The 11th annual Jerry Tarkanian Classic is being held December 16-21, 2023 @ Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas NV) and surrounding area gyms. 125+ high school boys squads (spread over 8 divisions) and 70+ prep programs (National Division) are participating this year.

A large contingent of national/regional media and scouts have already shown up so far during the first 2 days including Frank Burlison (’s All-American Game voter), Van Coleman (Nothing But Net Magazine/McDonald’s AA Game voter), Eric Bossi (, Ronnie Flores ( &, Dinos Trigonis (Fullcourt Press & Nothing But Net), Jamie Shaw (, Ari Rosenfeld (Elite HS Scouting), Gregg Rosenberg, Bruce Williams, Britt Wright and Greg Stein (Prep Hoops), Chad Groth (Area Codes Scouting), Alex Brown and Conrad Chow (Pro Insight), Chris Popoola and Jerina Madayeg (Hardwood Equity), Sam Cullen (Arizona Preps), Etop Udo-Ema (Dunk News/McDonalds’ All-American Game voter), Matt King (Section 7) and Nate Buss (Nate Buss Hoop Talk).

Colleges that passed through on Day 3 included Miami FL, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, Oregon State, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Arizona State, Utah, UNLV, Utah State, San Francisco, Colorado State, Northern Arizona, Weber State and North Alabama.

NBA team scouts that have attended so far include Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers, Detroit Pistons, Brooklyn Nets, OKC Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards.  In the past 2 previous days I published two earlier recaps on the Prep School Division games that were played at the event. They are listed again here:

Prep School Division Day 1:

Prep School Division Day 2:

Following below, I highlight several players that made noise today on HS Division Day 1. Considering there is a plethora of talent here, I will feature additional standout prospects on a daily basis for the duration of the tourney,

Pharaoh Compton           6’7”    2024   Arbor View (Las Vegas NV)
Strong and physical southpaw was a huge factor in Arbor View’s huge Platinum Division 1st round 52-50 upset of Fab 50 #19 Bishop O’Connell/Arlington VA – had 12 points/14 boards.  Athletic PF is a San Diego State signee that patrols the paint like a cop and has great hands that allows him to finish inside with regularity.  One of the nation’s most underrated seniors and leading candidate for 2024 Nevada State Player of the Year.

Tyrone Riley                     6’6”    2024   St. Pius/St. Matthias (Downey CA)
Long lefty wing started his game slow versus Coronado/Henderson NV but had a huge second half, especially in the 4th quarter – finishing with 24 points and getting the 1st round win.  Bryce Hamilton-type player (UNLV/Lakers G League squad) is an absolute steal for WCC program San Francisco.

Shon Abaev                     6’8”    2025   Calvary Christian (Ft. Lauderdale FL)
Long known as a sharpshooter with size, Shon is also developing very nice and crafty on-ball skills to add to his offensive arsenal which makes him even more of an offensive weapon.  Shon (a 2023 Pangos All-American Camp invitee) was a key player in CC’s 55-46 win over Centennial/Corona CA. Current offers include Florida, Auburn, Dayton and Creighton.

Jase Butler                       6’4”    2024   The Branson School (Ross CA)
Lefty shooter with range and stocky/strong build plays with a cool, confident and winning demeanor.  Illinois signee made clutch shot after clutch shot against a pesky St, Bernard/Playa del Rey CA squad to pull away from the Vikings in the 4th quarter and secure the 1st round win.

Kendyl Sanders               6’7”    2024   St. Bernard (Playa del Rey CA)
Versatile, athletic and very underrated forward had a team-high 21 points against a very good The Branson School/Ross CA squad and Big 10 bound guard Jase Butler (Illinois signee).  Sanders loves to use his off-hand to finish his sweeping drives to the cup, has improved perimeter range on his jump shot (made 1 “three” tonight) and is a dependable rebounder and defender capable of guarding multi positions.  West Coast unsigned senior sleeper is starting to draw interest from schools like Oregon State and if his fine plays this season for coach Tony Bland’s squad continues like it did tonight, I would expect more college interest to materialize by the Spring.

Tahj Ariza                         6’8”    2026   St. Bernard (Playa del Rey CA)
Son of long-time NBA player Trevor Ariza is a Top 10 talent in 2026. Long and talented swingman is oozing with elite high-major potential.

Jaden Bailes                    6’2”    2026   St. Augustine (San Diego CA)
Bailes started off HS Division play with a bang by scoring a game-high 22 points (5 “threes”) in a win over Mater Lakes/FL in a 1st round Platinum Division game. Strong young guard with nice ball skills and legit range to the 3-point line. Pesky defender too.

Jaxon Johnson                6’8”    2024   Alta (UT)
Strong and solid PF is physical on the boards and can finish in traffic. Utah signee and Top 100 senior prospect has Alta primed to make a deep run in this tourney. 

CJ Shaw                           6’4”    2025   Mojave (Las Vegas NV)
Very talented WG has not yet maxed out his high-major potential.  Shaw was impressive tonight in a very good match-up versus 5-star 2026 PG Jason Crowe Jr. (Lynwood/CA) – scoring 23 points and leading his Mojave squad to the win. Shaw has improved considerably since I’ve seen him last at the Pangos Premier 80 in July.

Carter Bryant                              6’8”    2024  Centennial (Corona CA)
Skilled forward with deep range on his jump shot is also extremely athletic which allows him to make big plays on both ends.  Arizona signee has very nice hoop lineage (Father D’Cean Bryant played for Seth Greenberg at Long Beach State and uncle Travon Bryant was a 2000 McDonald’s All-American that was All Big-12 at Missouri and a long-time overseas pro and recent NBA assistant coach).

Jason Crowe Jr.               6’3”    2026   Lynwood (CA)
Speedy elite young PG is one of 2026’s very top prospects.  Crowe has been putting up big numbers since the start of his freshman season and tonight was no different – scoring a game-high 26 points against Mojave/Las Vegas NV.

Kaden House                   6’3”    2026   Desert Mountain (Scottsdale AZ)
Confident scoring guard plays with passion and is capable of putting up big numbers.  Son of former NBA guard Eddie House has a chance to be a special player.

Nick Jefferson                  6’1”    2025   Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas NV)
Cat-quick lead guard with innate scoring skills made key plays on both ends in Gorman’s 67-63 1st round win over Sagemont Prep/FL. Great stat line tonight (25 points, 7 assists and 4 steals).

Javon Bardwell                6’3”    2027   Desert Mountain (Scottsdale AZ)
Very promising freshman looked great here (as he did earlier in the month at the HoopHall West in Scottsdale AZ).  Athletic and skilled WG made shots down the stretch to put away a hard fighting Campbell Hall squad.  Scored a game high 28 points (26 in the 2nd half).

Tee Bartlett                      6‘10“  2025   Coronado (Henderson NV)
Huge post player is a very underrated passer and can score through traffic inside. 

Kevin Thomas                  6’7”    2026   Sagemont Prep (Weston FL)
Very athletic forward is oozing with long-term upside.  Plays AAU ball for Nightryders/FL.

Josh Palmer                     6’4”    2025   St. Bernard (Playa del Rey CA)
Excellent 3-point shooter (had 4 3’s en route to 12 points against The Branson School) is the son of UCLA assistant Rod Palmer.

Baron Bellamy                 6’6”    2024   Campbell Hall (North Hollywood CA)
Late-blooming WG with a nice stroke and plenty of bounce.

Jett Washington              6’5”    2026   Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas NV)
Top notch football prospect (is being recruited at HM level in that sport) also showed here that he has the potential to be a coveted hoop recruit as well.  Strong and athletic swingman plays with great tenacity and can score via the slash or spot up jump shot.  Nephew of the late Kobe Bryant had 19 points (16 of them coming in the pivotal 4th quarter).

Michael Simcoe               6’8”    2025   Sandra Day O’Connor (Phoenix AZ)
Very active, productive and extremely underrated PF made the most of his matchup vs. Sierra Vista and it’s 7-0 junior Xavier Stanton (scored 26 points) in this event’s Spalding Division.  Simcoe is shaping up as a potential major West Coast 2026 PF stock riser by next Spring.

Cayden Daughtry             5’11”  2027   Calvary Christian (Ft. Lauderdale FL)
Crafty young floor general plays with plenty of savvy and made very nice decisions down the stretch in CC’s win over Centennial/Corona CA. Very good shooter (had 2″ threes”) is a future HM PG that plays AAU ball for the Florida Rebels.

Ace Reiser                        5’11”  2024   Alta (UT)
Feisty point guard can score (had 20 points in Alta’s impressive win over Clovis West/CA) and really runs his Alta squad’s offense well.