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Sweet 16 advice for mountain region players/coaches


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Much is made of the lack of success at the Sweet 16 by mountain region teams. Here's some advice that might help you get past the 25-point blowout that the rest of the state expects to be laid on your team:

 

A) Get over the fact that it's Rupp Arena. Who cares that Kentucky plays there? They aren't this week. You are, and you have to perform. You had to win to get there, so play like you did when winning your region. There's no excuses for sleepwalking for 32 minutes with stars in your eyes while getting drilled.

 

B) Don't be "just happy to be here." I can't tell you how many times I hear that tired old line. We know you're happy to be at Rupp. Who wouldn't be? That line of thinking is used as a cop-out, and the inevitable excuses for getting blown out usually are right behind.

 

C) When playing against a taller, more athletic team, don't be intimidated. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the more athletic teams run an alley-oop or some other dunk play in the first two minutes of the game designed to scare mountain teams into submission. And it almost always works. These teams from Lexington and Louisville may be more athletic than you, but more often than not, you guys shoot much better. Use that to your advantage.

 

D) Discipline, discipline, discipline. Run your offense, stick to your game plan, take care of the ball and control the tempo. A lot of teams get lazy and/or bored when they have to play defense for a long period of time.

 

E) Don't make excuses, and don't go into the game expecting to get beat. You can't change geography and demographics. What you can control is how you play and your mental toughness. You'd be surprised how far that can take you.

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Which are actually considered Mountain Regions?

 

What teams will be representing these regions and who is their first round match up?

 

I would assume the Mountain teams are always going to have less talent pools to draw from because they are rural counties with low populations. This is probably the reason they get beat up on in the State Tournament. I don't think it is jitters but rather being outmanned.

 

Comparatively speaking, any given year, there are 6-8 teams from each of the 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and possibly 4th regions that would win the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regions. But that is what makes the state tournament so much fun.

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Which are actually considered Mountain Regions?

 

What teams will be representing these regions and who is their first round match up?

 

I would assume the Mountain teams are always going to have less talent pools to draw from because they are rural counties with low populations. This is probably the reason they get beat up on in the State Tournament. I don't think it is jitters but rather being outmanned.

 

Comparatively speaking, any given year, there are 6-8 teams from each of the 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and possibly 4th regions that would win the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regions. But that is what makes the state tournament so much fun.

 

 

Possibly 4th Region?

Who was runner-up in the 4th Region this year?

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Which are actually considered Mountain Regions?

 

What teams will be representing these regions and who is their first round match up?

 

I would assume the Mountain teams are always going to have less talent pools to draw from because they are rural counties with low populations. This is probably the reason they get beat up on in the State Tournament. I don't think it is jitters but rather being outmanned.

 

Comparatively speaking, any given year, there are 6-8 teams from each of the 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th and possibly 4th regions that would win the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th regions. But that is what makes the state tournament so much fun.

 

What I bolded are the exact excuses made each year. If you go in thinking you have no chance because of these excuses, I guarantee you a loss will occur. You just have to work a little harder to overcome it.

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South Laurel is a mountain region team' date=' they dont seem to be too star struck by Rupp and all that goes with it.[/quote']

 

That's because they venture out of the mountains frequently to play the best competition in the state to make sure there's no shock and awe once they get to Rupp. And they are only in their first year in the 13th.

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That's because they venture out of the mountains frequently to play the best competition in the state to make sure there's no shock and awe once they get to Rupp. And they are only in their first year in the 13th.

 

I think all of the 4 reps from regions 13-16 have been "out of the sticks" this season. They'll be OK, thanks for the concern though.

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Jim,

 

I believe that you are exactly right on with your post. A lot of teams are defeated before they even get to Lexington. I honestly believe that having played the 15th Region Tournament at the Expo Center in Pikeville will be a huge asset for Johnson Central. Being used to that type of shooting background will make a difference.

 

I am sure that others will disagree with me on this point...but I also believe that the controversy taking place in the 7th Region Tournament will hinder either J-Town or Ballard. whichever team comes out of that region will have less time to prepare and less time to come down from their regional tournament victory and less time to focus on the task at hand.

 

This is a Golden opportunity for Johnson Central to maybe come away with a first-round upset. But like the saying goes...You Gotta Believe.

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Mountain teams have a lack of talent. At one time you had dominant mountian teams such as the Carr Creek, Hazard, Wayland teams. The problem is that has been 40 years ago. When the coal boom left eastern Kentucky so left the great teams. Families had to leave the mountains in order to find employment to help in raising their families. When the families left so left the players. Sad But True.

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The players from the non-mountain regions are KIDS to. The difference between some of the other regions success compared to the mountain regions success is simple...THE OTHER TEAM IS MORE TALENTED and have better players.

 

Right now the talent level in regions 13-16 lets say is very young...I'll go as far as to say this...I'll give you the 13th region along with regions 1-12. Come up with a 12-15 man 8th grade/freshman all star team vs those regions and I'll pick the same number but only from regions 14, 15, and 16....and I would like the chances of the latter mentioned group beating the other regions....my point is this. The big time talent level in these regions are extremely young and inexperienced, and in the near future, there will be a team...to come out of 14-16th regions and compete quite well, or at very least have players that continue their careers at a very high collegiat level.

 

Take the kids from June Buchanan, add them to the 3 freshman from Elliott...the 6'7" 8th grader Dakota Euton at Rose Hill and RH's 6'1" freshman point guard and you'll find a very very good basketball team comprised of EKY kids. Of course this is all speculation and not intended to downplay the level of talent in the rest of the state, because I know better than that...but it's just a population and demographic fact that the TALENT LEVEL is very young but will improve the overall quality of play in the very near future among these regions...I will agree with the original assessment however, and perhaps the 3 best teams from regions 14, 15, 16 aren't represented. I really thought Morgan County would have an outstanding chance of competing and winning that 1st round opener. But it's Basketball and things happen.

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Mountain teams have a lack of talent. At one time you had dominant mountian teams such as the Carr Creek, Hazard, Wayland teams. The problem is that has been 40 years ago. When the coal boom left eastern Kentucky so left the great teams. Families had to leave the mountains in order to find employment to help in raising their families. When the families left so left the players. Sad But True.

 

Maybe so, but you're still making excuses. If these kids go into these games thinking they aren't talented enough, I assure you they will find a way to lose.

 

Ballard was a far more talented team than Clay County the two years they played (Bobby Keith will even tell you this), yet Clay still won one of the games. How'd that happen? Maybe hard work to overcome their limitations?

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