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December 19, 2012

Tournament preview: Jerry Tarkanian Classic

The inaugural Jerry Tarkanian Classic kicks off Wednesday in Las Vegas and the field at the four-day tournament is loaded with high-level teams and prospects.

The event is broken into two brackets: the platinum and gold divisions.

There will be plenty of Arizona targets participating in the event at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman High School and Las Vegas (Nev.) Faith Lutheran, so here's who to watch for when the games get going on Wednesday afternoon.

Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman: The home court advantage will belong to the Gaels and their talented front court duo of Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. The pair of 2015 recruits play a big part in Bishop Gorman's success and both hold offers from the Wildcats.

The Gaels first game is set for 5:30 p.m. PST against El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian on Wednesday.

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei: The Monarchs are another team playing on the first day of action at the tournament. Mater Dei has numerous young players who contribute, but head coach Gary McKnight's team is led by 2014 five-star recruit Stanley Johnson.

The talented wing prospect has a familiar name as he has already visited Tucson and he is a high-priority recruit for the Wildcats. Mater Dei opens the tournament with a game against Los Angeles (Calif.) Ribet Academy at 4 p.m. PST.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle: Another name that Wildcat fans are becoming more familiar with is that of Pinnacle standout Dorian Pickens. The four-star wing prospect continues to take the process slow, but he picked up an offer from the Wildcats earlier this year.

The in-state prospect and his team play their first game on Thursday night against Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Tip for that contest is set for 8:20 p.m. PST.

Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd: Wildcat fans should be somewhat familiar with the Oakland high school as it was the former school of current freshman Brandon Ashley - before he made the move to Findlay Prep. Bishop O'Dowd has another talented UA target with 2015 big man Ivan Rabb.

The five-star big man picked up his first offer from Sean Miller and the 'Cats, and he really made a name for himself during the summer.

Bishop O'Dowd opens the Tarkanian Classic with Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista on Thursday night at 8:20 p.m. PST.

Centerreach (N.Y.) Our Savior New American: Our Savior New American is making the long trip from New York for the inaugural Tarkanian Classic and the Arizona target from its team is 2014 big man Cheick Diallo.

The 6-foot-9 power forward already has a handful of offers, including one from Miller's program.

Our Savior New American opens up the tournament with Chicago (Ill.) Harlan on Thursday at 4:20 p.m. PST.

GOAZCATS.com will be in attendance all week for the tournament, so continue to check back for updates and more throughout the event.

Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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