Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Muskies get JUCO power forward

6-foot-7 Nixon expected to add bench depth

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Xavier's recruiting class is complete. The Musketeers got an oral commitment Sunday from Khahil Nixon, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound power forward from the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif.

        Nixon, who played high school ball in Brooklyn, N.Y., made an official recruiting visit over the weekend. His coach, George Tarkanian, said Monday night that Nixon told Musketeer coaches he will attend XU.

        He does not need to sign a letter of intent because the spring signing period has ended. Tarkanian said Nixon has to take two summer classes to graduate from Sequoias, but that's not expected to be a problem. He will have two years of eligibility at Xavier.

        Nixon averaged 16 points and 9.8 rebounds during the regular season and 22 points and 15 rebounds in six Cali fornia junior college playoff games. He could assume a role similar to that of Aaron Turner, whose scholarship was not renewed, with his defense and rebounding.

        Tarkanian said Nixon also visited Texas A&M and Fairleigh Dickinson. Providence had also shown interest.

        “His biggest asset is going to be his defense,” said Tarkanian, son of Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian. “He's going to get down and guard people. We press 94 feet and we forced over 30 turnovers a game. Khalil was very instrumental in that.”

        Nixon guarded opponents at every position, and is better offensively with his back to the basket. He's more of a power player.

        Russ Blake of JUCO Junction Web site said he saw Nixon once and expects he will be a role player at Xavier.

        “Realistically I think he'll give them some depth,” Blake said. “But I wouldn't expect him to contend for a starting spot. He's a guy who can come in and give them some minutes.”

        That's what Xavier is looking for.

        David West, who will be a sophomore, and junior-to-be Kevin Frey are the likely frontline starters for the Musketeers. The coaching staff has been seeking help at center and power forward.

        Nixon joins Anthony Coleman (6-10, Compton, Calif.) in the spring recruiting class.

        Other newcomers will be guards Lionel Chalmers and David Young, who were ineligible to compete last season but attended XU, and wing Romain Sato (Dayton Christian), who signed last November.


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