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Mark Story: Buckle up Kentucky basketball fans, you might see something unprecedented in 2020-21

Lexington Herald-Leader logo Lexington Herald-Leader 6/30/2020 By Mark Story, Lexington Herald-Leader

Fast-break points from the post-vacation blues:

21. Dayvion McKnight. When the Collins High School star won the 2020 Kentucky Mr. Basketball Award on Sunday, it set up college hoops fans in the commonwealth to perhaps see something unprecedented in 2020-21.

20. Western Kentucky. McKnight, a 6-foot guard, has signed to play in college for Western Kentucky. He will join Kentucky’s 2016 Mr. Basketball, Carson Williams (Owen County), and 2017 Mr. Basketball winner Taveion Hollingsworth (Paul Laurence Dunbar), on Coach Rick Stansbury’s roster.

19. Northern Kentucky. NKU Coach Darrin Horn is expecting Kentucky’s 2018 Mr. Basketball, Trevon Faulkner (Mercer County), to play a featured role for the Norse as a junior in 2020-21.

18. Kentucky. After missing last season while rehabbing a torn ACL, Dontaie Allen, the commonwealth’s 2019 Mr. Basketball at Pendleton County, will make his college debut as a redshirt freshman for John Calipari’s Wildcats.

17. State history? As best as I can tell, the 2020-21 season will be the first time that five Kentucky Mr. Basketball winners will play for in-state, Division I universities in the same season (had UK’s Allen not missed last season, 2019-20 would have gained that distinction).

16. Out-of-state on top. Since the Mr. Kentucky Basketball Award was launched in 1956, the winner has signed with an out-of-state school 22 times. At least four of those times, the Mr. Basketball winner subsequently transferred home to an in-state school.

15. Kentucky Wildcats. UK has signed the Kentucky Mr. Basketball winner 18 times, from Billy Ray Lickert (1957) through Dontaie Allen (2019).

14. Louisville Cardinals. U of L has signed the Kentucky Mr. Basketball winner 11 times, from Wes Unseld (1964) through Quentin Snider (2014).

13. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. WKU has now signed the Kentucky Mr. Basketball winner seven times, from Harry Todd (1958) through Dayvion McKnight (2020). Transfers Carson Williams (2016) and Camron Justice (2015) have given the Hilltoppers two more Mr. Basketballs.

12. Eastern Kentucky Colonels. EKU has signed the Kentucky Mr. Basketball winner three times, Ralph Richardson (1958, there were co-winners of Mr. Basketball that year), Robert Brooks (1970) and Ervin Stepp (1980). Transfer Charles Thomas (1995) is a fourth Mr. Basketball to have played for the Colonels.

11. Maddie Scherr. When the Ryle High School star won the 2020 Kentucky Miss Basketball Award on Sunday, it set up an unusual dynamic for the impending women’s college hoops season.

10. The Oregon trail. An Oregon signee, Scherr will join Kentucky’s 2016 Miss Basketball, ex-Elizabethtown star Erin Boley, on the 2020-21 Ducks roster. That means Oregon will have twice as many Kentucky Miss Basketball winners on its team as all the universities in the commonwealth combined.

9. Flying solo. The only Kentucky Miss Basketball winner on the roster of an in-state university for 2020-21 is Lindsey Duvall (2017), who is transferring from Louisville to Northern Kentucky. A redshirt junior, the former Bullitt East star plans to graduate from U of L this summer and join NKU for the coming season via the graduate transfer rule.

8. Out-of-state on top II. Since the Kentucky Miss Basketball Award was launched in 1976, Maddie Scherr is the 14th winner to sign with an out-of-state school. At least three of those times, the Miss Basketball winner subsequently transferred home to an in-state school.

7. Western Kentucky Lady Toppers. WKU, which was the commonwealth’s dominant women’s hoops program during the Paul Sanderford coaching era (1982-97), has signed the Kentucky Miss Basketball winner 12 times, from Lillie Mason (1981) through Ivy Brown (2014). Transfers Geri Grigsby (1977) and Arnika Brown (2006) give WKU two more Miss Basketballs.

6. Kentucky Wildcats. UK has signed the Kentucky Miss Basketball winner 11 times, from Geri Grigsby (1977) through Maci Morris (2015).

5. Morehead State Eagles. Morehead State has signed the Kentucky Miss Basketball winner four times, from Donna Murphy (1976) through Megan Gearhart (2003).

4. Louisville Cardinals. U of L has only signed the Kentucky Miss Basketball winner three times — Sara Hammond (2011), Lindsey Duvall (2017) and Seygan Robins (2018). Both Duvall (see above) and Robins (UT Martin) announced transfers this summer. A fourth Miss Basketball, Tia Gibbs (2008), played for Louisville after transferring from Vanderbilt.

3. Crystal ball. Assuming there is a high school basketball season in 2020-21, who will enter the year in the best position to claim the most prestigious individual honors in Kentucky high school hoops?

2. Mr. Basketball. Marshall County star Zion Harmon (25.4 points per game), a Western Kentucky commit, and Lexington Catholic star Ben Johnson (25.6 points), who is pledged to Bellarmine, were the only two juniors to be First Team All-State selections for this past season by both the Herald-Leader and Courier Journal.

1. Miss Basketball. Franklin County point guard Brooklynn Miles (21.7 points) was voted by coaches to both the Herald-Leader and Courier Journal 2019-20 First Team All-State squads, the only junior so honored.

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©2020 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

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