Tarkanian Classic: Nix makes his case, big men duel
LAS VEGAS -- Tuesday at the Tarkanian Classic, five-star point guard Daishen Nix made his case for post season honors. How did the heavily anticipated big man duel between Makur Maker and Kai Sotto go? That and more from Las Vegas.
NIX CONTINUES TO BACK UP HIS RANKING
He continued to do so on Tuesday at the Tarkanian Classic in a sparkling 39 point effort against a San Antonio (Texas) Cornerstone Christian team that features three four-star prospects.
Nix said jokingly after the game that, "I'm a scoring guard now." But it's not really something to laugh at. Because, when he's making shots and getting to the rim like he did on Tuesday on top of his off the charts passing, he's an entirely different dude.
The Bruins had an assistant on hand to watch Tuesday and have to be loving what they are getting.
BIG MAN DUEL DOESN'T GO AS EXPECTED
Anytime you get two legit seven-footers with lofty rankings and NBA dreams matched up against each other there is going to be some buzz. Now factor in that five-star Makur Maker is seeking eligibility for the 2020 NBA Draft, that Kai Sotto is a sensation back home in the Philippines with NBA dreams and recent college visits to places like Kentucky and Georgia Tech. Oh yeah, there were also several NBA execs in the building to watch.
All the pieces for a memorable duel were there until, well they weren't.
Sotto's The Skill Factory squad rolled early and often over Maker and CIBA. Maker hoisted one deep jumper after another in a 4-18 shooting performance and was mostly a non factor on the glass and as a rim protector. Maybe he just didn't have it, maybe something else was up but it was not the type of performance he would have hoped for in that type of setting.
As for Sotto, he's very intriguing. He's quite thin but moves pretty well and has good touch. Whereas Maker was ball dominant, Sotto took what came to him in the flow of the offense while scoring 11 points and blocking at least four shots. He's intriguing for sure and whether or not he chooses to go to college or pursues professional opportunities is going to be a story to watch unfold this winter and into the spring.
QUICK TUESDAY NOTES FROM THE TARKANIAN CLASSIC
.... There was actually a third seven-footer on the floor during The Skill Factory/CIBA game as Missouri signee Jordan Wilmore hit the floor for TSF. On a floor full of giants, he was the biggest in terms of pure size given the muscle he has to go along with his gigantic frame. The guy eats up a ton of space, looks like he could be a superstar in the WWE and most importantly looks noticeably improved since the summer. He's showing signs of some offensive tools to go with his dunking and he's using his size much better to bury opponents.
.... Compass Prep based out of Phoenix is loaded with talent so on any day, anybody can step up. On Tuesday, 2021 Rivals150 wing Maxwell Lewis and 2020 unsigned combo forward Jabari Walker. Lewis, who is originally from Las Vegas, has great size, an ideal basketball body type, can get to the rim in transition and has a good looking jump shot. He's got offers from DePaul, Nevada, New Mexico, TCU, Utah and Washington State. As for Walker, he's the son of former NBA player Samaki Walker and a true late bloomer. He's grown into a solid 6-foot-7 frame, can run, has some inside out skill and appears to be on an upward trajectory. Cal State Northridge, Illinois State and Montana State are among his offers but he could be seeing high major attention very soon.
.... The Tarkanian Classic was a popular stop for college coaches on Tuesday with over 25 schools in attendance. Among the programs seen in the building were Auburn, BYU, California, Cal State Fullerton, Colorado, Columbia, Idaho, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Missouri State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Pacific, Southern Utah, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Wake Forest and Wyoming to name a few.