Mekale McKay, of Louisville (Ky.) Moore, led Higher Level to the 16's title. They knocked off the favorites -- Hoop Dreams, Derek Smith All-Stars and The Ville. The 15's title was taken by Hoop Dreams. Larry Morton had a big weekend, but he had help from Christen Cunningham, Jack Whitman and Eric Trigg Jr.
The past few years basketball in the state of Kentucky has been relatively down. After taking in the Kentucky State AAU's it appears there may be an influx of talent in the sate.
Although it still isn't on pair with surrounding states like Indiana, strides are being made and we were impressed with the amount of young talent we saw this past weekend.
Remy Abell, SG, Shining Stars-Davis – Picking up where he left off at the adidas May Classic a week ago, Abell carried his strong play over to the state AAU's. A 6-foot-3 combo guard, Abell is a stronger driver that relishes in the fact that he can finish through contact at the rim with either hand. We also liked the mid-range game he had working, as he looks comfortable pulling up for 15 to 18-footers. A lock down defender, Abell has a strong frame, long arms and is a pretty good athlete.
Timmy Knipp, PF, Shining Stars-Davis – Having watching Knipp a few times over the past two weeks, we are starting to get a feel for what he does best. His value lies in his ability to shoot. At 6-foot-7 he has good size, and is especially effective in pick and pop situations. Knipp, a standout at Sandy Hook (Ky.) Elliott County, has soft touch inside and a nice set of hands. He likes to work the baseline for drop off passes and will often times hunt the glass for tip opportunities.
Tony Kimbro, SF, Shining Stars-Davis – After winning a pair of state titles at Arden (N.C.) Christ School, Kimbro is planning to head back to Kentucky for his final high school season. At the state AAU's, Kimbro, a 6-foot-5, 180-pounder, played a point-forward role for Shining Stars and showed a unique ability to score. Rather than hunt jumpers, which he did at the Carolina Challenge in March, Kimbro was actively looking to score at the rim and proved to be tough to stop in that regard.
Chane Behanan, PF, KY Blazers – Over the course of the spring, Behanan's strong play has been well documented on this site. In the one game we saw the 6-foot-7 post prospect, lived up to the hype, despite playing lackluster competition. Playing an aggressive brand of ball, Behanan didn't take it easy on the opposition and scored virtually at will.
Offensively Behanan looked more versatile, displaying his jump shot, which has range to 21-feet. But majority of his damage was done was in the paint, where he used his strength to score through contact. One area of improvement we noticed was his passing. He tossed out seven assists in the game we took in and showed good court vision. He also scored 27 points and 15 rebounds in his final pool play game.
Kameron Woods, PF/SF, BA Hoyas – This 6-foot-7 combo forward is coming on at the right time. Despite lacking strength, Woods has a pretty good basketball frame with a massive wingspan. He moves fluidly and roams the court like a three-man. He showed a face up jump shot to 21-feet and has good touch around the rim. Definitely a Division-1 prospect, Woods will be one for schools to follow during the year.
Taylor Barnette, SG, Hoop Dreams – A standout at Lexington (Ky.) Christan Academy, Barnette had a big weekend for Mike Scott's squad. A long distance weapon, Barnette, who went for 15 a game as a sophomore, put his jumper on display burying 19 three-pointers through four games on less than 30 attempts. His best outing came in an 11-for-13 game, where he was 7-for-7 from three. While his jumper is his best asset, he has the ability to put he ball on the deck for a few bounces and has a developing mid-range game with floaters with either hand.
Jaylen Beckham, PG, Hoop Dreams – A speedy lead guard, Beckham, a standout at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic, pushed the pace at every opportunity for Hoop Dreams. An up-tempo style will be the best fit for Beckham at the next level, as he has impressive end-to-end speed and can get creative in the open court. Having watched him a bunch during the high school season, Beckham appears to be a better overall athlete and can adjusts shots at the rim. With all that said, perhaps his best attribute is his defense. A ball hawk, Beckham moves his feet well and can be a pest as an on the ball defender.
Isaih Ivey, SG, Hoop Dreams – An improved Ivey showed up at the KBA this past weekend. A 6-foot-3 guard, equipped with a solid frame and long arms. Ivey shot the ball especially well and when he gets time and space was able to knock down three-pointers at a good clip. The lefty was also effective in the open court and showed a nice ability to score around the rim.
Charles Foster, SG, Derek Smith All-Stars – Tucker, a 6-foot-2 combo guard, helped the Derek Smith All-Stars make it all the way to the semi-finals, where they lost on a buzzer beater. Although we need to continue to watch, we liked what we saw out of Louisville (Ky.) Trinity standout. He attacks the rim and finishes well once he's in the paint.
Darryl Hicks, SG, The Ville – Known as the top player in the state in the 2013 class, Hicks had his moments this past weekend, and was a instrumental in The Ville's run to the title. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Hicks has proven he's a pretty good shooter in catch and shoot situations. Also a capable scorer off the dribble, Hicks hunts more mid-level jumpers rather than attacking all the way to the rim.
James Quick, PG, The Ville – Appropriately named, Quick, who was clocked running a 100-yard dash in 10.6 seconds, is reportedly big time on the football field, scoring eight TD's for Louisville (Ky.) Trinity, as a freshman. With that said, he's a pretty good-looking basketball prospect.
It's obvious Quick has terrific speed, but he's also a very good athlete. After dicing up the court and through the lane, the 6-foot-1 floor general finished at and even above the rim on a few occasions. A tough, scrappy dude, Quick was great at picking up offensive rebounds and even had a tip-in as the buzzer sounded sending The Ville to the championship game.
Larry Morton, SG, Hoop Dreams 15's – Despite sitting out his freshman season due to transfer issues, Morton, a 6-foot-3 guard, appears to be much improved since last fall. He's got a great build and will be able to add plenty of strength. Morton is a pretty good athlete that rebounds well and despite having a slight hitch at the top of his shot is shooting the ball much better. He's definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.
Quentin Snyder, PG, Royal Family – Up against Hoop Dreams in the semi-finals, Snyder, a 5-foot-10 slender point guard, did all he could to try and will the Royal Family to victory. Although he came up short, he certainly was impressive. He's got terrific quickness and a slick handle. Around the rim he's very creative and is athletic enough to adjust his shot and score amongst the bigs. To top it off he has good vision and can get his teammates looks. He hasn't decided on a high school for next season.
Marcellous Barksdale had a big weekend for Charlotte Court. A 6-foot-4 wing, Barksdale helped his squad reach the championship game. Mike Terry, a 6-foot-6 forward for Hoop Dreams, has a nice set of hands, a good-looking jump shot with range and was active on the glass. Desmond Dorsey had a solid weekend for the The Ville and proved to be a talented scorer. Eric Trigg Jr is a good-looking prospect at Lexington (Ky.) Catholic. A 2013 prospect, Trigg is a 6-foot-3 wing that scored it very well at the rim. Christen Cunningham is 2014 prospect to watch. He'll head to Scott County and the 5-foot-9 lead guard is very skilled. Derek Willis, a 2013 6-foot-8 big man, has some skill. He can step out for threes and finishes well with both hands inside. Nathan Dieudome, of Derek Smith All-Stars, is an intriguing big man. He's mobile, a solid athlete and showed great hands.
A number of former college athletes rolled through the KBA over the weekend. Among the more noticeable names were former Louisville players Ellis Myles and Perrin Johnson as well as current NBA player and former Kentucky player Jodie Meeks stopped by the gym.