Posted On: 02/25/18 9:44 PM
We are only 2 and a half weeks from the start of the KHSAA Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena. Half the schools in Kentucky have been eliminated from the postseason and by Thursday night, that number will dip to 64 teams remaining. The games get started on Tuesday night in the 6th and 7th regions before the rest of the state starts regional play on Wednesday night. We’re going to take a look at the 8 top players remaining in each region and take a shot at power ranking the remaining teams. The 7th region starts play on Tuesday night with the 4 district champions hosting district runner-up teams. Here’s a breakdown of the 7th region tournament and top individual players still playing.
Elite 8 Players (in no order):
David Johnson, SG/PG Trinity – One of the elite players in the state, Johnson is ranked in all of the national rankings in the 2019 class. He has elite size for the position and high major athleticism. Johnson already holds several offers from elite Power 5 schools.
Jay Scrubb, Wing Trinity – Another big time athlete, Scrubb is the 2 time reigning player of the year for the 7th region. Jay is about 6’6″ and lives above the rim. Electric in transition, Scrubb averages 18 points and 7 rebounds per game for one of the top teams in Kentucky. Scrubb holds multiple D1 offers but is likely needing to go the Junior College route.
Justin Powell, PG/SG Trinity – The consensus top sophomore in the state, Powell is a great playmaker and passer. Shooting an impressive 51% from 3 on the year, Powell cannot be left open. While Johnson and Scrubb get all the pub, Powell may be the most valuable piece to the Trinity puzzle. Powell has a handful of high major D1 offers already.
Marshon Ford, PG Ballard- Ford leads the Bruins in scoring and is second on the team in rebounding. Ballard has most of their success by overwhelming their foes with pressure and depth but Ford is their best individual player.
Pierce Kiesler, St. Xavier – Averaging 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Tigers, the 6’7″ Kiesler is the key cog to the St. X Machine. Kiesler shot 61% from the field for the season and an impressive 44% from 3. Pierce holds multiple D2 offers.
Carl Parker, Seneca – The senior post player is an impact player for the Hawks as they knocked off Waggener in the district semifinal. Parker is averaging nearly 17 points per game and 11 rebounds to lead his team in both categories. Parker could be a steal for some D2 school looking for a post.
Howard Fleming, Male – Only a sophomore, Fleming is a dynamic wing scorer who is versatile with the ball in his hands. Howard, like most of his teammates, is at his best in the open floor. If Male can spring the massive update over Ballard on Tuesday night, Fleming will be a big reason why.
Jacob Robinson, Eastern – It’s a very tall task for Eastern to beat Trinity on Tuesday night. In order for that to happen, Eastern needs a huge game from their best player. These teams haven’t played this season but Robinson needs to be able to knock down shots early and often.
1. Trinity – To put it bluntly, anything less than a regional title will be a second straight season ending in disappointment.
2. Ballard – And anything other than a Trinity vs Ballard championship game will be a surprise.
3. St.Xavier – St. X was consistently the 4th best team in the 7th all season. With Waggener getting upset in the district, they move up a spot.
4. Seneca- The Redhawks have already beaten Central once and appear prepared to do it again.
5. Central – Coach Bibby’s teams always peak at tournament time. The winner of Seneca/Central will have a puncher’s chance to knock off Ballard.
6. DuPont Manual – Manual has several nice players but no true star and often shoot themselves in the foot with sloppy turnovers.
7. Male – Male is a year away from being a serious contender to get to Rupp Arena.
8. Eastern – Don’t see this as a knock on the Eagles. It’s more of an endorsement of Trinity and how they should dominate Eastern on Tuesday night.