basketball Edit

Cassidy's Takeaways: News and notes from the Tarkanian Classic

Gregory Jackson
Gregory Jackson (Rivals.com)

LAS VEGAS – Saturday at the Tarkanian Classic brought the same high-level basketball as the previous days. High-major recruits shined while less recognizable names took steps forward. Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy was on hand and shares some news and notes from the day that was in Sin City.

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Related: Stars shine at the Tarkanian Classic

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

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GREGORY JACKSON TO TRIM LIST EARLY NEXT YEAR

Five-star forward Gregory Jackson battled double-teams all game but still managed to flash his five-star skill set that includes handling the ball and a reliable jumper in a victory over Utah’s Timpview High on Saturday. Following the game, the coveted class of 2023 star said he intends to trim his list of schools to five in “February or March.”

North Carolina is seen as the front-runner in Jackson’s recruitment, but, judging by Friday’s conversation, Duke and South Carolina feel like near-locks to make his final list as well.

“[South Carolina head coach Frank Martin] has been watching me my entire high school career,” Jackson said on Saturday. “He’s always been there. He’s a very tough coach and he makes sure you do the little things right. Also, South Carolina is basically home.”

According to Jackson, Georgetown and Virginia are also in the thick of things and are in play to be left standing when he narrows his focus.

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WASHINGTON LEADS FOR DARIUS CARR

A junior at Los Angeles’ St Bernard High School, Darius Carr finished Friday’s game with an unofficial 14 points and showcased an impressive motor to go along with a jumper from 3-point range in the process. The speedy guard seems to always be in attack mode and is becoming a more engaged defender. It’s not difficult to understand why he already holds a handful of high-major offers, but according to the 6-foot-3 prospect, one school stands above the rest of the time being.

“Right now, Washington is my top school,” Carr said following the game, citing his relationship with the Huskies coaching staff, specifically Wyking Jones.

“Wyking is like an uncle to me,” he said. “After he watches our games he always has feedback for me. He feels like a family member to me.”

According to Carr, he was originally scheduled to visit Seattle this weekend before his high school decided to play in the Tarkanian Classic and now hopes to make the trip following the high school season.

Butler, USC and UCLA have all started recruiting Carr in recent weeks, but Carr estimates the Bulldogs are closest to making things official with an offer.

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DIXON IMPRESSES, TALKS MISSISSIPPI STATE OFFER

Jurain Dixon
Jurain Dixon (Rivals.com)

Jurain Dixon seems a bit under-recruited, but things on that front may be changing. The 6-foot-5 guard has long carried a handful of mid-major offers, but Mississippi State recently became the school to help him break the high-major barrier.

The Bulldogs offered late last week. And while Dixon has been learning a little about the program through his trainer, whose nephew attends the school, he’s also started the process of building a relationship with head coach Ben Howland’s staff.

“The coaches like me,” Dixon said. “They’ve only seen me on film and he loves what he saw so they’re going to come out and see me. They just want me to keep doing what I’m doing.”

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH MISSISSIPPI STATE FANS AT BULLDOGBLITZ.COM

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VANDERBILT SIGNEE IS A DEFENSIVE GAME-CHANGER

Lee Dort
Lee Dort (Rivals.com)

Vanderbilt signee Lee Dort shined as a defensive presence for the second-straight day, as the 240-pound senior bullied everyone on the glass and blocked more than five shots in his team’s 58-47 victory over a game Evangel Christian School squad from Kentucky.

The Addison (Texas) Greenhill School big man blacked seven shots on Friday and followed that up by swatting at least four on Saturday. Dort is a certified game-changer in the lane and alters a handful of shots for everyone he actually gets his hands on. His above-average athleticism serves him well to boot, as showcased by a chasedown block he pinned against the glass in the first half of Saturday’s contest. The future Commodore finished with16 points and a handful of emphatic dunks in the contest, but the way he impacts the game on defense and on the glass is where most of his value projects at this juncture.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH VANDERBILT FANS AT VANDYSPORTS.COM