Wednesday, August 13, 2008
TKR 2009 Recruit Breakdown: Tony Nixon
Every now and then a recruit will come out of nowhere and emerge on the national recruiting scene. This summer, Tony Nixon went from mid-major recruit to a high-major recruit because of his MVP caliber performances throughout the AAU season. The 6'4 SG, who hails from South Holland, Illinois, impressed coaches from across the country with his unbelievable shooting, especially in clutch situations. It appears that securing a lights out shooter has become a priority for the staff, along with securing at least 2 high level big men.
Scholarship Offers: At this point, Nixon only holds offers from Howard, Northern Illinois, and Montana State. This should all be changing though, because after his break out summer, Nixon now has the likes of Gonzaga, Southern Illinois, Drake, George Mason, Michigan, Fresno State, and Tennessee actively recruiting him.
Rankings: Rivals- 3 star ranking
Scout- 3 star ranking
Scouts Inc- No profile at this point
Teams: Nixon plays his high school ball for Seton Academy in South Holland, Illinois. He is coached by Ken Stevenson at Seton Academy.
Nixon plays his AAU ball for the Mac Irvin Fire.
Stats: At Seton Academy this past season, Nixon averaged 13.3 ppg to go along with 6 rebounds. Nixon shot 46% from the field, and 36% from behind the arc.
Strengths: The reason that Nixon has gone from a mid-level to a high-level recruit, is because of his incredible shooting ability. While he was certainly a good shooter this past high school season, he absolutely set the nets on fire this summer. What makes Nixon such a great shooter, is his ability to consistently his contested jump shots, and also being able to shoot coming off of curls and screens. Nixon gets great lift on his jumper and has a very quick release on jumper. His ability to constantly run off screens and use them well makes Nixon deadly in half-court sets. Perhaps his best performance this summer came at the Desert Dual Memorial, when Nixon hit 10-13 shots from behind the arc. Because of his great size and length, Nixon is also a very good defender. Nixon has mentioned in interviews, that he is a very willing defender, and has no problems matching up with the other teams scorer. This is important, as it is hard for a player to be a high-level recruit if he only has one specialty. By being a strong player on the defensive end, Nixon is able to contribute even during the rare game when his shot is not falling.
Room for Improvement: At this point, Nixon is strictly a shooter on the offensive end of the court. To excel at the next level, he must improve his ability to attack the rim. There have been numerous articles that mention that Nixon looks uncomfortable with the ball, and even afraid to attack off the dribble. To keep defenders honest at the DI level, Nixon must gain confidence and improve his ball-handling. It has been noted that Nixon has developed a better mid-range game over the summer, but is still very reluctant to go all the way to the rim with the dribble. Developing this part of his game is vital for Nixon's success on the offensive end at the next level. Even the ability to occasionally get to the rim will force defenders to back off him just the slighest amount, and with his quick release and good elevation, all he needs is a couple of inches to get his shot off.
Recruiting Forecast: Nixon is very difficult to get a feel for based on the interviews and articles that have come out. His recruitment has only really begun to take off over the past couple of weeks, and with many high-majors coming his way, it will be interesting to see how he handles his recruitment. However, it seems that the GU staff is very interested in Nixon, and has really turned their attention to landing an elite level shooter for the 09 class. We hope to have a better idea of where Nixon stands, as our correspondent is working to get an interview with Nixon and his coach. Nixon reminds me of current GU standout Steven Gray, with his good size and great shooting ability.