Mojave’s Marshall eager as prep basketball tourneys hit town

It’s important to Anthony Marshall that he plays well during the high school basketball season. During the summer, it’s imperative that he’s at his best.

A 6-foot-3-inch guard from Mojave High, Marshall is one of the nation’s top uncommitted prep seniors, and because of that, he’s under a microscope this week.

Marshall will be playing for the Las Vegas Prospects in the adidas Super 64 tournament, one of four events that begin today and will lure several hundred teams and almost as many college coaches to Las Vegas for a scouting showcase.

"I’m pretty excited to play against the best players, and they come to Vegas every year. It could be a big deal if you take it that way," said Marshall, who is being recruited by a long list of schools that includes UNLV.

"I feel like I want to go out and play my best. It’s a chance to show coaches what you can do, and not just what they read on the Internet."

According to Rivals.com, Marshall ranks as the 67th-best senior in the nation.

That makes him the second-best prospect locally, behind Cheyenne guard Elijah Johnson, who is ranked No. 34 and also is prominent on the Rebels’ radar. Johnson is playing for Pump N Run Elite in the Super 64.

The Main Event tournament and Reebok Summer Championships also feature many top prospects. A fourth event, the AAU JUCO Showcase at Cashman Center, has been added this year.

The Reebok event has eight of the Rivals.com top 20 seniors in the Class of 2009, including No. 1-ranked prospect John Wall, a 6-3 point guard from Raleigh, N.C.

But as talented as this group appears, it will be tough to top the summer of 2006, when Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and Eric Gordon all starred in Las Vegas. Those five players were among the top seven picks in June’s NBA Draft.

What’s about to happen this week in Las Vegas is an organized basketball circus.

In just the Reebok tournament, based at Foothill High, a total of 200 teams will play 495 games over five days. The games will be played on 15 courts at seven Las Vegas high schools and one middle school.

Marshall and the Las Vegas Prospects open adidas Super 64 play at 2:20 p.m. today at the Rancho High auxiliary gym.

A left-handed guard, Marshall has a standing vertical leap of 35 inches and a 6-9 wingspan. He also has a long relationship with UNLV coach Lon Kruger.

"Anthony Marshall is a do-it-all kid. He rebounds, scores and defends," Prospects coach Anthony Brown said. "We’ve been playing him at the point, and now he’s a triple-double guy. He does everything.

"He’s a student, as well. He’s not one of those athletes who’s not taking care of his business in the classroom. The kid has options."

Brown said Marshall is giving "strong consideration" to playing for the Rebels.

"You have to consider UNLV," Brown said. "Coach Kruger is doing an unbelievable job. Three years ago, you get on the (Internet) message boards and they’re trying to run the guy out of here.

"Anthony’s really thinking about, do I want to stay home and play?"

Marshall also is attracting interest from Baylor, California, Colorado State, Creighton, Gonzaga, Marquette, Miami (Fla.) and Southern Methodist, among other schools.

In early August, after he plays in another tournament next week in Los Angeles, Marshall said he will analyze schools and form his list of favorites.

"There are still a lot of schools that are recruiting me late. I’m still pretty much wide open," he said. "UNLV is one of the schools coming at me the hardest, and they’ve been recruiting me for three years."

Contact reporter Matt Youmans at myoumans@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2907.

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