By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky signee Tyrese Maxey, a 6-5 guard at South Garland High School in Texas, is getting some experience with that Super Bowl sensation this year that he’ll face at Kentucky next season when UK coach John Calipari says every team plays against the Wildcats like it is the Super Bowl.
“We have got a tiger on our back in Texas this year,” Tyrone Maxey, the player’s father and a South Garland assistant coach, said. “We scheduled tough and dropped a few games early that I think helped wake our team up to finding out that nobody was laying down for us.
“It has just taken time to for Tyrese to figure out some things but things are getting better. And we are definitely facing some quality competition because the expectation for us this year is to win a state championship.”
That’s much like the expectation at Kentucky to win a national championship will be next year — or any season.
“He has a big target on his back being the top player in the state and getting a lot of recognition like he does as a Kentucky signee. Everybody wants to measure themselves against him,” Tyrone Maxey said. “He has handled it well for the most part. Last year he did not really fly under the radar because he got some attention but there’s a lot more attention on him this year after signing with Kentucky. He has had to learn to step it up even another notch with people coming at him.”
Tyrese Maxey does not have a “best” strength on the court. He can play either guard spot because of his scoring and passing ability. He’s also a tenacious defender because of his length and quickness.
“He just tries to win a basketball game. He does have the ability to score and he can do that, but what people don’t realize about him is that he is really competitive on the defensive end,” his father, a former SMU assistant coach, said. “He rebounds the ball pretty good for a guard, too. Whatever the game presents and whatever he needs to do to win a game, he will do.
“I consider him a scoring point guard. When he was playing with USA Basketball, he could facilitate when he had a bunch of other guys who could score playing with him. He can be a defensive stopper and guard the other team’s best perimeter player. But if I had to pick his best attribute, it would be his scoring.”