By LARRY VAUGHT
It was not the same dominating statistical performance that Kentucky signee Tyrese Maxey had in his first game at the Kentucky Lake Showcase at Marshall County Friday morning, but it might have been even a more overall impressive performance by the South Garland (Texas) guard.
After being limited to three points in the first half against Superior Collegiate, he finished with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field, 11 rebounds, five steals, two assists and one blocked shot in a 67-52 win.
He had 28 points in the first game Friday with UK coach John Calipari watching. But in game two with Calipari back in Lexington preparing to play Louisville Saturday, Maxey went against a team that played more physical and was determined to do anything possible to take him and teammate Chris Harris, a Texas A&M signee, from scoring. Harris, who also had 28 points Friday morning, finished with six points and took just five shots.
“We always want our teammates to feel just as we feel,” Harris said. “We have big nights and today was time for some others. I am happy for them and so was Tyrese.”
However, Maxey helped take over the game in the third quarter after it was tied 25-25 at intermission. He had seven points, including a 3-pointer, and also dominated the defensive boards as South Garland outscored Superior Collegiate 26-13 in period three.
“I just want to win,” Maxey said. “I knew I had to do more to help my teammates and if that is rebounding and defense, that’s fine with me.”
One thing that never changed — the smile he kept during the game. Several UK fans at the game made sure to tell his parents, assistant coach Tyrone Maxey and Denise Maxey, after the game how much they enjoyed the passion he had for playing.
“I have known him since fourth grade and he’s always been a great teammate and friend,” teammate Iyanous Moffett-Bennett said. “He is a great player. He is a great passer. He doesn’t take the first shot. He looks for his teammates.
“We want everybody to play well and he’s that way. He wants us all to do well and he tries to help us do that and is happy when we do well.”
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Maxey and South Garland play again Saturday at 4 p.m. CST against DME Academy of Florida and star sophomore Moussa Diabate. He had 21 points (10-for-21 shooting), 30 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block in a win over Superior Collegiate and came back with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting, 15 rebounds, three assists and one steal in a win over Hillcrest Prep North.