Posted On: 05/23/18 9:52 AM
Princeton, Kentucky is a small town with a recent history of cranking out D1 players. Eli Pepper is entering his senior season at Lipscomb, Elijah Sindelar is the starting quarterback at Purdue and is on the radar of NFL teams for next year’s draft. Current Caldwell County Tiger Derrin Boyd is sneaking onto the radar of college coaches. Next up could be rising sophomore Tripp Branch. Branch saw game action in 16 games for Coach Daniel Kukahiko last season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game while shooting 42% from the floor. Caldwell is a team on the rise in the second region and Branch looks to break out in his sophomore season for the Tigers. Here’s a recent interview with the young guard where he discussed his basketball future and goals for his sophomore season.
PHKY: Describe your game for people who may never have seen you play. What are your strengths? What do you need to improve?
TB: I’m a point guard/shooting guard at Caldwell Co. My strengths are being a plus shooter with a high basketball IQ. Good ball handling ability and strong finishing ability around the basket. Areas of improvement are getting stronger physically for the upcoming season.
PHKY: Reflect on your high school season. Were you happy with your individual performance? Were you happy with your team results?
TB: Yes, we had a successful freshmen season. Participated in 17 Varsity games (I missed 5-6 games due to ankle injury). Played more and more as season went by, and by end of the season I was playing as 6th man and playing entire games. I finished the season playing in first district tournament game and scored 17 points going 4/4 from 3 point line. Our season ended in a tough loss by 1 point in district semifinals.
PHKY: Who are you playing AAU with? How is your season going so far?
TB: I am playing with SI Select basketball, our team is currently 8-1 in our 15U tournament games, winning the Reebok Spring Showcase in St. Louis in April. We have also participated playing up in several 16U games and have several wins and a couple of close losses. I have contributed by producing a solid stat line, averaging 10 points/game, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game.
PHKY: What schools are recruiting you? Any offers? If you have offers, do you have a leader right now?
TB: I recently started doing recruiting through NCSA and have around 36 schools who have expressed interest. Schools range from D-1, D-2, D-3, NAIA, and JUCO schools. No current offers at this time.
PHKY: What can you take from your AAU season and apply to your next high school season?
TB: Playing with different teammates with different areas of strengths will make me a much more complete, diverse, and experienced player. I will be much more prepared for next years high school season after playing the AAU circuit this summer. Playing against all types of competition will strengthen me as a player and build leadership qualities for Caldwell Co. next season.
PHKY: What are your goals for your next high school season?
TB: My goals next season are to make immediate impact for my team. Not only as a scorer, but with rebounding, passing, and making plays on the defensive end of the court. Want to become a leader on the floor for my team and coaches.
Tripp Branch has a high ceiling as a basketball player in the 2nd region and could be the next in a line of Caldwell County players to make it to the college level. If Branch can continue to develop his game as his body grows and matures, he can be an impact player in western Kentucky over the next 3 years.