Indiana stars stocked, but Kentucky boys not conceding just yet

mfields@herald-leader.comJune 12, 2014 

  • Kentucky roster

    Name school height college

    Quentin Snider Ballard 6-1 Louisville

    Christen Cunningham Cordia 6-1 undecided

    Jackson Davis Lafayette 6-8 Butler

    Jordan Green Henry Clay 6-5 Western

    Christian Hudson Hazard 6-7 Miami (O.)

    Justin Johnson Perry Co. Cent 6-7 Western

    Kelen Martin Ballard 6-6 Butler

    Chris Porter-Bunton Warren Central 6-4 Austin Peay

    Nick Ruthsatz Covington Cath.5-9 Findlay

    Keon Williams John Hardin 6-4 undecided

    Head Coach: Chris O'Hearn (Mason County)

    Assistant coaches: James Haire (Elizabethtown), Brad Cox (Mason County)

    Indiana roster

    Name school height college

    Trey Lyles Indianapolis Tech 6-10 Kentucky

    J. Blackmon Jr. Marion 6-3 Indiana

    Grant Evans Wapahani 6-3 Wright State

    Tayler Persons Kokomo 6-2 N. Kentucky

    D.J. McCall FW Concordia 6-5 IUPUI

    P.J. Thompson Brebeuf Jesuit 5-11 Purdue

    Bryant McIntosh Greensburg 6-4 Northwestern

    Jeremie Tyler Indianapolis Tech 6-3 Ball State

    Zach McRoberts Carmel 6-6 Vermont

    Mack Mercer Plymouth 6-9 Belmont

    Trevon Bluiett Park Tudor 6-6 Xavier

    Sean Sellers Greensburg 6-6 Ball State

    Tyler Wideman Lake Central 6-8 Butler

    Head coach: David Benter, Brownstown Central

    Assistant coaches: James Blackmon Sr., Marion; Clint Swan, Crown Point

The Kentucky-Indiana boys' all-star basketball series has long been billed as a "classic" rivalry.

"Collosal mismatch" would be more truthful advertising considering how the Hoosiers have dominated the hoops competition since 1999.

They've swept Kentucky 12 times in the last 15 years, and have won 27 of 30 games, including 10 in a row.

Indiana is favored to keep its winning streak alive when it plays the Bluegrass boys Friday night at Transylvania's Beck Center and Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

But Kentucky all-star Jackson Davis of Lafayette isn't about to concede to the Hoosiers.

"We know we're the underdogs, but we're working as hard as we can to be the better team on that given night," Davis said. "Indiana will definitely underestimate us and that'll play a little in our favor. We're way better than people think we are.

"I'm 100 percent confident we can win."

[Read about the Kentucky girls' upcoming game against Indiana all-stars]

Indiana, as usual, is stocked with major college talent. Even if Trey Lyles, Mr. Basketball and a University of Kentucky signee, is unable to play because of illness, the Hoosiers have plenty of firepower, including Trevon Bluiett (Xavier) and James Blackmon Jr. (IU).

Kentucky, on the other hand, has been shorthanded all week. Quentin Snider of Ballard, Mr. Basketball, hasn't been in town since last Sunday. He's been taking classes at U of L, and was reportedly nursing a bad ankle.

Snider has been cleared to play Friday night, but he isn't expected to get to Lexington until just before game time.

Jordan Green of Henry Clay and Justin Johnson of Perry County Central, both WKU signees, were in Bowling Green for summer classes and workouts the first three days this week. They arrived in Lexington on Wednesday night feeling leg-weary.

Tra Edwards of Hopkinsville and Chris McCraw of Louisville Western didn't show up at all.

With just seven all-stars to work with most of the week, Coach Chris O'Hearn said he was "very pleased with their effort and attitude. They know they have to buy in and be a team to even be able to compete" with Indiana.

Kentucky's starting lineup Friday night will probably be the same one O'Hearn went with in two scrimmages against the junior all-stars: Christen Cunningham of Cordia at the point, Keon Williams of John Hardin, Chris Porter-Bunton of Warren Central, Kelan Martin of Ballard, and Davis.

Snider and Nick Ruthsatz of state champion Covington Catholic will be back-court backups. Christian Hudson of Hazard, Green and Johnson will be in the mix.

Despite all the problems Kentucky has had in getting ready for Indiana, Johnson has reason for hope. He remembers how last year the Kentucky junior all-stars took Indiana into overtime before falling.

"So I think we've got a shot," Johnson said.

Kentucky-Indiana All-Stars

Friday: at Transylvania's Beck Center

Girls' game at 5:30 p.m.; boys' game at 8 (televised by CWKYT)

Tickets: $20 and $30 at www.kyallstars.net

Saturday: at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis

Girls' game at 5 p.m.; boys' game at 7.

Tickets: $10 and $25.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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