Top Kentucky High School Boys Basketball Players to Watch in 2005-06

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    Top Kentucky High School Boys Basketball Players to Watch in 2005-06

    Seniors and Underclassmen to Watch in the 2005-2006 Season
    © 2005 Ron Harrison


    I don’t attempt to rate or rank players. However, here are some seniors that should be fun to watch in 2005-2006. Remember these players are listed in no particular order. This is an abbreviated list and I could easily have added 25-50 names from all corners of the state.

    Seniors (Class of 2006)

    Aaron Dunaway (Henry Clay) – 6-2 guard averaged 19 ppg last season and is an excellent shooter with range who also possesses the ability to score in the paint.

    Walt Allen (South Laurel) – 6-5 inside player averaged 16 ppg last season and was chosen MVP at the state tourney. Allen has a nice touch in the paint but can nail the outside shot.

    A. J. Slaughter (Shelby County) – 6-1 guard averaged 18 ppg last season and can get to the basket as well as nail the outside jump shot.

    Joshua Mack (University Heights Academy) – 5-11 quick point guard can score, sees the floor well, and plays defense.

    Leroy Nobles (Central) – 6-4 athletic swingman can score from anywhere but is extremely difficult to defend in the paint because of his leaping ability.

    Vincent Crutcher (Pleasure Ridge Park) – 6-5 forward is a force in the paint and also has the ability to step outside to hit the jump shot.

    Daniel Ard (Marshall County) – 6-6 forward rebounds well and has a nice mid-range jump shot.

    Chris Williams (Woodford County) – 6-5 swingman can score both inside and out (20 ppg) but also hits the boards (9.3 rpg).

    Brian Staed (Boyle County) – 6-9 inside player is greatly improved. Staed has good hands, nice inside touch, but can nail the mid-range shot.

    Josh Clemons (Ohio County) – 6-10 inside player has a nice shooting touch and displays nice footwork in the paint.

    Adrius Pegues (Western) – This 6-9 center is a relative newcomer to the game who rebounds, blocks shots, and continues to improve on the offensive end.

    Forrest Smallwood (Male) – 6-5 forward is an athletic performer with the ability to score both inside and out.

    Jay Ivey (Owensboro Catholic) – 6-8 solid inside player has good court vision and rebounds well.

    Dan Penick (Ludlow) – 6-9 agile inside player averaged double digits in both scoring and rebounding. Penick also is a nice interior passer.

    Maze Stallworth (John Hardin) – 6-3 swingman has the ability to score both inside and out.

    Brett Miller (Carroll County) – 6-8 center is a solid post player who scores well in the paint.

    Chase Denson (Lone Oak) – 6-1 point guard possesses excellent floor skills, and the ability to score.

    Randon Cavette (Graves County) – 6-5 forward capable of dominating in the paint.

    Antonio Owens (Boyd County) – 6-2 athletic slashing guard is a newcomer to the region but should make his presence felt.

    Jon-Michael Fletcher (Breckenridge County) – 6-4 swingman can slash to the basket as well as pull up for the jumper.

    Stewart Miller (Middlesboro) – 6-1 guard is an excellent scorer with downtown range.

    Trah Moore (DuPont Manual) – 6-4 athletic leaper runs the floor well and defends. Moore rebounds, scores inside, and can hit the mid-range shot.

    Pete Gifford (Lafayette) – 6-1 guard can penetrate as well as shoot the long-range jumper. Can light up the scoreboard when “on”.

    Terrence Britt (Fern Creek) – 5-9 lightning fast point guard, creates, and can get to the basket in a hurry.

    Michael Jackson (Bowling Green) – 6-7 insider runs the floor well and potential should be realized this season with increased production in scoring and rebounding.

    Patrick Elliott (Pendleton County) – 6-6 post player scores inside the paint and is a solid rebounder.

    Russell Allen (Bourbon County) – 6-8 post player has the ability to score in the paint and rebound. Allen has the potential to have a breakout season.

    Cody Gilbert (Wolfe County) – 6-3 swingman is a nice all-around player who can score and rebound.

    Tyler Wilkerson (Lafayette) – 6-8 center showed dramatic improvement this summer and is difficult to defend in the paint.

    Sam Lawson (Dixie Heights) – 6-3 swingman averaged 14.5 ppg and has excellent court vision.

    Justin Jones (Bryan Station) – 6-5 inside player is excellent in transition and has the ability to slash to the basket or pull up for a mid-range jumper.

    Aaron Miller (Henry Clay) – 6-2 swingman is athletic, has the ability to run the floor, and can shoot the outside jumper.


    Underclassmen

    This was even more difficult than the Class of 2006. I could have added several deserving names. Once again, these players are not listed in any particular order.

    Juniors (Class of 2007)

    Ty Proffitt (South Laurel) – 6-3 point guard sees the floor well and distributes the ball. Proffitt has the ability to create his own shot and has good shooting range.

    Russell Mackins (Trigg County) – 6-6 forward was off to a great start (21 ppg, 13 rpg) last season before going down with an ACL injury after nine games. Mackins is an excellent rebounder with a nice mid-range shot and could be a special player if recovered from injury.

    Steffphon Pettigrew (Elizabethtown) – 6-5 forward attacks boards and is tough offensively in paint.

    Jeremy Anderson (Warren Central) – 6-3 swingman has great range on his jumper shot and also can take the ball to the basket.

    Antiquawn Beckham (Ballard) – 6-4 guard is extremely quick and an excellent leaper who is sound on both ends of the court.

    Rodney Haddix (Scott County) – 6-3 great jumper can score both inside and out.

    Matt Walls (Scott County) – 6-3 guard understands game, ballhandler, and good shooter.

    Jonathan VanHoose (Russell) – 6-4 guard, capable of lighting up the scoreboard.

    Greg Rice (Holmes) – 6-3 forward versatile performer has excellent mid-range shot, rebounds well, and has good “quicks”.

    Eugene Wade (Shelby County) – 6-8 inside player has size and possesses good agility and quickness. These attributes make him tough on defense and on the boards.

    Duran Jefferson (Holmes) – 6-0 point guard is quick, creates on offense, and sizzles in the open court.

    Thomas Coleman (Jeffersontown) – 6-8 center has improved dramatically and is an excellent shot blocker.

    William Bradley (Caverna) – 6-3 solid all-around guard who scores either on penetration or a long-range jump shot.

    Doug Beaumont (Male) – 5-10 jet quick point guard who handles and passes with the ability to score either off the drive or with his jump shot.

    Jaron Jones (Bryan Station) – 6-5 athletic swingman is very effective in the paint, had an excellent summer and could be on the verge of a big season.

    Drew McDavid (Ashland Blazer) – 6-3 solid all-around player with the ability to score, rebound, and locate the open man. A very consistent performer who averaged 16 ppg and 8 rpg last season.

    Johonne Hamilton (Ballard) – 6-1 guard is extremely quick in transition and gets to the basket in a hurry.

    Matt Fraliex (Caldwell County) – 6-4 combo guard can score either off the drive or from long range.

    Nick Britt (Warren Central) – 5-11 guard averaged 13 ppg last season and is an excellent defender.

    Jordan Hammonds (South Laurel) – 6-5 swingman has solid game and excellent range on his jump shot.


    Sophomores (Class of 2008)

    Darius Miller (Mason County) – 6-6 forward is a rising star who continues to improve. Solid performer who can score, defend, and rebound. Miller also has the ability to pass and put the ball on the floor.

    Matthew Thomas (Ashland Blazer) – 6-1 guard scores on penetration and on a mid-range jumper. Excellent defender and very athletic.

    Landon Slone (Paintsville) – 6-3 guard averaged 23 ppg last season scores either off the dribble or with his jump shot.

    Bud Mackey (Scott County) – 6-3 hard worker with solid floor game and explosive in transition.

    Rondale McMillan (Bowling Green) – 6-3 versatile swingman has nice all-around game and can play anywhere on floor.

    Victor Moses (Henry Clay) – 6-4 forward is athletic and is developing an excellent all-around game.

    Clark Stepp (June Buchanan) – 6-3 guard may come from a small school but he is a large talent. Stepp averaged 26 ppg and 9 apg last season and is an excellent shooter.

    Allen Murry (Pleasure Ridge Park) – 6-6 young powerhouse only needs time and experience. Murry could develop into a dominating player in the paint.

    Aaron Boyd (Henry Clay) – 6-4 athletic forward is quick in the open court and could develop into an excellent all-around player. Boyd also stars on the gridiron.

    Shelvin Mack (Bryan Station) – 6-2 guard will probably run the point this season and possesses an excellent floor game.

    Michael Sparks (Tates Creek) – 6-3 forward is an efficient smooth scorer who should make an impact this season.

    Adam Decker (Pleasure Ridge Park) – 5-11 point guard will need to step up for PRP this season. Decker has an excellent floor game and understands the game.

    Aaron Morris (Madison Central) – 6-5 forward has improved his strength, has nice moves in the paint, and is developing a nice mid-range shot.

    Jordan Lee (Scott County) – 6-6 athletic frontliner runs the floor well and will only improve with the experience he should receive this season.

    Dion Johnson (Paul Dunbar) – 5-10 point guard, lightning fast player who excels in uptempo style of game.



    Freshmen (Class of 2009)*

    Josh Crawford (Corbin) – 6-4 swingman impressed in the state tourney last season and continues to improve his game. Crawford has good all-around game and best days are ahead of him.

    Jacob Jenkins (DuPont Manual) – This highly talented 6-3 combo guard appears to be the complete package and can light up the scoreboard.

    Darrin Ballou (Adair County) – 6-6 inside player possesses an impressive arsenal of skills and continues to develop.

    Rashawn Phillips (Bardstown) – 6-2 forward impressed this summer with athleticism and work ethic. Tireless worker in paint and runs the floor extremely well.

    Eric Dunlap (Oldham County) – 5-10 point guard is a speedster with a solid floor game.

    James David Strange (Pineville) – 5-11 guard has solid floor game and has the ability to score either off the drive or with a jump shot.

    Ridge Wilson (Central) – 6-3 forward attacks the boards and is a warrior in the paint.

    Ty Perkins (Pulaski County) – 6-4 talented forward could shine for Coach David Fraley this season.

    Ethan Faulkner (Elliott County) – 5-10 guard, excellent shooter with range.

    Nick Hudson (Paul Dunbar) – 5-10 guard is an excellent ballhandler with the ability to get to the hoop.

    *Dakotah Euton (Rose Hill) – 6-5 8th grader led Rose Hill in rebounding last season and can score both inside and out.

    *Jamie Lebanion (Whitley County) – 6-1 8th grader is a solid performer coming off an excellent summer campaign.

    Thoughts

    This has been fun but extremely frustrating. There were many more names that could have and should have been added to the list but there are time and space considerations.

    There is always a lot of young talent in Louisville and throughout the state that I usually don’t see much until their freshman year. Based on what I observed this summer in camps and AAU, and realizing how many players I didn’t list or see play, the star of Kentucky high school basketball continues to burn bright.
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