Posted On: 03/29/21 11:16 AM
The Road to Rupp comes to it’s conclusion this weekend. We’re down to 16 teams remaining and the tournament tips off on Wednesday morning. Here’s a quick rundown and prediction for all 4 games on Wednesday.
Knott County Central vs Elizabethtown:
The Basics: The Patriots won the 14th while Elizabethtown survived John Hardin to get their second straight region title. Knott has been playing their best basketball at the right time and they are Senior heavy.
Knott Players to Watch: Colby Napier Colby Napier 6'4" | SG Knott County Central | 2021 State KY and Josh McGuire Josh McGuire 6'6" | PF Knott County Central | 2021 State KY . Napier is a sniper who is shooting 42% from three coming into Rupp. He’s committed to Transylvania. McGuire is one of the best unsigned prospects left. He’s a bruising post player who is skilled around the hoop. He’s also their best rim protector.
Elizabethtown Players to Watch: JaQuais Franklin JaQuais Franklin 6'1" | PG Elizabethtown | 2021 State KY and Kam and Khia Sherard. Franklin is the player in this event who could make a Dominique Hawkins or Jake Ohmer type splash and leave with a couple of D1 offers. He’s the best unsigned Senior in the state and Knott will likely struggle to keep him from getting paint touches and creating offense for the Panthers. The Sherards combine for 27 points and 9 rebounds per game. E-Town has a lot of depth as 5 kids average double figures.
Bowling Green vs UHA:
The Basics: The Purples come into Rupp at 23-2 and one of the favorites to win it all, especially after all the upsets in the Region tournaments. Their two losses have come to teams in the Sweet 16. University Heights won 7 in a row to get to this point and steadily improved over the course of the season. These teams played in February and BG won 88-50.
Bowling Green Players to Watch: Isaiah Mason Isaiah Mason 6'4" | SF Bowling Green | 2021 State KY was named 4th region player of the year and a Mr Basketball finalist. Turner Buttry Turner Buttry 5'11" | PG Bowling Green | 2022 State KY is committed to Eastern Kentucky and was the state’s leading free throw shooter this year. They have a lot of depth with guys like Conner Cooper Conner Cooper 6'0" | CG Bowling Green | 2021 State KY , Jacobi Huddleston Jacobi Huddleston 6'8" | PF Bowling Green | 2021 State KY , Jaxson Banks, Willie Wilson, Jordan Dingle and Trace Flanary Trace Flanary 6'5" | SF Bowling Green | 2021 State KY all being rotation players.
UHA Players to Watch: Senior KJ Crump KJ Crump 5'8" | PG University Heights | 2021 State KY is a tough guard who has started at UHA for 5 years. DJ Quarles and Amani McGee are combining for 31 points per game every night out. The key for the Blazers to stay close is going to be rebounding. Freshman Gavin Grubbs Gavin Grubbs 6'1" | CG University Heights | 2024 State KY is a big guard who should be able to help some on the glass.
Madison Central vs Ballard:
The Basics: Madison Central is riding a wave of momentum after Coach Feldhaus put on a clinic in their 11th region tournament run. Meanwhile, Ballard has been one of the best teams in the state all season and is likely the betting favorite if you were going to handicap the Sweet 16.
Madison Central Players to Watch: Junior Jaylen Davis Jaylen Davis 6'5" | SF Madison Central | 2023 State KY has been on fire lately, especially from three. Senior Kole Browne Kole Browne 6'3" | CG Madison Central | 2021 State KY was one of the top players in the 11th this season and Will Hardin has been outstanding as the unsung hero for the Indians all year.
Ballard Players to Watch: Sophomore Gabe Sisk Gabe Sisk 6'4" | CG Ballard | 2023 State KY is one of the top 2023s in the state and has played like it this season. Keno Hayden has been playing his best basketball this season and Junior Maker Bar Maker Bar 6'9" | PF Ballard | 2022 State #183 Nation KY is the anchor in the middle for the Bruin offense and blocks or alters a lot of shots.
George Rogers Clark vs Oldham County:
The Basics: This should be the game of the day as both teams are super talented and well coached. GRC is 19-4 and has been one of the state’s top teams minus a couple hiccups in the middle when injuries took a toll. Oldham County is 14-4 but lived up to their billing as region favorites heading into the season.
George Rogers Clark Players to Watch: Junior Jerone Morton Jerone Morton 6'3" | CG George Rogers Clark | 2022 State KY is one of the top 2022s around and made the game winning layup to win the 10th. Senior Jared Wellman Jared Wellman 6'4" | SF George Rogers Clark | 2021 State KY is a sniper from deep and great rebounder as a wing. Juniors Aden Slone Aden Slone 5'9" | PG George Rogers Clark | 2022 State KY and Trent Edwards Trent Edwards 6'6" | PF George Rogers Clark | 2022 State KY have emerged this season and Trent’s rim protection has been a big part of the GRC run to Rupp.
Oldham County Players to Watch: A very veteran group, OC has several Seniors who contribute. Tyler Slone Tyler Slone 6'5" | SF Oldham County | 2021 State KY , Sam Campbell Sam Campbell 6'0" | PG Oldham County | 2021 State KY and Deaton Oak Deaton Oak 6'3" | SG Oldham County | 2021 State KY all average double figures while Xander Wagner-Rose Xander Wagner-Rose 6'7" | PF Oldham County | 2021 State KY is their low post presence and best rebounder. Juniors Sam Powell Sam Powell 6'7" | PF Oldham County | 2022 State KY and Hayden Burgess Hayden Burgess 6'10" | PF Oldham County | 2022 State KY provide size off the bench.
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