The Kentucky-Indiana All-Star series kicks off this weekend and the weight of the seven-year winless streak is certainly heavy on the Kentucky team. But Coach Wayne Breeden has tried to look past it this week and is happy with how his team has played in practices.
Like most all-star events, growing pains are expected during the initial feeling-out period for the team, but after a scrimmage against the junior All-Stars, Breeden is more than happy with where the team is at.
The scrimmage was also a good time to find out what can be expected from every player. Guys like Kentucky Mr. Basketball Carson Williams have quickly carved out their roles on the team. In Williams’ case, Breeden referred to him as a “beast” because of what he’s able to do with his athleticism. Also, guys like Xavier commit Quentin Goodin and Isaiah Tisdale have also stood out with their ability to get to the rim and make shots from outside.
“All the pieces were there that we were looking for,” Breeden said. “And I was just real pleased with how well they played together.”
As it stands, the team will only be without Paul Dunbar’s Darius Williams, who had a previous commitment to his college of Northeast Mississippi. Missing practice time or the event altogether is something that has become common for players on both teams, and the Kentucky All-Stars will need all the help they can get to break Indiana’s win streak.
With all the pieces in place, the only major concern going into the weekend is the venue for Saturday’s game. The Indiana All-Stars will host the Kentucky squad in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the home of the Indiana Pacers, and coaches are expecting a lot of nervous excitement from players who are likely playing in an NBA arena for the first time in their careers.
Indiana always brings a big crowd, which of course stems from their dominance in the event. Last year’s Kentucky All-Stars came close in the final minutes before falling 83-80 at Transylvania University’s Beck Center. This year, at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall, the Kentucky boys will have a chance to turn the tide in the series.
“We are worried about the streak; it’s in our heads,” Henry Clay’s Tisdale said. “But we are trying to break the streak, and start out a new streak, hopefully. That’s the goal.”
Kentucky-Indiana All-Star Games
What: Annual basketball series between the top high school seniors from each state
Saturday: Girls-boys doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis
Sunday: Girls-boys doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Bellarmine University’s Knights Hall in Louisville
Kentucky boys: Trey Blevins, Wayne Co.; Alex Cook, Male; Tyrik Edwards, Christian Co.; Mason Faulkner, Caverna; Quentin Goodin, Taylor Co.; Connor McKim, St. Xavier; Tyler Sharpe, Bullitt East; Caleb Taylor, South Laurel; Isaiah Tisdale, Henry Clay; Ben Weyer, Newport Central Catholic; Carson Williams, Owen Co.; Darius Williams, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Matt Wilson, Campbell Co.; Coach: Wayne Breeden.
Kentucky girls: Mikayla Berry, Owensboro Catholic; Erin Boley, Elizabethtown; Kaylee Cotton, McCreary Central; Whitney Creech, Jenkins; Samantha Fitzgerald, Southwestern; Malaka Frank, Franklin Co.; Bree Glover, Glasgow; I’Liyah Green, Male; Justus Martin, Shelby Co.; Dajah McClendon, Covington Holy Cross; Sarah Price, Bath Co.; Oneisha Turner, Bowling Green; Emma Young, East Jessamine; Coach: Mike Harper, Muhlenberg County.