Biggest Surprises of the 2017-18 Regular Season

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Kentucky

Posted On: 02/7/18 3:12 PM

The end of the regular season is a week and a half away. The season has flown by and it’s hard to believe we’re already at the tail end of the year and talking about Rupp Arena in a month. As the regular season winds down, it’s time to take inventory of the surprises of the year up to this point. Whether it be individual performances, team successes or disappointments, there are more than a few things that have caught my eye this year.

Fairdale being really good. Senior Markelo Sullivan seemingly came from out of nowhere to be one of the best scorers in Louisville. Junior Glenn Queen is growing up and looking like a college basketball player. The Bulldogs are in the midst of a 9 game winning streak right now and won 2 games in the King of the Bluegrass earlier this season. Coach Hicks should be the front-runner for Coach of the Year in the 6th region.

Butler being the team to beat in the 6th Region. Coach Goodin’s team looked really good in the preseason when I saw them. I didn’t expect them to be 22-2 and ranked in the Top 5 in the state. Unfortunately, their showdown with Fern Creek was snowed out and not rescheduled. Their loss to DeSales appears to be an outlier. Butler is in the driver’s seat to get to Rupp from the 6th region but it’s one of the most competitive regions in the state and they’ll have their work cut out for them.

Everyone scored their 1,000th career point this season. It seems like every night we get on the PHKY twitter, there is another kid being celebrated for scoring his 1,000th career point. The 2018 and 2019 classes are full of young men who are hyper talented scorers and have been playing varsity since they were 8th graders in many cases. Several players have crossed the 2,000 and even 3,000 career point marks this season too. Very impressive year for scoring in the Commonwealth.

A truly wide open Mr. Basketball race. If you asked 10 people who deserves Mr. Basketball, you may get 10 different responses. The winner may come down to which coach does the most to promote their players as we ramp up to voting time. Whether it’s Scrubb, Kunkel, Faulkner, Pearson, Fredrick or someone else, the voting is going to be interesting and I would love to see the actual vote totals and which parts of the state voted for which players.

The 2020 Class starting to make their presence felt. All across the state, sophomores are making their names known. Whether it’s the duo of White and Casey in Madisonville, Justin Powell running the point at Trinity, Ray Surratt nearly averaging a double double or Marques Warrick scoring in bunches at Henry Clay, the much maligned 2020 class is starting to make an impact all over Kentucky and more names will surely emerge as the AAU season is upon us.

Impressive 40+ point performances. Senior DeTorrion Ware has put up 40 or more points multiple times. Junior Dontaie Allen seems to do it almost every week. UHA’s KyKy Tandy has done it more than once. Caverna’s Jobby Howard  went for more than 60 earlier this year. Zion Harmon is always going to get his numbers. Wolfe’s Deven Stone has a 50 point game to his credit. All across the state, we have seen some impressive scoring numbers and while I predicted a rise in scoring this year I didn’t think there would be so many impressive individual performances.

Scott County’s domination. The Cardinals are 24-1, undefeated against in state competition and generally rolling all season long. The most impressive thing may be that in their 24 wins, only 5 win margins have even been in the single digits. Granted, they have not played Trinity, Fern Creek, Covington Catholic or any of the other state title contenders but the way they are demolishing their foes night in and night out is impressive.

A ridiculous amount of really good unsigned seniors. While most of the top 10 seniors signed with D1 schools in the fall, there are still so many kids left to sign in the next couple of months. Whether it be Curt Lewis, Stephon Franklin, JJ Reed, Darius Harding, DeTorrion Ware, Jay Scrubb, Eric Boone, Brennan Hall or any of the other top unsigned players in the 2018 class, there are a lot of kids with big decisions to make in the next 2-3 months.