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Posted On: 05/17/18 1:37 PM
Baylor Mattingly is looking to make a name for himself this spring and summer. So far, so good for the 6’2 shooter from Lincoln County. Mattingly first caught my eye last winter with his quick release on his shot and underrated playmaking ability. Baylor saw the floor in 13 varsity games for the Patriots last season and looks to play a larger role in his sophomore season. Lincoln County was one of the youngest teams in the state last season and took their fair share of beatings as they garnered experience that should help them compete for the wide open 12th region title this season. I recently caught up with Baylor to discuss his future on the court.
PHKY: Describe your game for people who may never have seen you play. What are your strengths? What do you need to improve?
BM:One of my biggest strengths is my shooting ability. I am a very good shooter and always give my best every possession on both ends of the court. I play shooting guard, small forward, and handle the ball some at point. My knowledge of the game shows in these positions on the court as I am a very smart basketball player and make the correct play with attention to detail, leading to very few turnovers. I lead my team by example as I am a very unselfish player and always looking for ways to help my team get the win instead of improving my stat sheet. To improve my game at the next level, I need to become stronger. I am working with my high school strength coach and am lifting five days a week to become stronger. I have already seen improvements in my game during this AAU season by improving my strength as I am able to get a lot more rebounds and steals.
PHKY: Reflect on your high school season. Were you happy with your individual performance? Were you happy with your team results?
BM: I was very happy with the high school season. I started freshman and JV and played in 13 varsity games. At the beginning of the season, many of our upperclassmen were out with injuries. I began the season in the rotation and this allowed me to gain experience while our players recovered from their injuries. I stepped up into my role and provided valuable minutes for our team. Even as a freshman, my team trusted my shooting ability in the varsity games, a responsibility I did not take lightly. As for our team result, I believed our team would win districts because we had beat Danville twice and only lost to Boyle by two points. So, I was disappointed when we lost to Danville and did not go to regionals. Our team is using this loss as fuel for next season.
PHKY: Who are you playing AAU with? What are your expectations for your AAU season both as an individual and as a team?
BM: I am playing AAU with Kentucky Ambition, an Adidas Gauntlet team. KY Ambition has allowed me to play high level competition and continually improve my game. So far, I have averaged 14 ppg, and have a game high of 23 pts with 7 three pointers. I also have contributed to our team with at least 4 rebounds and 3 assists a game. Our team is fairly new, but almost all of our losses in the Adidas Gauntlet series have been ten points or less. We are seeing improvements in our game as we are learning to play to each person’s strengths. We recently got runner-up in the 9th grade AAU KY State tournament. My expectations for the rest of the season are to show more of my mid-range game like I did in the high school season. My goal for our team is to win one of our tournaments.
PHKY: What schools are recruiting you? Any offers? If you have offers, do you have a leader right now?
BM: I am keeping my options open for my college choice right now. I have been invited to some camps this summer and I am looking for a school where I will fit both academically and athletically. I am always working to improve my basketball game and I also dedicate time to my studies. I recently took the PSAT 8/9 which is a standardized test like the ACT and SAT and I scored in the 89th percentile. I already have a qualifying score on the ACT to play college ball and I am taking AP and honors courses.
PHKY: What can you take away from your AAU season and apply to your next high school season?
BM: Coach Anthony, my AAU coach, has taught me that if you do the little things right, you will always have a chance. Basketball is more than one possession and more than one player, that’s why it is so important to never take a possession off, pay attention to detail, and work together as a team. Playing with KY Ambition has given me more confidence as I have been able to achieve success on a high level. Coach Anthony is really pleased with my ability to shoot and is working with me to expand my game. He has been working with me on being stronger with the ball. We have worked on creating my shot off the dribble and finishing in traffic. He has also improved my defense. All of these things apply to my high school season so that I am a better ball handler, defensive player, rebounder, and all around better basketball player to contribute to my team.
PHKY: What are your goals for your next high school season?
BM: Every year, the goal is to win the Region and get to the state tournament according to Coach Jackson, my high school coach. I worry about the win for our team, not individual stats, but if I had to say an individual goal for the season, it is to be in the finishing 5. As a team, we play a fast-paced game with a lot of movement up and down the court and pressing. We will probably have 7 upperclassmen next year and Coach plays a rotation of 9 guys. I am currently in this rotation of 9, and my goal is to be in the finishing 5 at the end of the game. I want to be one of the five guys that Coach trusts to be on the floor in the last few minutes when the game is on the line. Our leading scorer graduated last year, and I hope to fill some of that scoring. I also want to provide energy to our team and be a leader and reliable player that Coach can count on every night.
Baylor combines with Freshman Jaxon Smith, Juniors Riley Bodner and Elijah Frye and Seniors Blake Smith, Bryson Yaden and Darius Napier to form a really good core for Coach Jeff Jackson and the Patriots. Mattingly has potential to be more than just a shooter in the 12th region. With his length and positional versatility, Baylor could surprise some folks in the region and start trying to make a name for himself outside of Stanford, Kentucky.