Posted On: 10/3/18 1:47 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 Twelfth region where it is truly wide open after Southwestern surprisingly won it last year and several teams lost key pieces and leading scorers to graduation.
Top 5 Teams:
- Wayne County – This region is truly wide open and any number of teams could win it. Wayne gets the early nod as they appear to have the most coming back this year. Aubrey Weaver and Kameron Gehring are back for Wayne. Rodney Woods is back on the sidelines again for what seems like his 100th season so Wayne will be among the best teams in the region.
- Lincoln County – Another team that returns most of their team from a year ago, the Patriots return everyone but Chase Philips and have a group of sophomores and Juniors who should help get Coach Jackson back to the regional tournament after falling short a season ago. Freshman point guard Jaxson Smith should have a larger role this season for the Patriots.
- West Jessamine – West graduated a bunch of seniors but Dalton Bruner is going to be in contention for leading scorer in the 12th this year while DeAjuan Stepp is the best sophomore in the region. If Stepp can make the leap to being one of the best players in the region regardless of class, West can have a real chance to get to Rupp Arena in March.
- Danville – The Admirals return 3 of their top 4 scorers from last season. If Sophomore Dante Hayden can make the leap and Zach Thornton can get through football season without significant injuries, Danville can compete right from the beginning. Senior Deshaud St. Martin provides an inside presence than many in the 12th just don’t have this year.
- Mercer County – Carter Baughman and Kaelin Drakeford are back for the Titans but Trevon Faulkner has moved on to NKU and Ty Divine and Gunnar Gillis are no longer wearing the blue and red of Mercer. Carter and Kaelin will need some help from the less experienced members of the team. They are in a weaker district and should get to the regional without much issue.
Top 5 College Prospects:
- Brayden Sebastian – Great size for the position as a scoring wing. Sebastian is likely to lead the region in scoring all season and projects as a high D2 or low D1 scoring guard. The question will be if Brayden can guard his position at the next level. If he can’t get more athletic, his ceiling is much lower as a prospect.
- Riley Bodner – Based on potential, Bodner could be the best prospect in the region. He’s 6’8 and excels as a shot blocker. Riley isn’t a great athlete but has good defensive instincts. Last season Bodner had inconsistent playing time. If Riley gets the chance to play long stretches, he can be an impact player in the 12th if for no other reason than his size.
- DeAjaun Stepp – Stepp is long and growing both physically and as a player. He has potential to end up among West Jessamine’s all time leading scorers and rebounders as he has been starting varsity for 2 years and will only be a sophomore this year.
- DeShaud St Martin – St Martin has good size at 6’7 and can stretch the floor with his shooting ability. St Martin should average a double-double this year and land at the D2 or NAIA level. If he can show better athleticism and get in top condition, Deshaud could go the Junior College route and end up as a low D1 player in two years.
- Carter Baughman – A pure PG, Carter would be a D1 prospect if he were 4 inches taller. As is, Baughman has the ability to push the pace, knock down open shots and pressure the ball for 94 feet. Right now his recruiting is at the D3 and NAIA level but don’t be surprised to see him end up at the D2 level or as a D1 walk-on.