Friday Tarkanian Classic Notebook

Friday night at the Tarkanian Classic once again saw numerous Arizona prospects in attendance. Read on to see how they performed and more.

LAS VEGAS - Friday saw more bracket play at the Tarkanian Classic and, once again, Arizona prospects continued to advance.


Stanley Johnson: It was a normal effort from Johnson, though he did not need to dominate like he can. Johnson was able to get into the lane at will and drew numerous fouls. When he did not draw fouls, he often found teammates or made the right decision. We have seen him play better, but the 40-point victory is an indication of why Johnson did not need to take over the first game.

In the second game against Redondo Union, a much better opponent, Mater Dei cruised and much of it had to do with Johnson. We left at halftime because the score wasn't close, but it was likely Johnson's best performance of the past few days.

Craig Victor: Victor always plays hard and a few years ago that was not the case. He also seems to be one of the few guys on his team willing to pass when it would be excusable if he was selfish because most of his teammates are as well.

Victor needs to get stronger, but his ability to get fouled is impressive. Once he gets the ball in the pain, Victor knows what he is going to do with it and makes a quick move. He is a three or four year player in all likelihood, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Ivan Rabb: The competition was better in the first game, but Rabb was his normal self. He did not step out as much as he did on Thursday, but did not really need to. He is almost automatic near the basket and knows when he needs to be aggressive. Rabb typically has a great motor, but he tended to play in spurts in the first game.

In the second, he went up against Bishop Gorman with Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter and played hard the entire game as he made a case for the top player in the country.

He went up against two legitimate big men and still dominated, scoring in the post with advanced moves and getting out in transition. It was probably one of the best games we have seen Rabb play and it is hard to imagine there being many players better than him in his class.

Chase Jeter: Jeter may be one of the most college ready players in the country for 2015. He is able to run the court, defend the post, and score in numerous ways. Jeter has nice touch out to the free-throw line and it is nice to see him to stick to that because it shows that he knows what he is good at, which is important.

In the game against Rabb, Jeter played relatively well. Rabb played strong defense, but once again Jeter never panicked and took what came to him, doing so effectively.

Stephen Zimmerman: Zimmerman's initial game showed off his vast array of skills. He stepped out and hit jumpers, scored with three guys on him, and was able to get on the glass. Valor Christian made it difficult for Zimmerman because it threw at least two players at him every time. Still, he kept his composure and was able to do what he normally does, including running the court and scoring in transition.

In the game against Bishop O'Dowd, he struggled a bit. Rabb really took it to him on offense and Zimmerman had difficulty staying in front of him. The skill is there, but Zimmerman still has some learning to do, especially close to the basket.


M.J. Cage: Cage was extremely impressive in the first game of the day. He showed an edge to him that he did not have on Thursday and it paid off. Cage has solid fundamentals, though there is plenty of room for improvement. Again, he is more potential than player, but there is nothing wrong with that.

There probably aren't many, if any, better big men in the west for the class and we don't see that changing much in the next few days.

Justin Jackson: Jackson did not do a ton, but you can see the potential right away. He seemed to handle the ball and his biggest strength was around the basket. Jackson does not play as much as he will next year and we're curious to see how he responds to more touches. He did just fine when he did get those touches, but it was difficult for him to get into a rhythm at times.

Derryck Thornton Jr. We liked what we saw from Thornton on Friday, especially when you consider he has such a long way to go. He is very good at getting his teammates involved on the dribble and Findlay was better off when it let him run the point.

He is already a good dribbler and there were a few times in which he beast his defender using it. Like most guys his age, Thornton Jr. needs to get stronger. However, he looks like a lock to be good enough for Arizona's level and it makes sense that the Wildcats are recruiting him aggressively.

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