The Madden and Mickelson Show

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson writes about University of Arkansas head basketball coach John Pelphrey taking in a Saturday night sophomore showdown featuring 6-10 Hunter Mickelson and 6-4 Ky Madden. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner for details.

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JONESBORO - Just a few hours after a disappointing loss in the present, University of Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey tried to put that in the past by going to look at the future.

Pelphrey and Razorback assistant Tom Ostrom were courtside in Jonesboro to watch 6-10 Westside sophomore Hunter Mickelson take on 6-4 East Poinsett County sophomore Ky Madden.

Throw in the fact that 6-7, 220-pound Little Rock Parkview sophomore Aaron Ross was on hand to watch the game and you had all three in-state sophomores that Arkansas has offered in the building.

"I wanted to come over and watch my (AAU Arkansas Wings) teammates," said Ross, who has already committed to the Razorbacks. "I knew they would put on a show."

That the they did with Madden tossing in 35 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Mickelson added 24 points, snaring 11 rebounds and blocking 6 shots.

Madden, the cousin of current Razorback Marcus Monk, got bragging rights when he hit a game-winning shot in the lane with 5 seconds left to lift his team to a 59-55 win.

Madden, who also dished out several assists, added an emphatic dunk at the buzzer after an attempt to get the ball to Mickelson for his own potential game-winner went awry.

"I was just trying to get to the lane," Madden said. "I really don't just shoot a lot of 3-pointers and I know I would always rather shoot a lay-up or something in the lane anyway. I got in there and got it off before he could get to me."

Madden, who had a 51-point night a week earlier and is averaging 25 points per game for EPC (13-3), said he loves competing against his AAU teammate.

"Playing against him is fun," Madden said. "He is suppose to be the best over here in this part of the state and I am suppose to be the best so it is fun to go against him. I like having him on my team better, though."

Mickelson, who is averaging 22 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks this season for Westside (11-7), said he does have to get in a different mindset than normal when facing his friend.

"I was smiling at him in the run outs and we shook hands before the game," Mickelson said. "It's really fun playing against somebody you are friends with and somebody that is as good as you are, but you have to remember the goal is to win as a team."

Mickelson struggled early as he found a guy who looked just like him – except for being a foot shorter - attached to him for most of the night. The mini-me foe stayed with him no matter where he went and was part of double-teaming and triple-teaming the Westside star all night.

"I didn't really get the point in that," Mickelson said. "I guess it was just to rough me up. He was a feisty little dude. It was kind of like having a monkey crawling on your leg the whole night."

He did come alive in the fourth quarter with 15 of his points and knocking down 6 of his 7 shots after going just 3-of-10 over the first three quarters.

Mickelson, who has offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Wake Forest and others, got it going with one offensive set.

"We finally found a play that would work against whatever they were running," Mickelson said. "It's called Purple. We ran it and it ended up working and getting us back in the game. We got back tied, but just couldn't close it out."

Both teams were playing the make-up game – which had been scheduled for back on Nov. 21 – coming off conference wins on Friday night.

Mickelson had 26 points, 11 blocks and 8 rebounds as he led Westside over Pocahontas 67-57.

Madden, who has offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Baylor, had 22 points as EPC downed Rector 73-69 on the same evening.

On Saturday, it was Madden left smiling after a battle that will be staged for the next two seasons as well.

"I am going to bring this up a lot this spring and summer when we get together for AAU ball," Madden said. "A lot."

Ky Madden

Hunter Mickelson

Aaron Ross

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