Tarkanian Classic: Day One

LAS VEGAS -- The loaded field at the Tarkanian Classic didn't disappoint on opening day, as the big name players -- T.J. Leaf, Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter, Allonzo Trier and Tyler Dorsey -- all performed at a high-level on Wednesday.

Class of 2015

Chase Jeter, C, Bishop Gorman – Jeter had a dominant performance in a game against Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward. It was easily the best I’ve seen Jeter and his teammate Stephen Zimmerman play together, as they fed off each others energy and worked well together on both ends of the floor. Jeter was aggressive, strong and initiated physical play inside. He finished with both hands, dunked when he had opportunities, rebounded his area and swatted away four shots. The Duke signee finished with 22 points and eight rebounds .

Stephen Zimmerman, C, Bishop Gorman – Picking up where he left off at USA Basketball in October, Zimmerman played with energy on both ends. He was active on the glass, ran the floor looking to score and looked to swat shots on the defensive end. Zimmerman appears to be in great shape and looked to dunk everything inside. He had the gym buzz when he caught a pass running down the lane, rose and threw down a one-handed dunk on a 6-foot-6 defender. Zimmerman also showed off his passing skills, both from the high post and on the block. He finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and five blocks.

Horace Spencer, C, Findlay Prep – I’ve seen Spencer plenty of times since his freshman season, but his performance Wednesday was easily the best. Spencer was aggressive on the glass, patrolled the paint looking to get his hands on shots and played with impressive toughness in between the blocks. He also ran the floor and used his athleticism to impact the game. On the other end, Spencer dropped in a pair of right handed jump hooks, put back some misses and dunked drop off passes.

Tyler Dorsey, SG, Maranatha – In a one-point loss to Plano (Tex.) Prestonwood, Dorsey’s game appeared to have matured. He showed some poise and certainly showed an improve shot selection. He picked his spots to drive the ball, made some mid-range jump shots and found his way to the free throw line quite a few times. Marantha was short-handed, especially inside and Dorsey nearly willed them to a win. Dorsey finished with 24 points.

Allonzo Trier, SG, Findlay Prep – Findlay Prep broke their game open and on the offensive end it was Trier who was the most effective for the Pilots. A strong, physical guard, Trier looked to drive the ball, had multiple And 1 finishes and had a couple of highlight dunks in traffic. His long-range shot was streaky in this one, but when he wanted to get to the rim, Trier pretty much did so. The Arizona signee pumped in 29 points on Wednesday.

Djery Baptiste, C, Prestonwood Christian – In a one-point win over Marantha, Baptiste put together an inspiring effort. The opposition didn’t have anyone that could match up with this 6-foot-11, 245-pound post player or his teammate Schnider Herard. The two owned the backboard and the paint. Baptiste was physical inside and went after every rebound in his area. He also had a handful of put backs. Offensively, he’s raw, but the tools are there for him to be a productive rebounder, shot blocker at the high-major level because of his size, strength, length, mobility, toughness and athleticism.

Class of 2016

Gavin Baxter, PF, Timpview – Baxter got the Tarkanian Classic started off in a good way, scoring 18 points in a win over Righetti (Calif.) High. Baxter, a 6-foot-7 forward that possesses a 7-foot wingspan, looked improved since the summer, where he earned the No. 56 ranking in the 2016 class. Baxter is a bouncy athlete that looked to dunk nearly all of his touches around the rim. He runs the floor with purpose, will contest shots inside and mixes it up for rebounds. He showed good touch with his right hand, played well through contact and knocked in one of his two three-point attempts.

Payton Pritchard, PG, West Linn – This was as good of an outing as I’ve seen from Pritchard, who recently gave an early pledge to Oklahoma. In a win over Highland (Utah) Lone Peak, Pritchard was effective off the bounce. He has a strong handle, gets his body low and is able to get his shoulders by defenders. Once in the lane, Pritchard has terrific touch on his floater. Pritchard is also a legitimate threat from beyond the three-point stripe and he’s able to heat up in a hurry. Pritchard is relied upon to score for West Linn, but he’s also more than capable – and he showed it at times – of driving and creating shots for his teammates.

T.J. Leaf, PF, Foothills – Arizona fans should be thrilled their coaching staff was able to pick up a commitment from Leaf, who is currently the highest rated pledge for any school in 2016, this early. Against Chino Hills, Leaf put his full game on display. Leaf is very skilled. He has great hands, can make hook shots consistently and is a tremendous passer from both the block and the high post. Leaf also has impressive ball skills for his size, as he can take bigs with similar size off the bounce or grab a rebound and start the break. On top of all that he’s an impressive athlete with good leaping ability. He uses his athleticism and length to get on the glass and reels in boards in and out of his area. Leaf finished with 33 points and double figure rebounds in the loss.

Lonzo Ball, PG, Chino Hill – There’s a lot to like about Ball, a 6-foot-6 lead guard. Up against Foothills Christian, Ball showed his tremendous vision and passing. He has a unique ability to fit passes into tight spaces and his size allows him to see over and defenders. He didn’t shoot as many threes as I’ve seen in the past, but he was aggressive with his drives and is a crafty finisher at the rim. The early UCLA signee scored 17 points and had a bunch of assists in the win.

Schnider Herard, C, Planwood Christian – You don’t find many players with the type of size, strength and length that Herard is equipped with. He’s every bit of 6-foot-10 and has a lengthy set of arms. He’s strong and physical and he’s able to secure low post position because he not only has strength in his upper body, but in his lower body too. Herard is active on the glass and pursues rebounds. Against Marantha, Herard also dropped in a pair of jump hooks and put back a bunch of misses. If Wednesday’s performance was any indication, Herard’s current ranking at No. 87 is too low.

News & Notes

  • With the amount of college coaches in attendance, the Tarkanian Classic felt like an AAU event in July. While there were too many assistant coaches to keep track of, Scout did spot four head coaches at the event. The head coaches that were in the gym on Wednesday were Rick Pitino, Andy Enfield, Tad Boyle and Herb Sendek.

  • Corona (Calif.) Centennial has a pair of promising young post prospects to keep an eye. At 6-foot-9, Ike Anigbogu is a center prospect with good size, strength, length and toughness. He plays hard, rebounds and contests shots. His teammate Jalen Hill, a 2018 prospect, is a long, lanky 6-foot-8 post player with a lot of ability as well. Like Anigbogu, he’s a good rebounder and is active inside. He also has the tools to be a good offensive player. Both are a year young for their grades.

  • 2016 guard Frank Jackson opened up to Scout about his recent decision to decommit from BYU. Here's the full story: Jackson talks recommitment, will visit Arizona. Jackson told Scout that he's currently considering Arizona, Duke, BYU, Utah, Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA.


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