Tarkanian Classic: Top Seniors

by December 27, 2013

by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn

In the city of Las Vegas, Jerry Tarkanian is a cult figure. “Tark The Shark” transcended the college game during his time at Long Beach State and transformed the low-major program before making the move to Vegas. Countless books and even a movie have been made about Tark’s social impact as well as on the hardwood.

Making the move to the NBA and coaching the San Antonio Spurs, Tarkanian infamously signed one of his most talented recruits, Lloyd Daniels, before ultimately ending his career in Fresno, where it all began.

Long-time basketball guru Dinos Trigonis took on the Tarkanian Classic to pay homage to the legend, drawing some of the nation’s finest to Vegas for a legit four-day event. Games were played at powerhouse Bishop Gorman and at the Orleans Arena, with a select few even being aired live on CBS Sports. The competition was fierce, drawing some of the left coast’s best for a truly elite event.

With all that star power, it was hard to pick just a select few, but here are some of the seniors who caught our eye at the 2013 Tarkanian Classic:

Stanley Johnson, 6-7, Mater Dei (CA)

Johnson came into the Tarkanian Classic with a chip on his shoulder. When he left Vegas, not only did he take home the chip and MVP, but he left no doubt in most scouts’ minds as to who the best wing in ’14 was. Not only did he physically dominate them with his strength and LBJ-esque takes to the rack, but he killed them softly with his game on the perimeter too. The play that we saw out of Cali’s top dog not only assured me that he’s going to do work from day one at Arizona, but legitimately supplanted him in the convo for top player in the class.

Craig Victor, 6-8, PF, Findlay Prep (NV)

A transplant from NOLA, Craig Victor brought his Southern style of play to Vegas and dominated the Tarkanian. While he’s got the game on O of a face-up power forward, he still has the strength to punish you in the paint and control the glass. He took that next step with his athleticism, read the D to perfection on the blocks, and straight up went through defenders down low. With Arizona’s front line likely getting considerably thinner due to guys bouncing to the League, Victor will have the chance to get some PT from the time he steps foot on campus.

Emmanuel Mudiay, 6-5, PG, Prime Prep (TX)

The nation’s best point guard stumbled a bit against Our Savior, but redeemed himself with Prime Prep’s narrow W over Vegas power Findlay Prep.  He was much more vocal as a leader, directing traffic and taking control of the offense at any time that he needed to. He made some passes off of the bounce with his left (opposite hand) that most NBA guards could dream of, got to the rack like he was in NBA 2K, and overpowered virtually every guard he went up against. It was a rough weekend for Larry Brown’s future lead guard as far as the team was concerned (Prime went 1-2), but he most definitely lived up to his rep.

Kobie Eubanks, 6-5, SG, Our Savior New American (NY)

The key scorer in OSNA’s shocker over Prime Prep was Kobie Eubanks. A transplant from Florida, Eubanks used his physical game to punish smaller wings throughout the week. He was fearless attacking the rack, dropped a number of deep three-pointers, and defended every perimeter position for stretches. Still left on the board, you can rest assured that Kobie is going to blow up in the late signing period. 

Chase Foster, 6-5, SG/SF, Valor Christian (CO)

Nearly pulling off a shocker over host Bishop Gorman, Valor Christian put forth a valiant effort, led by Chase Foster. The lefty swingman wasn’t scared at all by the twin towers of Gorman, finished smoothly at the cup, and showed that he could play with some of the nation’s finest. Headed to play his college ball at San Fransisco, Foster should be a real legit addition to Bill Russell’s alma mater.