Louisville, KY -- The Kentucky Class of 2019 has long been considered one of the best to come through the state in the last 10 years. With the potential of up to 15 Division 1 signees, we knew that this team would give the seniors all they wanted in the JR/SR All Star game. After a sweep of the more heralded Indiana All Star team, the juniors upset the Kentucky Seniors 119-118 behind a game winning shot by Trinity’s standout David Johnson. After scouting these 3 games, here is a recap of which Junior All Stars stood out.
David Johnson 6’4 CG Louisville Trinity:
Johnson is in the argument for top player in the state of Kentucky but his motor has always been questioned. He now seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder and a mentality that no one can guard him. A consistent mid-range and 3 point shooter, we are pleased to see that he is now taking advantage of his size and getting to the rim and finishing. While his point guard skills are still developing, there is no doubt he is a high-major prospect and will be interesting to see how he reacts to being the go-to guy on the Shamrocks.
J.J. Kalakon 6’4 SG Louisville Waggener:
After not playing much in the series against the Indiana All Stars, Kalakon was on the floor for the last 8 minutes of his teams upset over the Kentucky seniors. A lockdown defender with length and good lateral quickness, Kalakon is one of the most versatile prospects in the state. We would like to see Kalakon be more aggressive on the offensive end as he is one of the few players in the state that scores at all 3 levels consistently.
Jordan Graham 6’3 CG George Rodgers Clark:
We came away very impressed with this prospect as he was a calming influence on the court that set the table for many of Kentucky’s talented scorers. Graham has a throwback game that includes a consistent midrange jumper and good decision making. Even more impressive was Graham’s effort on the defensive end where he took charges and got a bunch of 50/50 balls.
Kyle Rode 6’7 WF Lexington Christian:
Rode has the ability to dominate at the high school level due to his size and superior offensive skill set. While his athleticism can be questioned there is no doubt that when Rode gets rolling, he can take over any game with his outside shooting. We were impressed by how much Rode’s ball handling has improved and now believe he will have an easy transition to the mid-major level.
Nick Thelen 6’7 PF Covington Catholic:
A bruiser down low that embraces contact and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work on the defensive side of the floor. Thelen is very crafty around the basket where he finishes with either hand and uses an array of post moves to finish against more athletic defenders. Playing on a loaded Covington Catholic team last season, we did not get to see him get many touches but this year we expect him to average a double-double.
Michael Moreno 6’6 Scott County High School:
In the 2 games we scouted Moreno was flat out dominant and shot the cover off the ball from long range. Always an excellent offensive player, Moreno dominated higher ranked foes from the Indiana team. No player improved their stock more in the Junior All Star games than Moreno.
Jamarion Sharp 7’0 C Hopkinsville High School:
A legit 7 footer with huge upside, Sharp is definitely worth a mid-major school taking on as a promising project. A shot blocking specialist who contest every shot within 10 feet of him. Sharp moves very well and has a strong motor. While no doubt he has a lot of work to do to develop his offensive game, Sharp is going to surprise people in the state with his vast improvement.
Isaiah Cozart 6’7 PF Madison Central:
Always an elite shot blocker, we were impressed with Cozart’s improvement in his offensive game; consistently knocking down 10-12 foot jump shots and finishing at a high percentage around the rim. While a bit undersized for a post player at the next level, Cozart’s length and defensive ability makes him a “can’t miss” prospect for the top mid-major programs in the area.
Deonte Miles 6’9 PF Walton-Verona:
An intriguing prospect that we think has the shooting ability to translate into a stretch four, Miles has battled injuries over the past year but has more upside than any big man in the state. While a good outside shooter, it is imperative that Miles doesn’t drift to the perimeter often as his bread and butter is on the block. Miles has the physical tools to become an elite defender who can guard positions 2-5.