Jody Demling takes a minute to talk to Scout Kentucky Preps
There aren't many more reputable and knowledgeable people in Kentucky than Jody Demling when it comes to high school athletics. We had a chance to pick Jody's brain on a few topics. And don't forget to check out Jody's blog @ http://www.courier-journal.com/demlingblog.
Scout Kentucky Preps: Do you think basketball talent may be on a bit of an uptick in the state over the next couple of years with guys like Jaylen Beckham, Tamron Manning and Darryl Hicks?
Jody Demling: I do think the talent level is up in the younger classes across the state of Kentucky. It's still should - and hopefully will - get better but there are a lot of nice young players in the state. It helps that many are playing together on some AAU teams.
SKP: Who's the most impressive basketball player you've had a chance to see from the state recently?
JD: I think Bowling Green's Chane Behanan is the best prospect in the state in any class. He's big, strong and athletic and really has turned into an all-around player. He's for sure a top 100 player nationally.
SKP: Do you see Ballard as the favorite this upcoming season for the Sweet 16 Championship? If not, who would you say is the team to beat?
JD: Wow! Tough question. I would think Eastern will be loaded with virtually everybody except Delquan Thomas back and they had a few good young kids that will step in. Ballard will be good from the Seventh and Christian County is loaded. Mason County and Clark County both return a ton.
SKP: Do you think the smaller schools get enough attention statewide? Did Shelby Valley winning the whole thing open some eyes?
JD: I have always thought the smaller schools that get the attention across the state do that because they get out and schedule the tougher teams. Shelby Valley opened some eyes but they also made people look at them by going out and making a top-flight schedule.
On to football --
SKP: If you had to pick one player to start your team with from this year's class, who would you pick?
JD: Some might laugh but it might be a kicker - Scott County's Jay Wilmott. A kicker in high school football can be the biggest weapon and he's one of the best I have seen in a while. But I will also say I think a kid like DeVante Parker at Ballard is one of those type kids that will make a huge difference for any team he plays on.
SKP: Is there a player statewide that you are sure is being overlooked?
JD: Neal Pawsat, the Mason County QB. He put up huge numbers before he was injured. He's an exceptional athlete and a big-time arm. I love the kid and think he will have an outstanding senior season.
SKP: Do you see the talent level in Kentucky being much higher in this year's senior class than in recent years?
JD: I think the talent level has been about the same for the last 5-6 years - since the Bush, Brohm era. But I do think it's a little deeper this coming senior class and then maybe the '12 class will be even better than this one.
SKP: What do you think is the cause in the rise in strength of this class?
JD: I think more kids are playing football, more kids are skipping out on some other sports and coaches are making it more of a year-round sport - not just at the powerhouses. That and the fact that spring ball really pays off...
We'd like to thank Jody Demling for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts with us.