The 2018-19 Kentucky boys’ basketball season gets underway on Nov. 27. Here are 11 of the best players, in alphabetical order, playing for teams in the 11th Region this winter.
Keaston Brown, Henry Clay (Sr.): His sophomore season was trimmed down due to a shoulder injury but Brown bounced back last year, averaging 13 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing every game for the Blue Devils. Campbellsville and Tusculum University have offered him.
Isaiah Cozart, Madison Central (Sr.): WKU’s latest in-state commit should set the state’s career record for blocked shots in the Indians’ first week of play, if not their first game. He already owns records for the second- and third-most blocks in a single season.
Brandon Cromwell, Woodford County (Sr.): The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 16.6 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. He’s entering his third season as a starter for the Yellow Jackets, who last year reached the 11th Region Tournament after missing it in Ryan Wilson’s first year as head coach.
Jared Gadd, Paul Laurence Dunbar (Sr.): An influx of transfers could help Dunbar shake things up in the 11th Region but Gadd’s experience is invaluable; he’s been a significant contributor since the Bulldogs’ state-title run in 2016 and averaged 9.3 ppg last season.
Ben Johnson, Lexington Catholic (So.): His scoring average was somewhat deceiving at 11.3 ppg, as Johnson is capable of exploding for 25 points on any night. The 6-3 guard will be a big factor in whether LexCath can get back to the 11th Region Tournament after sitting out last year.
Michael Moreno, Scott County (Sr.): The frontrunner for the 11th Region’s Mr. Basketball nomination has played in back-to-back state tournaments and has a good shot at being a member of the 3,000-point/1,500-rebound club by year’s end.
Kyle Rode, Lexington Christian Academy (Sr.): If the 11th Region awards co-Players of the Year this season, it would likely be Rode sitting at the Mr. Basketball banquet with Moreno, with whom he plays AAU ball. He led LCA to its first All “A” Classic state championship last season.
Diablo Stewart, Scott County (Sr.): He settled in after transferring from Franklin County and provided a spark for a team already ripe with firepower. Stewart shot 42.6 percent from long range and led the team in free-throwing shooting (82.4 percent).
Kyle Stivers, Franklin County (Sr.): Stivers led the Flyers in scoring last season (13.6 ppg) and will look to get them back to the 11th Region Tournament after a brief absence.
Jonathan Tillman, Frankfort (Sr.): The 6-foot-6 forward (16.9 points, 10.8 rebounds last year) led Frankfort to the last two 11th Region Tournaments; before that the Panthers hadn’t played in that event since 2007. They’ve not made three consecutive appearances since making six straight trips from 2000-2005.
Marques Warrick, Henry Clay (Jr.): A second-team All-City selection as a sophomore, Warrick was lethal from behind the three-point line last season (45.8 percent) and also led the Blue Devils in free-throw percentage (82.9) on his way to a team-high 16.1 ppg. Several mid-major schools have expressed interest.