Battle In The Bluegrass

The two best prospects in the state of Kentucky squared off on Saturday and was on hand for the big match up.

INEZ, KY -- There was a battle in the bluegrass Saturday night and it wasn't between two colleges, but between a pair of in-state stars. Scotty Hopson and Darius Miller went head-to-head in the Fast Lane Tip Off Classic and the match up lived up to its billing.

Miller, who is up to 6-foot-7, has put on some weight and played much stronger Saturday night than he did during AAU season. He came out right away looking to make a point and he certainly did, as he showed off a deep jumper and an ability to score that was missing at times this summer.

While Miller came out aggressive, Hopson had trouble getting into the flow of the game. His teammates failed to get him the ball in scoring situations and he wasn't nearly as aggressive as he was this past summer. In the first half Hopson only shot the ball three times and came away with 5 points to Miller's 17.

Miller and Hopson Collide
In the second half Hopson came out more aggressive and showed flashes of his potential when he drove baseline and rose up over a pair of defenders for a finish. He also dropped in a three-pointer, had a few nice finishes at the rim and caught a dunk off of the backboard on the way to his 17 points, 9 rebounds and four blocks.

The Kentucky commit didn't stop after his impressive first half, as he continued to rain three-pointers and finish around the rim. Miller, who didn't miss a three-pointer in the contest, finished with 41 points and looked poised for a run at a spot in the McDonald's All-American game.

There has been a lot of talk in the state of Kentucky over which prospect is better. Tonight Darius Miller shined, but this past summer Hopson was great at the USA Festival in Colorado Springs, was among the best players at LeBron James Skills Academy and out played Miller in an AAU game in Orlando.

There's a lot to factor in when you touch on this topic and each player excels at different aspects of the game. For example, Hopson is the better shot blocker, rebounder and driver, where Miller is the better long range shooter, is more physical and is clearly stronger.

Unfortunately the two prep stars don't match up again this year, but they do play in a number of the same events. Next weekend they both play in Lexington (Ky.), then the following weekend both will participate in the Marshall County Hoopfest, which is loaded with talent.

On the recruiting front, Hopson, who is ranked No. 11 overall, declined to talk about his situation. The MSU commit did not sign last week during the first period and there has been talk that he could open up his recruitment.

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