Wasatch Academy boys’ basketball coach Geno Morgan knows the upcomoing few days present a huge opportunity for his program.
The Tigers are one of five Utah teams playing in the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, one of the premier tournaments in the country, and a good showing could put them on the map.
Tarkanian ClassicThursday through Saturday
Where » Las Vegas
Utah teams » Lone Peak, Orem, Bountiful, Wasatch Academy, Timpview
Getting statewide recognition is something Morgan said has eluded the Tigers, despite winning last year’s Class 2A state title.
"The first thing we need to do is get known in our own state," Morgan said about the opportunity to turn some heads at the tournament. "I think there’s a few teams in the state who know a little bit about us. Some other teams aren’t sure."
The tournament also will serve as a measuring stick for the Tigers, who return their three leading scorers from last year’s team in Cody John, Koby McEwen and Geno Luzcando. Morgan said just how far the talented trio can take the Tigers will be more clear after this weekend.
"I think we’re up there [among the best teams in the state]," Morgan said. "I don’t think we’re the best or anything like that, but I think we’re one of the best teams. Just being considered one of the top 10 teams, for our school, is huge. We definitely want to be recognized in our own state, and that comes with playing some of the top teams and doing well."
Lone Peak, Bountiful, Timpview and Orem also will play in the tournament, which begins Thursday and wraps up Saturday. They will rub shoulders with some of the best talent in the country, including national powers Bishop Gorman (Nev.), Mater Dei (Calif.) and Findlay Prep (Nev.).
"I think it’s a big opportunity for the state of Utah, not just us," Morgan said. "For us to get a chance to play against these teams doesn’t happen every day. ... We represent Utah. When we go to these tournaments, it’s, ‘Those Utah guys.’ That gets a lot a lot of laughs sometimes until we get on the floor and play. Then we take care of that."
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