Juniors with the Most to Prove


Posted On: 09/14/18 11:52 AM

Heading into their Junior seasons, there are some highly ranked 2020 prospects who need to prove one thing or another this season. As we start to look at the high school season ahead, here are some things that we’re looking for out of the Junior class.

  • McCracken County’s Jackson Sivills had a monster AAU season and has added more offers than the rest of the class has combined. Heading into the high school year, Sivills is going to have to deal with being the main offensive option for the Mustangs for the first time. Cameron Cartwright and Nathan Stonecipher combined for about 30 points per game and they’re gone this year. This summer, McCracken struggled to score outside of Sivills and sophomore Noah Dumas. For McCracken to get back to Rupp, Sivills is going to have to prove he can shoulder the majority of the scoring load.
  • Madisonville-North Hopkins Center Ksuan Casey needs to show that he can play with pace. The Maroons have the personnel to play as fast as Hopkinsville or Christian County but Ksuan can’t go that pace for long. Casey is super skilled and has a high basketball IQ but has struggled to play consistently or very long with the type of pace seen in the second region. Madisonville should be a contender to win the second but they need their star center on the floor and dominating in the post.
  • Bardstown’s JJ Traynor has to prove that his potential is turning into production. Looking at raw ability and physical traits, JJ could be the best college prospect in the class. But Traynor only averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds as a sophomore last year. As long and athletic as JJ is at 6’8, he should average a double-double this season and more than double his averages from a season ago.
  • Two of the most talented Juniors in the state, Amari Taylor and Howard Fleming both have to show they can stay healthy. Amari missed most of his sophomore season at Tates Creek with a broken wrist and Howard missed most of the AAU season with a shoulder injury. Both are highly talented kids with bright futures. They just need a strong, healthy Junior campaign to show everyone that they are pack to their peak performance.
  • John Hardin’s Alex Matthews and Trevon Harris need to show everyone that there is life at John Hardin after Mickey Pearson and Malik Wright. Matthews averaged a double-double last season in a strong sophomore season but now Pearson and Wright have graduated and Alex and Trevon need to prove they can step up and fill the void left by graduation.
  • Lincoln County’s Junior big man Riley Bodner has to show he can be an impact player in the 12th region. Bodner started nearly every game last season but he would quickly find his way to the bench and stay there for long stretches. There aren’t many true post players in the 12th and even fewer 6’8 kids. If Bodner has improved enough, he could be the reason Lincoln County makes a push back towards the top of the 12th region.
  • Mercer County has a D1 sized hole on their roster after Trevon Faulkner finished his career as a 5 year starter and is now at NKU. Enter Kaelin Drakeford. Up to this point, Kaelin has been a really good role player for the Titans but this should be his time to step up and become a top player in the region. The 6’4 wing should have plenty of opportunity to show he has what it takes to be one of the best players in the region.
  • Two Junior big men have plenty to prove after big summers. Lincoln Bush enrolled at Clark County after recently being ranked as a top 12 player in the state by Rick Bolus. Bush was primarily a JV player at Frederick Douglass last season and should have a chance to start at Clark County this year. Bush’s AAU teammate Joe Meador of Franklin County only saw the floor in one varsity game last season. Meador is crazy long and athletic and was named an all-star at the Bolus camp this summer. The time has come for Bush and Meador to show they can compete and start to climb the 2020 rankings.