Mustang Madness Preview
By Jordan Kendall, Tuesday, Jan 2, 2018 6:03 PM
The Grind Session kicks off their 2018 schedule in Paducah, Kentucky at McCracken County High School with Mustang Madness. This is the third year McCracken County has hosted Mustang Madness and year after year The Grind Session brings top talent to basketball-crazed fans from Kentucky. This year's field includes ten teams from the 32-team core of The Grind Session, as well as a mix of other boys and girls high school teams from surrounding areas. It will be broken down into five sessions over four days, starting with session 1 on Thursday, January 4th, and ending with session 5 on Sunday, January 7th.
Mustang Madness has hosted past stars such Malik Newman, DeAndre Ayton, Billy Preston, Trevon Duval, and Gary Trent Jr., just to name a few. In what is always a loaded field, the event is sure to give fans an early look at their favorite basketball players of the future. Here's a preview of the teams participating in Mustang Madness and some of the guys to keep an eye on:
Christian County (KY)
Matchup(s): McCracken County (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 forward Detorrion Ware, 2019 forward Fred Tandy
Christian County is off to a 9-3 start on the season behind the terrific play of senior forward Detorrion Ware. Coming off a 1-2 outing at the Poplar Bluff Showdown in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the Colonels of Christian County will be looking to turn things around against host school, McCracken County. Ware is averaging 33.3 points per game for his team and recently turned in a 49-point performance while at the Poplar Bluff Showdown.
McCracken County (KY)
Matchup(s): Christian County (KY), Apollo (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 forward Nathan Stonecipher
McCracken County is 10-3 on the season and coming off a 1-2 showing at the Jeff and Julie Beyke Classic. They'll face off against Christian County (KY) and Apollo (KY) where they'll rely on the scoring ability of senior forward Nathan Stonecipher. They're the host school of Mustang Madness.
Oldsmar Christian (FL)
Matchup(s): Tennessee Prep (TN), Bella Vista (AZ)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 guard Cameron Lee, 2018 forward Tyrese Williams, 2018 point guard Akeil Shakoor, 2019 guard Braxton Bartlett, 2018 guard Richard Clouden
Oldsmar Christian recently participated in The Grind Session's Amusement Park Classic in Orlando, Florida. While there they picked up two wins over Inspire Prep (FL) and Adair County (KY) and received big performances from seniors Cameron Lee, Tyrese Williams, and Akeil Shakoor. Williams and junior guard Braxton Bartlett are the teams leading scorers as they both average 16 points per game. They currently have an 8-4 record and will look to improve on that with Grind Session games against Tennessee Prep (TN) and Bella Vista (AZ).
Tennessee Prep (TN)
Matchup(s): Oldsmar Christian (FL), Trinity International (NV)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 point guard Antavion Collum, 2019 guard Traizon Byrd
Tennessee Prep enters Mustang Madness with a 1-2 record on The Grind Session and 5-5 record overall. They've been led this season behind the play of 6'8" point guard Antavion Collum, a transfer from Memphis East (TN), who is nearly averaging a triple-double with 27.2 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game. They're currently on a three-game winning streak and look to extend that streak with Grind Session games against Oldsmar Christian (FL) and Trinity International (NV).
Bella Vista (AZ)
Matchup(s): The Rock (FL), Oldsmar Christian (FL), Victory Rock Prep (FL)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 guard Terry Armstrong, 2019 point guard Julian Dozier Jr.
Bella Vista has played the least amount of games of any team participating in Mustang Madness as they enter play with a 3-3 record. They are currently 0-1 in The Grind Session with that loss coming against Prolific Prep. With such a small sample size, it's hard to tell what to expect from Bella Vista at Mustang Madness, but any matchup featuring Grind Session teams is sure to be exciting.
The Rock (FL)
Matchup(s): Bella Vista (AZ), Columbus (MS)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 shooting guard Antrell Charlton, 2019 point guard Bryan Greenlee
The Rock currently holds an 11-5 record after dropping two games at the Amusement Park Showcase. One of those games came against Sunrise Christian (KS) of The Grind Session, which gives them a 1-1 record in the league. Their offensive attack is led by senior guard Antrell Charlton and junior point guard Bryan Greenlee.
Aspire Academy (KY)
Matchup(s): Trinity International (NV), Hillcrest Prep (AZ)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 center Charles Bassey, 2019 wing De'Sean Allen-Eikens
Aspire Academy has been on a roll as of late winning seven of their last eight games and is currently sitting at 15-4 on the season. After two wins at The West Kentucky Hoops Classic in Princeton, Kentucky, one of which came against Grind Session opponent Cy-Fair Learning Center (TX), they currently holds a 6-3 record on The Grind Session. Bitten by the injury bug lately, Aspire will likely be playing with a short bench, but the addition of 2018 point guard Caleb Fields will play a big part in keeping players fresh and ready to impact the game.
Trinity International (NV)
Matchup(s): Aspire Academy (KY), Tennessee Prep (TN)
Player(s) To Watch: 2020 point guard Daishen Nix, 2019 shooting guard Deon Stroud, 2018 center Tolu Jacobs-Yaffa
Behind the play of sophomore point guard Daishen Nix, the high flying ability of junior guard Deon Stroud, and the length of senior center Tolu Jacobs-Yaffa, Trinity International has a solid lineup that can compete with the best. Combine that with the coaching of head coach Greg Lockridge and they're a tough matchup every time they take the floor. They'll matchup with Aspire Academy (KY) and Tennessee Prep (TN) in two Grind Session games at Mustang Madness.
Prolific Prep (CA)
Matchup(s): Victory Rock (FL), Orangeville Prep (CAN)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 forward Jordan Brown, 2018 guard Sekou Toure, 2018 forward Amadou Sow, 2018 forward Jeenathan Williams
Head coach Billy McKnight and his Prolific Prep team are off to a 15-4 start, as well as a 5-1 start on The Grind Session. They recently went 1-2 at the Chic-Fil-A Classic in Flora, South Carolina, but received two tough tests in their losses to Findlay Prep (NV) and Oak Hill Academy (VA). They're led by five-star senior forward Jordan Brown and senior guard Sekou Toure. Senior forward Amadou Sow has played well inside for Prolific Prep this season and senior wing Jeenathan Williams has turned things up a notch as of late.
Victory Rock (FL)
Matchup(s): Prolific Prep (CA), Bella Vista (AZ)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 forward Madut Akec, 2018 forward Michael Durr, 2019 point guard Kolton Mitchell
Victory Rock Prep currently boasts a 9-5 record heading into Mustang Madness and is 4-2 on The Grind Session. Two of those Grind Session wins came recently at the Amusment Park Classic where they defeated Mountain Mission (VA) and Hillcrest Prep (AZ). You can expect Madut Akec to carry the scoring load for his team as they take on two Grind Session opponents in Prolific Prep (CA) and Bella Vista (AZ).
Matchup(s): Poplar Bluff (MO)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 point guard Maurice Commander, 2019 shooting guard DaJuan Gordon, 2018 forward/center Tyree Martin, 2018 forward/center Treavon Martin
Curie enters Mustang Madness with an 8-2 record after losing to Simeon (IL) in the championship of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. 2018 Chattanooga commit Maurice Commander will run the point for Curie and he'll look to feed his twin tower big men Tyree and Treavon Martin as they take on Poplar Bluff (MO).
Poplar Bluff (MO)
Matchup(s): Curie (IL)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 small forward Marcedus Leech
Poplar Bluff currently holds a 7-4 record entering Mustang Madness and is led by four-star small forward Marcedus Leech. They'll be matched up with Curie (IL) in a game that doesn't feature any Grind Session core teams, but still brings the same amount of star power. Between the two teams in this matchup, fans will get the chance to see multiple future Division 1 players.
Hillcrest Prep (AZ)
Matchup(s): Orangeville Prep (CAN), Aspire Academy (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2020 guard Kyree Walker, 2018 forward KJ Hymes, 2018 point guard Demarius Jacobs, 2020 guard Jeron Artest
Hillcrest Prep is loaded with high-major talent, starting with five-star sophomore guard Kyree Walker. He and Hillcrest Prep have jumped out to a 17-4 overall record with a 2-1 record on The Grind Session. They'll be looking to avenge their latest loss, which came in the championship game of the John Wall Classic against University School (FL), with two games against Grind Session teams at Mustang Madness.
Orangeville Prep (CAN)
Matchup(s): Hillcrest Prep (AZ), Prolific Prep (CA)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 small forward Ignas Brazdeikis, 2020 small forward Matthew Alexander-Moncrief, 2018 shooting guard Keshaun Saunders
Orangeville Prep is led by senior small forward and Michigan commit Ignas Brazdeikis and sophomore forward Matthew Alexander-Moncrief. Both are Top 50 players in their classes and provide the majority of the offense for their team. They've worked their way to a 20-4 start on the season and will look to improve on that with two Grind Session games against Hillcrest Prep (AZ) and Prolific Prep (CA) at Mustang Madness.
Matchup(s): John Hardin (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 guard Connor Guthrie, 2019 guard Carson Guthrie
Mayfield is led by twin juniors Connor and Carson Guthrie. They've helped the Cardinals to an 8-4 record on the season with key wins over University Heights (KY) and Hopkinsville (KY).
John Hardin (KY)
Matchup(s): Mayfield (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 guard/forward Mickey Pearson
John Hardin has jumped out to an 11-2 start to their season and recently went 3-1 in the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic. They're led by senior guard/forward Mickey Pearson who turned in a career night against Clay County (KY) at the Lake Cumberland Holiday Hoops Classic with 47 points and 15 rebounds.
Matchup(s): The Rock (FL)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 power forward Robert Woodard, 2019 forward Denijay Harris
Columbus heads into Mustang Madness with a 10-4 record on the season behind the strong play of Mississippi State commit Robert Woodard. Despite not being a Grind Session team, they've played an impressive schedule to this point in which they defeated Curie (IL) and took Memphis East (TN) to overtime where they eventually lost.
Matchup(s): McCracken County (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 guard Nathan Boyle
Apollo will look to turn their fortune around against McCracken County (KY) as they enter Mustang Madness on a five-game losing streak. They currently have a 4-8 record on the season, but senior guard Nathan Boyle will look to provide a scoring spark to lift them over the host school.
Bowling Green (KY)
Matchup(s): Adair County (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2018 forward Jarius Key
After the departures of Zion Harmon and Dre Boyd, both of whom play for Bowling Green's opponent in Mustang Madness, Adair County, they'll turn to senior forward Jarius Key to make plays on both sides of the ball. Key was the MVP for his team against Hopkinsville (KY) at The Grind Session's Marshall County Hoopfest in December. Bowling Green is currently 8-5 on the season.
Adair County (KY)
Matchup(s): Bowling Green (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2021 point guard Zion Harmon, 2020 forward Dre Boyd
With the additions of Bowling Green transfers Zion Harmon and Dre Boyd this game is a must-see at Mustang Madness. Harmon alone is worth the price of admission and is the top freshman point guard in the country. He and Boyd have added a lethal scoring duo for Adair County and have helped them to a 6-6 record on the season. They recently went 2-1 at the Rafferty's Caveland Classic where their only loss came in their final game against Jeffersontwon (KY).
University Heights (KY)
Matchup(s): Murray (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2019 guard KyKy Tandy
One of the most exciting players to watch in the state of Kentucky is University Heights junior guard KyKy Tandy. He currently leads the scoring race in Kentucky with 35.3 points per game and typically carries the scoring load for his team. Tandy could easily go off for 40 or more points in their game against Murray (KY). He's helped lead University Heights to a 7-4 record on the season.
Matchup(s): University Heights (KY)
Player(s) To Watch: 2020 guard Hunter Utley
Murray lost the bulk of their scoring when the school's all-time leading scorer Preston English graduated last season, leaving them with an inexperienced team and a brand new coach in Dior Curtis. With a lot of youth in the lineup, Coach Curtis and the Tigers have fought their way to a 6-8 record on the season.
Disclaimer: Team records were compiled from maxpreps.com and khsaa.org unless otherwise provided by the team.