The 8th annual Jerry Tarkanian Classic is being held December 17-21, 2019 @ Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas NV), Orleans Arena and surrounding area gyms. 100 high school boys squads (spread over 7 divisions) and 39 prep programs (Pangos Elite 8 and National Division) are participating this year. All Tarkanian Classic games are being live-streamed by BallerTV.com
Quarter-final action in multiple divisions were held on Thursday December 19th. In the Platinum Division quarterfinal I it was Centennial (Corona CA) continuing it’s hot shooting display by knocking off previously Fab50 #41 Coronado (Henderson NV). In Platinum quarterfinal II, Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA) sprinted to a 25 point half-time lead and held off a St. Augustine (San Diego CA) 2nd half rally to prevail 65-59. Kentucky signee 6-4 PG Devin Askew powered Mater Dei with a game-high 27 points. Platinum quarterfinal III saw Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas NV) handle previously undefeated Fairfax (Los Angeles CA) 90-71 as 6-5 2020 Brendan Lamar (22) and 6-3 2021 Will McClendon (21) combined for 43 points. San Diego State-bound 6-2 2020 Keith Dinwiddie led Fairfax with 24 points. In Platinum quarterfinal IV, Sheldon (Sacramento CA) used a late 2nd half rally, sparked by a game-high 35 points from Arizona State signee 6-8 Marcus Bagley, to finally pull away from Westchester (Los Angeles CA) 48-37. 6-3 2021 TJ Wainwright led Westchester with 14 points.
In the previous two Tarkanian Classic Recaps, we highlighted several individual stand-out efforts. Here we highlight several more that showed up and showed out so far in Vegas.
Brandon Boston Jr. 6’6” 2020 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Whether starting or coming off the bench, the results for opponents is the same: BJ Boston is a problem! Kentucky signee is fast and furious in transition and slips through defensive cracks to grab offensive boards and score on put-backs. BJ had a team-high 17 points in the Blazers 66-44 win over Northeast FL.
Marcus Bagley 6’8” 2020 Sheldon (Sacramento CA)
Arizona State signee has emerged out of his big brother’s (Marvin Bagley III) shadow and become a bona-fide Top 50-caliber national recruit. Dangerous 3-point shooter poured in a game-high 35 points (6 “threes”) and was the difference down the stretch to finally pull away from a gritty Westchester (Los Angeles CA) squad. Bagley was a terrific 12/15 from the field and 5/5 from FT. Strong body and active rebounder reminds me of Chuck Person (Auburn/NBA). With continued improvement, Marcus has the potential and physique to join his older brother in the NBA in a few years.
Mojave King 6’5” 2020 NBA Global Academy
Talented New Zealand SG with excellent scoring skills had 29 points vs. Edge Prep with the Arizona staff 3-deep (including head coach Sean Miller) and Baylor head coach Scott Drew, among others, on hand.
Julian Strawther 6’6” 2020 Liberty (Henderson NV)
High-octane scoring SF headed to Gonzaga can score in so many ways. Julian had a cool 30 points in 75 -65 win over Poly (Riverside CA).
Devin Askew 6’4” 2020 Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Elite playmaker brought his “A” Game (27 points) in 66-59 win over St. Augustine (San Diego CA). Tough, strong and now with improved athletic bounce, Askew is now ranked #18 nationally in 2020 class by Nothing But Net’s Van Coleman after recently re-classifying up from 2021 class.
Paris Dawson 6’1” 2020 Centennial (Corona CA)
After losing transfers Jaylen Clark, DJ Davis and Dennis Cash prior to the season, Corona Centennial has been the biggest SoCal HS surprise this year knocking off Fab 50 nationally ranked squads Rancho Christian (CA), Coronado (NV) and Neumann-Goretti (PA). 6-0 2020 Paris Dawson has emerged as the leader of this fast-paced Bulldog squad. Paris was on-point (team-high 17 points) in Centennial’s impressive 83-48 win over Coronado (NV) in the tourney quarter-finals. Quick combo-guard with accurate 3-point stroke was an early signee with Portland State.
Will McClendon 6’3” 2021 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas NV)
Dangerous 3-point threat is currently ranked #41 nationally by Rivals.com. Will’s 21 points were instrumental in Gorman’s 80-71 win over Fairfax.
TJ Wainwright 6’3” 2021 Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Lefty flame-thrower did all he could do to keep Westchester close in a defensive slugfest with Sheldon (Sacramento CA), connecting on 3 deep “threes” before Bagley got hot at end of 2nd half and pulled away from the Comets. Well regarded as a confident 3-point shooter, T.J. has also recently improved his decision-making, passing precision and defensive prowess. Wainwright has been offered by UC-Santa Barbara and Pepperdine and has taken an unofficial visit to Gonzaga with another unofficial to Vanderbilt in the works.
LeBron James Jr. 6’2” 2023 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Bronny seems to get better each time I see him. Love his poise and basketball IQ for just a HS freshman as well as his 3 point range. As his confidence continues to grow so will his production for Sierra Canyon.
Matthew Bewley 6’8” 2023 Northeast (Ft. Lauderdale FL)
One half of a talented twin Bewley duo has nice face-up scoring skills and excellent long-term potential. One to track in national freshman class.
Ryan Bewley 6’9” 2023 Northeast (Ft. Lauderdale FL)
Second half of the Bewley combo is more of a post-player that rebounds well and is a formidable rim-protector. Both have legit HM potential.
Dior Johnson 6’2” 2022 Mayfair (Lakewood CA)
New York native is a talented scoring guard with elusive ballhandling skills and nice touch on his jump shot. Johnson had 26 points vs. Capital Christian (Sacramento CA).
Lamont Butler 6’1” 2020 Poly (Riverside CA)
San Diego State signee is a no-frills PG with sound decision-making and a strong physique that allows him to fend off defensive ball pressure and score through contact. Butler had 17 points vs. Liberty (Henderson NV).
Glenn Taylor 6’6” 2021 Cheyenne (Las Vegas NV)
Athletic swingman with improved offensive skills had an impressive 27 point effort vs. Valley Vista (AZ). Wake Forest, Colorado, USC, Creighton, Colorado State and Seattle watched.
Shy Odom 6’5” 2022 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Strong and physical forward always seems to be a body in motion. Odom had 12 points in Blazers’ win over Northeast FL.
Chance Stephens 6’2” 2022 Poly (Riverside (CA)
Young combo-guard with potent 3-point range had his trey stroke working versus Liberty (6 “threes”)
Guy Flauntroy 6’0” 2021 Riverdale Baptist (MD)
Shifty lead guard with nice ball skills had 18 points vs. Marion (AR).
Derrick Reeves 6’3” 2020 Marion (AR)
Strong WG has nice slashing scoring ability. Reeves had 21 points vs. Riverdale Baptist (MD).
Xavion Brown 6’3” 2020 Sheldon (Sacramento CA)
Athletic WG is an excellent defender and effective slashing scorer.
Jonathan Braggs 6’2” 2021 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas NV)
Strong and athletic wing is rising sleeper in Nevada’s junior class. Braggs rebounds well for size and had 16 points in Gorman’s “W” over Fairfax.
Aidan Prukop 6’4” 2020 Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Cal Poly signee is a heady WG with a feathery outside touch. Scored 14 points (two “threes”) in Mater Dei’s 66-59 win over St. Augustine (San Diego CA).
Luke Haupt 6’6” 2020 St. Augustine (San Diego CA)
Sturdy WF has deep 3-point stroke and solid basketball IQ.
Caden Flowers 5’11” 2021 Capital Christian (Sacramento CA)
Scoring lead guard is an excellent on-ball defender.