Top in-state talent playing in Joe B. Hall Classic

broberts@herald-leader.comJanuary 23, 2014 

Holmes guard James Bolden (3) has received scholarship offers from several Division I schools after a sophomore season in which he averaged 18.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.

  • Joe B. Hall Prep Classic

    Saturday at Montgomery County High School

    1:30 p.m. — No. 15 Henry Clay vs. No. 4 Hopkinsville

    3:15 p.m. — No. 23 Perry Co. Central vs. No. 20 Southwestern

    5 p.m. — Fleming Co. vs. No. 12 Knott Co. Central

    6:45 p.m. — No. 8 Holmes vs. No. 2 Louisville Trinity

    8:30 p.m. — No. 11 Montgomery Co. vs. No. 9 Wayne Co.

Several of the state's top high basketball prospects will play in the Joe B. Hall Prep Classic at Montgomery County High School on Saturday.

The five-game schedule includes nine of the state's Top 25 teams and at least seven players who will likely be playing Division I basketball in the future.

Here's a look at the top prospects in the event:

Jordan Green, Henry Clay (Class of 2014): The 6-foot-6 wing has reported offers from Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, East Tennessee State and others, though there hasn't been much news on his recruitment lately. In the Herald-Leader's pre-season poll of state coaches, Green was listed as the No. 8 overall player in Kentucky.

Justin Johnson, Perry County Central (2014): The 6-6 forward had a great showing over the summer with the Kentucky Travelers and is off to a hot start to his senior season — averaging 22.4 points and 19.0 rebounds. Johnson signed with Western Kentucky in November, picking the Hilltoppers over offers from BCS-level schools such as Providence, Boston College and Auburn.

James "Beetle" Bolden, Holmes (2015): The 5-11 point guard has picked up several solid offers since his breakout performance in last year's Sweet Sixteen. Bolden counts offers from Butler, Xavier, West Virginia, Purdue and Ohio University. He said earlier this month that he's expecting offers soon from Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Clemson, and that UK is staying in contact. Butler and Xavier are currently his two favorites.

Camron Justice, Knott County Central (2015): One of the most prolific scorers in the state, Justice verbally committed to Tennessee last fall. The 6-2 guard scored his 2,000th career point earlier this season and was ranked the No. 2 player in the state — behind Ballard senior Quentin Snider — in a pre-season poll of Kentucky coaches. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 119 overall prospect in the Class of 2015.

JaQualis Matlock, Hopkinsville (2015): The 6-5 forward already has an offer from Western Kentucky and covets one from Oklahoma State, which has been recruiting him pretty hard early on. Wisconsin and Murray State are among the other schools that have shown interest.

Ray Spalding, Louisville Trinity (2015): One of the state's most intriguing prospects, Spalding has offers from Vanderbilt, Butler, Xavier, Clemson, Western Kentucky and a handful of others. UK and Louisville have also expressed interest in his recruitment. The 6-9 forward is the No. 107 overall prospect in the 247Sports rankings for 2015.

Braxton Beverly, Perry County Central (2016): He's just a sophomore, but Beverly already has scholarship offers from Western Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, Samford, Cleveland State and Marshall. Tennessee and Alabama are among the BCS-level schools with early interest. The 5-10 guard played for the Travelers' EYBL team over the summer — the only 2016 recruit to do so — and eventually earned a starting spot. Beverly is averaging 20.7 points and 5.8 rebounds, and a double-digit assist outing is always a possibility when he's on the court.

Other players to watch: Trinity senior Tre Ivory, Wayne County junior Peyton Woods and Knott Central junior Evan Hall.

■ Herald-Leader high school writer Mike Fields will be covering the event. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeFieldsNotes.

Ben Roberts: (859) 231-3216. Twitter: @NextCats. Blog: ukrecruiting.bloginky.com.

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