Glen Drury, coach of the Kentucky All-Star boys' basketball team, seems sure that his players will give their all.
He's just not sure who all the players are who will be at his disposal when the Kentuckians take on their Indiana counterparts Friday at Louisville's Bellarmine University and Saturday in Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse.
Two of Kentucky's 12 players have been absent from practice this week because of college summer courses.
Anthony Hickey, MVP of the state tournament for champion Christian County and the state's Mr. Basketball, has been attending classes at LSU. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 18 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.8 steals last season.
George Fant, a 6-foot-7 power forward out of Warren Central, has similar obligations at Western Kentucky University.
"We're hoping they can make it by Friday night, but we totally understand their future," said Drury, the coach at Anderson County. "We think we're going to get them, but we've still got our fingers crossed. It's like picking up a lottery pick late in the year."
What Drury does have is the core of the state semifinalist team from Eastern, which is the first school since Male in 1971 to place four players on the all-star team.
The Eagles quartet consists of 6-6 Lyonell Gaines (IUPUI), 6-4 Remy Abell (Indiana), 6-4 Arman Marks (James Madison) and 6-9 Kameron Woods (Butler).
In addition to Hickey, Christian County is represented by 6-5 Donovan Kates.
Mason County also has a pair of all-stars in 6-8 Treg Setty and 5-10 Jordan Gilbert.
Also on the squad: 6-4 Corey Rogers of Clark County; 6-10 Zach Price of Jeffersontown, and 6-6 Ryan Taylor of Western.
"All the guys that we've been able to have ... I've loved the way they've played, the effort they've made," Drury said. "I hope we can do that Friday and Saturday night."
Setty, 6-8 and headed to Southern Illinois University, said the games "mean a lot, especially growing up and seeing everybody play — all the great players that have played in this game before us. It just means a lot to be able to represent our team, especially with such a good class that we have."
Last year, Indiana won 100-94 at Bellarmine and 81-69 in Conseco. That was Indiana's fifth sweep in six years, and the Hoosier-state boys have won 22 of the past 25 games.
The Kentuckians are eager to end that domination.
"To me and my teammates, it means everything," Rogers said. "It's a special thing to represent the state of Kentucky, especially against a good basketball state — Indiana, with their three McDonald's All-Americans, and they always have good talent."
The forementioned All-Americans are Cody Zeller, Marquis Teague and Branden Dawson.
The 6-11 Zeller, following in the footsteps of brothers Tyler (North Carolina) and Luke (Notre Dame), is Indiana's Mr. Basketball. Committed to Indiana University, he averaged 24.6 points, 13.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a senior.
Teague is part of the University of Kentucky's highly regarded recruiting class. A 6-2 guard, he averaged 22.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists this year.
Dawson, a 6-6 small forward who is bound for Michigan State, averaged 28.7 points, 18.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists.
Rogers, who will play football for Tennessee Martin, said Kentucky's lower-profile players have what it takes to succeed.
"Our team is unselfish," he said. "They're going to find you if you're open. ... We've played against each other plenty of times, so we all know that we can make plays and we trust each other. The chemistry is there."