The Kentucky Lion’s Eye Foundation revealed the finalists for the 2018 Mr. Basketball award Friday morning.
Nineteen boys made the final ballot, which was to be released to voters — coaches, members of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches and select members of the media — later on Friday.
Every region or co-region player of the year earned a spot on the final ballot for Mr. Basketball voting; the winner will be announced March 13 during a ceremony at the Lexington Center prior to the 101st Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen.
Eric “Boss” Boone was nominated out of the 11th Region. The Bryan Station star is averaging 20.4 points and 11.1 rebounds for the Defenders, who in the regular season finished 22-6, matching their best win total under fourth-year head coach Tommy Johnson.
CJ Fredrick (Covington Catholic) and Adam Kunkel (Cooper) were nominated as co-Players of the Year in the Ninth Region. Their teams have been top-10 fixtures this season and are favored to meet at some point in the Ninth Region tournament.
Trevon Faulkner, who’s signed with Northern Kentucky University, was nominated out of the 12th Region along with Pulaski County star Steven Fitzgerald.
Faulkner’s averaging 26.4 points on 52.1-percent shooting and 9.1 rebounds for the Titans, who finished 23-5 in the regular season.
Fitzgerald, a Samford University signee, is second in the state at 31.5 points per game. The Maroons, the defending 12th Region champs, finished 19-9 in the regular season.
Cobe Penny (Anderson County) and Will Philpott (Clark County) were nominated out of the Eighth and 10th Regions, respectively.
Penny, who’s headed to Bellarmine University, is averaging 22.7 points for the Bearcats and earlier this season became Anderson County’s all-time leading scorer.
Philpott averages 12.6 points and 9.7 rebounds for Clark County, which finished 26-4 in the regular season.
BOYS’ REGION PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Only the players below are eligible for Mr. Basketball voting
1st: JJ Reed, Paducah Tilghman
2nd: Detorrion Ware, Christian County
3rd: G’corian Gardner, Owensboro
4th: Skyelar Potter, Warren Central
5th: Mickey Pearson, John Hardin
6th: Curt Lewis, Valley
7th: Jay Scrubb, Trinity
8th: Cobe Penny, Anderson County
9th: CJ Fredrick, Covington Catholic; Adam Kunkel, Cooper
10th: Will Philpot, Clark County
11th: Eric “Boss” Boone, Bryan Station
12th: Trevon Faulkner, Mercer County; Steven Fitzgerald, Pulaski County
13th: Andrew Taylor, Corbin; Markelle Turner, Knox Central
14th: Caleb Bonny, Estill County
15th: Wyatt Battaile, Pikeville
16th: Dalton Barnett, Menifee County