Updating the Race for 2018’s Mr. Basketball


Posted On: 01/1/18 7:09 PM

Now that we’re at roughly the halfway point of the 2017-2018 season, we can take some time and start thinking about the awards that get handed out in a few months. The biggest award around is Mr. Basketball. Way back in August I handicapped the field for the annual honor for Kentucky’s top player. Now we have a solid half a season of game results and statistics and the field has changed a good deal. Here’s my latest predictions which are sure to be wrong.

The Favorite: Adam Kunkel, Cooper – The Belmont signee has been fantastic all season and has played great in big games. Adam has played great in big time games against Trinity, Covington Catholic, Madison Central and Rocky River, NC. Kunkel was named to the All-Tournament team at the King of the Bluegrass and was named MVP of the Traditional Bank Classic. He’s currently averaging 22.6 points per game with 51/47/80 shooting splits and adding 7.7 rebounds per game.

Second Favorite: Mickey Pearson, John Hardin – The 6’7″ forward is bound for Saint Louis after graduation but has been busy putting up a monster senior season for the favorites to win the 5th region all winter. Mickey is averaging 27.8 points and 10.8 rebounds for the 12-2 Bulldogs. Pearson is posting impressive shooting splits of 56/43/72.

Still in the Mix: Andrew Taylor (Corbin) and Trevon Faulkner (Mercer County) – If Mr. Basketball were awarded to the player with the most impressive careers, it would go to either one of these two. Taylor has scored over 3,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds in his career and is averaging 27.6 points and 11.2 rebounds. Faulkner is scoring 27.6 points and snatching 7.5 rebounds per game. Neither seems to have much momentum these days as it seems like everyone on social media has gotten on the Kunkel bandwagon.

2018 Trinity Wing Jay Scrubb. Photo Courtesy of Courier-Journal

Dark Horse: Jayden Scrubb (Trinity) and Skyelar Potter (Warren Central): These two are probably the most exciting players in the senior class and most likely to win a dunk contest but not so sure about Mr. Basketball. Scrubb put on a show at the King of the Bluegrass 2 weeks ago and is probably the best player on what is likely the best team in the state. His numbers are the least impressive as an individual but is a dynamic player that college coaches salivate over. Potter has stats on par with Pearson, Taylor and Faulkner but none of the fanfare. And not many people outside of western Kentucky know about him. Skyelar definitely suffers from a geographical bias against Western Kentucky.

Should Get Votes But Won’t: DeTorrion Ware (Christian County) – Another victim of geography, Ware is putting up crazy numbers and winning games for a team that probably should get to Rupp Arena in March. Ware is averaging a remarkable 33.3 points per game and grabbing a team high 9.2 rebounds every night out. His shooting splits are impressive at 50/41/83. His name isn’t mentioned much but I’d like to see DeTorrion recognized as a finalist for the award.