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Kentucky Commit Tyrese Maxey More Than Just A Scorer - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Kentucky Commit Tyrese Maxey More Than Just A Scorer

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Tyrese Maxey could help attract other recruits to Kentucky. Tyrese Maxey could help attract other recruits to Kentucky.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just in case you may have had doubts about why getting a commitment from Texas junior guard Tyrese Maxey was so important for Kentucky, especially as early as he did it, then put them out of your mind.

The five-star Maxey is regarded as one of the nation’s best scoring guards and did nothing to tarnish that reputation by averaging 21.9 points per game in the Nike EYBL. However, just as he did when he played for the gold-medal winning USA under 17 team when he averaged 11 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals in three games before he was injured.

He has done a lot more than just score in the Nike EYBL, too. He is also averaging 5.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game in helping lead Houston Hoops to a 12-4 record going into the season-ending championships at Peach Jam later this month. He’s shooting 47.9 percent overall, including 33 percent from 3-point range, and an impressive 82.6 percent at the foul line.

It was no surprise he was named to the Nike EYBL first team by DI Circuit. But it did surprise many that he was also named the Nike EYBL Defensive Player of the Year. He’s a consensus top 15 player in the 2019 recruiting rankings and he picked UK over Texas, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Michigan State and others back on May 9.

ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi says getting the commitment from Maxey so early was a plus even for a recruiter as good as John Calipari.

“They identified the guy they wanted early and got him early,” Biancardi said. “I still am not sold he is a point guard. He probably is a point guard in today’s terminology. He is a terrific passer, but when I think of a point guard I think more of (Kentucky freshman) Ashton Hagans. 

“Tyrese is a prolific scorer. He’s a really good passer. He still has to learn the nuances of being a set-up point guard, but he can certainly be a scoring point guard. He will play with the ball in his hands and he will be very, very good.”

Biancardi says Maxey does one thing that Calipari values more than anything else — he helps make other players better. That was a common theme from teammates on Team USA and one reason so many top recruits have indicated an interest in playing with Maxey.

“Tyrese can make you better with his passing and his positive energy,” Biancardi said. “He scores the ball, so he’s also going to help you make plays when he draws the defense to him. He just brings a lot like that coaches and teammates like. 

“He has that vivacious personality and team-first approach that other guys want to be around. That’s why he’s probably going to help attract a lot of other guys to Kentucky.”

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