Madisonville star and University of Kentucky signee Jon Hood is averaging 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.6 blocks. For a guy who was an overwhelming pre-season choice as the No. 1 player in the state, those are Mr. Basketball-worthy numbers.
Don't hold it against the 6-foot-7 senior if his team isn't very good.
With a month left in the regular season, Madisonville will have to rally to finish with a .500 record. First-year coach Marty Cline's Maroons are 6-10 even though they haven't played anybody in Dave Cantrall's top 15.
If Hood is voted Mr. Basketball, he will be one of the few players to win the award despite playing for an ordinary team.
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Of Kentucky's 54 Mr. Basketball honorees, only three didn't win at least 20 games as a senior: Steffphon Pettigrew of Elizabethtown in 2007, Dom Fucci of Tates Creek in 1975 and Randy Embry of Owensboro in 1961.
Only nine Mr. Basketball winners never played in the Sweet Sixteen, and Hood could be the 10th man on that list unless Madisonville pulls a surprise and takes the 2nd Region title.
Darius Miller had a storybook ending to his high school career last year. He led Mason County to the state championship and was voted Mr. Basketball. Miller was the 24th Mr. Basketball to be part of a Sweet Sixteen title team, the 13th to cap his senior year on that high.
■ Eastern was rated behind Jeffersontown, Ballard, Manual and Male in the 7th Region in the pre-season, but Jason Couch's Eagles are flying above them all after winning the Louisville Invitational Tournament. Eastern ran its record to 18-1 by holding off Ballard 62-59 in the finals. It was the second time it has beaten the Bruins this season. Chris Dowe, who had 16 points in the title game for the Eagles, won MVP honors. Eastern also won the LIT in 2006 and 2003.
■ Clark County will be without Corey Rogers for at least another week. The burly 6-4 sophomore center suffered a broken nose in the opening minutes against Lexington Christian last week. He will visit the doctor Friday to get an update on the injury. Besides that, Rogers underwent surgery on Wednesday to have a cyst removed from his abdomen, and will need a week to recover.
"We really miss having him in there," Cardinals Coach Scott Humphrey said. "He's averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and is our best defensive player."
■ Third-ranked Holmes (16-1) puts its 15-game win streak on the line against Largo, Maryland's defending 3A champ, in the Bill Keightley Hoopfest at South Laurel Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Another interesting matchup has South Laurel going against No. 18 Warren Central at 5. Those schools met in the Sweet Sixteen finals in 2005, with South Laurel winning the title.
■ Scott County plays host to the Toyota Classic semifinals Friday night and finals Saturday night. If you want to follow the tournament action on the Internet, go to www.toyotaclassic.com.
■ The future looks bright for Marion County's remarkably young girls' basketball team. But the Lady Knights are shining in the present, too. Marion County, 14-2 and No. 22 in the state, is led by two eighth-graders with hoops bloodlines — Makayla Epps (14 ppg), daughter of former UK point guard Anthony Epps, and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (10 ppg), daughter of former Hart County star and 1992 Mr. Basketball Tick Rogers. Freshman Breanna Edelen (13 ppg) has plenty of game, too. Coach Trent Milby said Makayla, who's 5-7, plays a lot like her dad. "The same mannerisms, and she looks to pass first. But she's also a scorer. She can get you 20 points or 10 assists, depending on her mood." The 6-foot Goodin-Rogers isn't the points machine that her dad was, but Milby said she's a good shooter and shot-blocker. The Lady Knights play a tough schedule. In the coming weeks they'll face No. 1 North Hardin, No. 2 Mercy, No. 7 Elizabethtown, No. 9 Sacred Heart and have a rematch with No. 10 Nelson County, a team they beat last week.
■ Nelson County junior Samantha Drake, who has committed to UK, had 42 points and 19 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as North Hardin beat the Lady Cards. Jennifer Smiley had 30 points, six assists and five rebounds for North Hardin.
■ Rose Hill's boys dug themselves out of an 18-point hole in the second half to stun Bath County 74-64 in the semifinals of the All "A" 16th Region tournament. Mike Terry had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Corey Gregg had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Bath County was led by Zak Metz's 36 points. Rose Hill plays No. 1 Elliott County in Friday's finals.
■ Bardstown, led by T.J. Downs' 4-for-4 long-range shooting, hit nine of 10 three-pointers in a rout of Green County in the All "A" 5th Region tournament.
■ Somerset's run of eight consecutive All "A" 12th Region boys' titles is over. Danville, led by Jacody Taylor's 19 points, beat the Briar Jumpers 65-46. Danville plays host Burgin in Friday's finals.
■ Dakotah Euton and Chad Jackson, who transferred from Rose Hill to Scott County, aren't the only 16th Region emigrants thriving in a new location. Cameron Hall, a sophomore standout at Fairview last season, moved to Glasgow when his dad Jeff became the Scotties coach. Cameron is now one of the best players in the 4th Region, averaging 24 points, four assists and four rebounds for Glasgow. Jeff Hall, an all-stater at Fairview and a player on Louisville's 1986 NCAA title team, previously coached at Ashland Blazer and Rose Hill. Warren Central Coach Tim Riley told the Bowling Green Daily News that he "hated to hear" that Jeff Hall was taking the Glasgow job "more because of (Cameron) than his dad. A great player scares me more than a great coach does."
■ West Carter girls' coach Von Perry has announced she'll step down after the season because of health issues.
■ Former Jackson County and UK star Sarah Elliott is an assistant coach at Pendleton County, where her mother Janet is head coach.
■ Lexington Catholic grad Briana Green, a freshman at Texas-El Paso, was Conference USA's rookie of the week. She had 18 points, all in the second half, in UTEP's win at Tulane. She had 16 of the Miners' last 18 points, including 4-for-4 on threes.
■ Kentucky's high school baseball tournament will have a true Sweet Sixteen format in 2010. Since 2003, eight semi-state winners have come to Applebee's Park in Lexington for the last three rounds of the tournament, and that's the way it will be again this June. But starting in 2010, the semi-states will be eliminated, and the 16 region winners will advance to Applebee's for a full week of competition to determine the state champion. Julian Tackett of the KHSAA unveiled the plan at the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association convention in Louisville last weekend.
The expanded tournament will have four first-round games on Monday and four more on Tuesday, followed by the quarterfinals on Wednesday and Thursday, the semifinals on Friday and the finals on Saturday. Pitching rules, which limit the innings a pitcher can work, would be the same for all teams in the first and second rounds regardless of what days they play, so no teams would have a pitching advantage.
Alan Stein, president and CEO of the Lexington Legends whose home is Applebee's Park, has been a booster of the 16-team format for years. "I've always thought it made a lot of sense, a no-brainer," he said. "It allows a lot more kids to experience the state tournament; it means more motel rooms being filled in Lexington; the KHSAA makes more money; it's beneficial to our company, and long-term, it's good for baseball in the state of Kentucky."
■ Paul Rains of Lexington Christian guided Kentucky to a 26-20 victory over Tennessee in the National Guard Border Bowl all-star football game at the University of the Cumberlands last Saturday. Highlands QB Tony Guidugli threw for 113 yards and a TD, and ran for 35 yards and a TD. Hunter Adams of Middlesboro had two catches for 43 yards and a TD. DeRon Hicks of Franklin County returned a punt 65 yards for a score. Bryan Station's Roy Philon led the defense with eight tackles and a sack.
■ Franklin-Simpson star QB/DB Courtney Dalcourt has committed to Western Kentucky, picking the Hilltoppers over UK, Georgia Tech and Central Michigan. The 5-11, 195-pounder passed for 1,947 yards and 22 TDs, and ran for 1,154 yards and 14 TDs this season. He finished his career with 7,432 yards and 74 TDs passing and rushing. One factor that helped sway Dalcourt to the Toppers was a promise that he'll get a chance to play QB.
■ Fort Campbell defensive back Raquan Durrante, a key member of the Falcons' back-to-back state title teams, has committed to Murray State. His brother, Dexter Durrante, who starred on the Falcons' 2007 championship team, is already at Murray.
■ Trinity's Jordan Whiting, who has committed to Ohio State, is the only Kentuckian on Parade magazine's All-American high school football team. Whiting is one of eight linebackers on the squad. Seven quarterbacks are on the list, but UK recruit Morgan Newton of Carmel, Ind., isn't among them.
Kentucky's Mr. Basketball
Year Player, school Team record
2008 Darius Miller, Mason Co. x-34-4
2007 Steffphon Pettigrew, E-town 17-11
2006 Walt Allen, South Laurel z-28-6
2005 Domonic Tilford, Jeffersontown 29-5
2004 Chris Lofton, Mason Co. y-33-3
2003 Ross Neltner, Highlands 27-3
2002 Brandon Stockton, Glasgow 22-9
2001 Josh Carrier, Bowling Green 23-7
2000 Scott Hundley, Scott Co. z-31-5
1999 Rick Jones, Scott Co. y-36-2
1998 J.R. VanHoose, Paintsville y-30-7
1997 Brandon Davenport, Owensboro 25-7
1996 Daymeon Fishback, Greenwood 29-3
1995 Charles Thomas, Harlan z-33-4
1994 Elton Scott, Marion Co. 22-10
1993 Jason Osborne, Male z-28-7
1992 Tick Rogers, Hart Co. 22-14
1991 Jermaine Brown, Fairdale x-37-4
1990 Dwayne Morton, Central 25-6
1989 Allan Houston, Ballard 25-4
1988 Richie Farmer, Clay Co. y-35-2
1987 John Pelphrey, Paintsville z-32-5
1986 Rex Chapman, Apollo 25-5
1985 Tony Kimbro, Seneca 32-2
1984 Steve Miller, Henry Clay z-27-6
1983 Winston Bennett, Male 29-3
1982 Todd May, Virgie z-33-3
1981 Phil Cox, Cawood 22-7
1980 Ervin Stepp, Phelps 20-9
1979 Dirk Minniefield, Lafayette x-36-1
1978 Doug Schloemer, Holmes y-31-3
1977 Jeff Lamp, Ballard x-30-2
1976 Darrell Griffith, Male 29-2
1975 Dom Fucci, Tates Creek 18-10
1974 Jack Givens, Bryan Station z-30-5
1973 Wesley Cox, Male y-29-6
1972 Jerry Thruston, Owensboro x-30-4
1971Jimmy Dan Conner, Anderson Co.y-30-3
1970 Robert Brooks, Madison y-28-6
1969 Ron King, Central x-29-1
1968 Terry Davis, Shelby Co. z-28-5
1967 Jim McDaniels, Allen Co. z-33-2
1966 Mike Casey, Shelby Co. x-33-1
1965 Butch Beard, Breckinridge Co. x-37-3
1964 Wes Unseld, Seneca x-29-2
1963 Mike Redd, Seneca x-31-1
1962 Mike Silliman, St. Xavier x-34-1
1961 Randy Embry, Owensboro 17-13
1960 Jeff Mullins, Lafayette 22-2
1959 Pat Doyle, North Marshall x-38-1
1958 Harry Todd, Earlington 24-6
1958 Ralph Richardson, Russell Co. 34-5
1957 Billy Ray Lickert, Lafayette x-30-2
1956 Kelly Coleman, Wayland z-33-6
z-made state tournament