with (3) years of eligibility, a strong freshman season for Townsell would significantly improve his college recruitment - making him a highly sought after recruiting target this spring (2020).
Townsell is a solid mid-major recruiting target, as he has good size for the wing position and can score inside and out with good physical strength and an offensive skillset that makes him tough to defend for opposing wings. He can shoot the ball consistently out past three-point distance, and also put the ball on the deck and finish strong at the rim, and over defenders when needed. He also has a solid mid-range game and can also score effectively aroudn the paint, and is not afrai to mix it up physically. He is an active rebounder and finisher around the basket, and also is a good scorer in fast-break situations and in the secondary break, where he is able to make plays for himself and others in transition.
Townsell is also a solid ball handler, so he is able to play as a 2 or 3, as needed, but is at his best as a small forward, where he is able to defend opposing wings. He is a solid passer of the basketball, but will need to focus more defensively, guarding quicker players on the wing, to maximize his college recruitment this junior college season.
Townsell advised me that his purpose for going the junior college route, is primarily for an opportunity to improve his college recruitment, and land a better situation for himself. He should definitely be able to do that in the near future, as he looks primed to have a freshman breakout season for the Matadors.
I will continue to follow Townsell as a player and as a college prospect this season, and bring you any recruiting updates as they continue to develop.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: A very strong and athletic wing prospect with a nice overall feel for the game, and a knack for scoring the basketball, inside and out. A very good shooter with nice range on his shot, and also a good mid-range game to go with it. Can create scoring opportunities for himself off the dribble, and is an excellent finisher. Can be a playmaker. Finds the open man on the floor. Very good in the open court and in transtion, where he is a good finisher. A good ball handler and capable of playing as a 2 or 3. A good passer that understands the game, but primarily a scorer. Moves well without the basketball and can score without the ball in his hands. An active rebounder. A good finisher around the low block. A solid overall defender, ut continued focus in this area of his game will maximize his potential as a player and prospect. A good sleeper prospect that was an academic qualifier in high school.