Posted On: 09/26/18 4:07 PM

Continuing with some very early 2018-19 regular season previews, we are breaking down the top 5 teams and top 5 college prospects in each region. We move to the seventh region today where Trinity returns several pieces from last year’s regional champs and still have the best player in the region.

Top 5 Teams:

  1. Trinity – Yes they lost Jay Scrubb and Justin Powell from the regional championship team last season but David Johnson is the best player in the city by a large margin and the supporting cast at Trinity is full of players who would be the best player on most teams in the state. Until someone knocks them off, look for the Rocks to reign yet again.
  2. Ballard – Trinity’s perennial rival, Ballard will be athletic enough to compete with anyone and Chris Renner has a habit of knocking off Trinity when it matters most. The Bruins are going to be a little on the young side and Trinity transfer Walter Johnson will have to run the point for them but look for Ballard to have another strong season and eventually have to beat Trinity to get to Rupp.
  3. Waggener – With JJ Kalakon and Dallas Rufus the Wildcats have a lot of talent and athleticism but they consistently come up short when it matters most, including being upset in the district semifinals last season. Talent wise, Waggener can compete with anyone. Hopefully they can prove themselves early and often against a tough schedule.
  4. Male – Coach Tim Haworth has a talented Junior class and brings a big time coaching pedigree with him to the Derby city. If Haworth can develop his bench and implement the hectic style he loves to play, Male could be the surprise pick to come out of the 7th region.
  5. Eastern – After an unusually terrible season last year, Eastern returns several nice players and should bounce back fairly well. Seniors Jacob Robinson and Ethan Coury are both small college prospects. The supporting cast will be predominantly young but if they can grow up quick, the Eagles should be back at the regional tournament at worst.

Top 5 College Prospects:

  1. David Johnson – A no brainer, David is a national top 100 recruit who committed to Louisville last weekend. David has all the tools to play in the NBA in the future and should have another tremendous season leading Trinity.
  2. JJ Kalakon – JJ is a long combo guard with extremely high basketball IQ. Improving as a shooter, Kalakon is a stat sheet stuffer who should play at the D1 level next year. Morehead State, Robert Morris and SEMO have all been involved with his recruitment.
  3. Howard Fleming – Howard could have a breakout season as a Junior. He’s long, athletic, skilled and smart and reminds me of a young D’Angelo Russell physically. This season could be make or break for Fleming as a college prospect. Hopefully he can stay healthy and start to reach his potential.
  4. Rashad Bishop – Bishop’s future could be on the football field as he is a big time wide receiver for Ballard but he has the physical tools to be an athletic 3/4 in basketball as well. Rashad rebounds at a high rate and plays above the rim on offense. Look for he and Alex Holley to make a formidable duo for the Bruins this season.
  5. James Taylor – James is the second ranked point guard in the 2020 class and has a high IQ. Taylor is at his best running a team and projects to be a good D2/low D1 point guard for a program looking for a floor general. If he can become a more consistent perimeter shooter, James could move his way up to a mid major or better prospect.