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COLUMN: Drury looking to make All-Star series about Bluegrass pride

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Team to be selected this weekend

By John Herndon

Glen Drury knows he will have some ammo, maybe more than any Kentucky All-Star coach in recent years.


Seniors from around the state will gather in Louisville Friday and Saturday, trying out for the honor of wearing a Kentucky All-Star jersey for the annual summer basketball series against Indiana.


The list of invitees looks as if it could give Anderson County’s Drury, the Kentucky head coach, one of Kentucky’s strongest teams in years. At least a dozen invitees have either signed with a Division I school or are being recruited to play at the highest collegiate level.
“I think we can have a very strong team,” Drury said Monday. “We have a lot of good players but (Bowling Green’s Chane) Behanan is the only McDonald’s All-American in the state. Indiana has five of them.”


Ouch.


One of those five is future Kentucky Wildcat Marquis Teague of Indianapolis Pike. He’s ranked in the Top 10 players nationally, but didn’t even win Indiana’s Mr. Basketball.


That honor went to Washington’s Cody Zeller, another All-American who followed his older brothers Luke – he played at Notre Dame – and Tyler, of North Carolina, to be the third member of the same family to be named as the state’s best player.


“He’s very similar to his brothers,” Drury says.


Zeller, who will be playing at Indiana, stands 6-foot-11. “They have a 7-footer, too,” Drury says. “We are going to need some size.”


The Kentucky list of invitees includes 6-10 Zach Price of Jeffersontown, who is going to Louisville, and 6-8 Vinny Zollo of Clark County, a Western Kentucky signee, but that is about it as far as big bodies are concerned.


Drury has also seen Teague several times and compares him to Brandon Knight. “He’s long. He’s got great quickness and can shoot it,” Drury says.


But for right now, Drury is focused on putting his team together this weekend. “The way it is set up, you have to have a good tryout,” he says.


Only Mr. Basketball, Christian County’s Anthony Hickey, is guaranteed a spot on the roster. And, as of Monday, it was not certain if Behanan would attend the tryouts or opt to concentrate on his future at the University of Louisville.


Again, ouch.


It is a system that can work both ways. Two years ago, unknown Aaron Wilson of Fulton City wowed the tryouts and made the team. But last year, West Jessamine’s Jarrod Polson did not have a good tryout and did not make the final cut even though he was headed to Kentucky.


Drury does plan to talk with the others on the selection committee about the need for size against one of the strongest teams Indiana has ever had.


But most of all, Drury plans to tell his team about the days when Louisville’s Freedom Hall and Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis would be filled for the oldest all-star game of them all.


 “I remember when (fellow Anderson Countian) Jimmy Dan Conner played,” Drury says. “I remember how important it was.”


Conner, Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 1971, led Kentucky to a split in the series, which Indiana leads 81-42.


Now the Kentucky half of what has been called “The World Series of High School Basketball” has been moved to the 3,000-seat Knights’ Hall at Bellarmine University on June 10 and will be played before many empty seats at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the following night.


 “The best thing I can say is that you represent your state. You are not UK or U of L or Western. This is a chance to represent the state of Kentucky.


“It has to be a matter of pride.”


And you can bet Glen Drury will make pride the Kentucky All-Stars’ highest-calibre ammo this summer.