Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recapping the Kentucky Mr. Basketballs

Here goes a recap of former Kentucky Mr. Basketballs with some interesting stats, facts and a ranking at the end.


Kentucky Mr. Basketball by High School (Only schools with more than one selection) :

Louisville Male - 5, (Kenny Kuhn, Wesley Cox, Darrell Griffith, Winston Bennet and Jason Osborne)

Lafayette - 4 (Vernon Hatton, Billy Ray Lickert, Jeff Mullins and Dirk Minniefield)

Seneca - 3 (Mike Redd, Wes Unseld and Tony Kimbro)

Owensboro - 3 (Randy Embry, Jerry Thruston and Brandon Davenport)

Central - 2 (Ron King and Dwayne Morton)

Shelby County  - 2 (Mike Casey and Terry Davis)

Ballard - 2 (Jeff Lamp and Allan Houston)

Paintsville - 2 (John Pelphrey and J.R. VanHoose)

Mason County - 2 (Chris Lofton and Darius Miller)

Scott County - 2 (Rick Jones and Scott Hundley)


Fun Facts:

  1. Only Seneca (Mike Redd 1963 and Wes Unseld 1964) and Scott County (Rick Jones 1999 and Scott Hundley 2000) have had back-to-back Mr. Basketballs.
  2. Since 1993 only one Mr. Basketball has played at the University of Louisville (Elisha Justice 2010.) Pre-1993 Louisville signed 8 Mr. Basketball and had 3 between 1990-1993. 
  3. Domonic Tilford and Nathan Dieudonne are the first Louisville are players name Mr. Basketball since Jason Osborne in 1993.
  4. Louisville Male High School has the most Mr. Basketballs all-time with 5. However, they haven't one of their players named Mr. Basketball since Jason Osborne in 1993.
  5. Kentucky has signed 15 Mr. Basketballs all-time, no other school has more than ten.
  6. Louisville was the first school to sign consecutive Mr. Basketballs (Wes Unseld 1964 and Butch Beard 1965.) 
  7. Kentucky is the only school to ever sign 3 Mr. Basketballs in a row (Rex Chapman 1986, John Pelphrey 1987 and Richie Farmer 1988.) Unless you count Elton Scott a Louisville signee in 1964 even though he failed to qualify. 
  8. Other schools to sign two consecutive Mr. Basketballs include, Western Kentucku (1967 and 1968), Louisville (1992 and 1993), Kentucky (2001 and 2002) and Kentucky (2008 and 2009.)
  9. No Mr. Basketballs were drafted by the NBA between 1994 (Dwayne Morton) and 2012 (Darius Miller.)
  10. Two Mr. Basketballs played in the MLB, Kenny Kuhn 1955 and Dom Fucci 1975.
  11. Darius Miller is the only Kentucky Player to win Mr. Basketball, a state Championship and an NCAA Championship.  
  12. 7 schools Mr. Basketballs attended are no longer in operation.
  13. 5 Mr. Basketball have also won an NCAA Champions Jack Givens (1974) in 1978, Darrell Griffith (1976) in 1980, Tony Kimbro (1985) in 1986, Darius Miller (2008) in 2012 and Jon Hood (2009) in 2012.
  14. Prior to 1990 15 Mr. Basketballs weren't drafted into the NBA. Post 1990 17 Mr. Basketballs haven't been drafted into the NBA.
  15. 22 Mr. Basketballs have been drafted into the NBA. 


Now for the hard part, for some reason I've decided to rank the Mr. Basketballs in order of "greatness." The rankings will take into account High School, College and NBA success. I'm doing a top 16, here it goes:

  1. Wes Unseld - 2 state titles, 2-time NCAA First Team All-American, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA MVP and an NBA Championship 
  2. Darrell Griffith - High School All-American, NCAA All-American, NCAA Champions and NBA Rookie of the Year.
  3. Allan Houston - Excellent high school and college player. NBA All-Star and one of the Greatest New York Knicks of all-time.
  4. Rex Chapman - Maybe the most revered high school player in Kentucky of all-time. 1,000 point scorer in only 2 years at UK. Successful NBA career averaging 14.6 points per game for his career. 
  5. Kelly Coleman - Probably the greatest KY high school player of all-time. 2-time All-American at Kentucky Wesleyan, averaged 30.3 points per game as a senior. However, lack of professional success hurts him in my book.
  6. Jeff Mullins - Successful high school player. One of Duke's all time greats, jersey retired. NBA Champion and 3-time NBA All-Star.
  7. Jack Givens - NCAA Champion, Final Four MOP and 3-time NCAA All-American. Parade All-American as a senior at Bryan Station, successful 2-year NBA career with over 1,000 points and 400 rebounds.  
  8. Jim McDaniels - Averaged 40 points per game as a senior in High School. One of the best WKU players of all-time, nearly led them to a national championship. Successful at the start of his professional career before tailing off. 
  9. Butch Beard - State Champion and Stat runner-up. Successful 9 season NBA career, NBA All-Star. One of Louisville's All-time greats. 
  10. Jeff Lamp - 2-time All-American who led Virginia to the 1981 Final Four. Moderate success in the NBA and overseas. State title in 1977. 
  11. Vernon Hatton - Led UK to a national championship. All-Sec, All-American and All-Final Four Team. Played four years in the NBA with moderate success.
  12. Ron King - First player to lead a predominately black school to a state championship. All-time great at Florida State and ACC Basketball Tournament Legend. Played one season for the Kentucky Colonels.
  13. J.R. VanHoose - All-time great at Marshall and is a part of their Hall of Fame. One of the most dominant big men in Kentucky history. Top 100 recruit coming out of high school. 
  14. Chris Lofton - ESPN's best 3-point shooter in NCAA history. Led Mason County to one State title and nearly a second. All-American at Tennessee, successful professional career overseas.
  15. Richie Farmer - Most beloved Kentucky High Schooler of all-time? Part of "The Unforgettables" at Kentucky. Epic battles between him and Allan Houston will be lore forever.
  16. Ervin Stepp - Most prolific scorer in KY High School history, however lack of college and pro success puts him behind other greats.
Honorable Mention: Harry Todd, Darius Miller, Mike Silliman and John Pelphrey


There's the recap, if you disagree with my rankings, good I'd love to see yours in the comment section.

You can fin each decade below:




  1. this is the dumbest thing i have ever read only reason i made it to the bottom was i wanted to see the top 16 and why 16? also there is no way chris lofton beats out d. miller

  2. I'm sorry, you didn't like the content. However, I'm not exactly sure why you thought it was "dumb", this recap isn't ground breaking by any means, but it's something that was necessary to finish off the series.

    Originally I planned to do a top 10 which turned into a top 15. However, at the end I realized I needed to add Ervin Stepp do to his ridiculous averages this made it a top 16.

    As far as Darius Miller over Lofton, I don't think you could really make much of an argument there. Lofton's lowest point per game average in college is nearly 3 points better per game than Miller's highest. And Lofton probably had a slightly better high school career if not equal.

    That said after Miller plays in the NBA for what I hope is a long while, Darius will probably pass Lofton.

  3. Nice work! No need to explain yourself. If he thinks it's "dumb" start your own blog ;)

  4. Appreciate that, I'm just glad that so far the positive remarks I've received far outweigh the bad.

  5. I think King Kelly should be higher on your list (top 3). Remember in his era, Pro Basketball was not a high paying/profile job. He probably is the most recognized HS player ever in KY. I think Lofton rates higher than Miller based on current accomplishments. However, I think both should be above Van Hoose. Both would have dominated at Marshall.

  6. King would definitely be #1 if I only did high school. But since I take pro and college into account I really can't move him any higher, the top 4 all had great college careers at higher level universities and they all had great NBA careers.

    As far as Miller and Lofton, I can see the argument made. At some point the list will be revisited and I'll probably move Miller up and Stepp down. The other stuff will be re-evaluated as well.

  7. Your complete omission of Seneca's Mike Redd invalidates this entire article.


  9. best EVER 0f the 60s : UNSELD * 70s LAMP* 80s BENNETT 90s OSBORN and 2000s TBA