Spillman key to PRP's success

Pleasure Ridge Park junior point guard JuJuan Spillman played a major role in helping the Panthers advance to this week's Sweet Sixteen. He's also receiving interest from C-USA and Big Ten schools for his play this season on the hardwood.

Next week at the Sweet Sixteen in Lexington, you won't be able to find a more explosive player than Pleasure Ridge Park's JuJuan Spillman, who has directed the Panthers back to the state tournament for the first time in five seasons.

Spillman, who averaged 14 points and 4 assists while earning first team All-Sixth Region honors, is lighting quick and he's quite possibly the state's top junior hoops prospect. A two-sport standout, Spillman also excels on the gridiron. For now though, he's running the show for Dale Mabrey's 26-5 squad.

The 5-foot-10 point guard had a solid Regional Tournament at Louisville Gardens over the weekend despite a subpar shooting effort, making just 6-23 shots from the field. He finished with 15 points in a semifinal victory over Fairdale Friday night, then came back with 9 points in the finals against DeSales. He also shut down the Colts' Thomas Britt in the second half after the DeSales guard scored 14 first half points.

Still, he's the chief engineer of the Panthers pressing attack, and constantly applies pressure to the opposing teams. He also has become an effective floor general, directing the PRP offense with improving precision. And despite a subpar shooting performance in the regional, his outside shot is a dangerous weapon.

Though it's still early in the recruiting process for Spillman, several mid-to-high major programs have shown interest. Western Kentucky dropped by to see him in action earlier this season. Conference USA power Marquette called last week to inquire and Ohio State has been in contact.

But according to sources close to Spillman, one school remains above all others. Louisville. Word is, Spillman would jump at the chance of a scholarship offer from U of L head football coach Bobby Petrino if he also had an opportunity to play basketball for Rick Pitino as a walk-on.

And while his recruitment is sure to intensify in the near future, Spillman and his PRP teammates are focused on just one thing at present…representing Louisville well next week in Lexington at the Sweet Sixteen.

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