Basketball

Sweet 16 preview | Bowling Green-Graves County

Bowling Green forward Terry Taylor prepares to shoot over Doss forward Terez Traynor. Taylor scored 18 points in the game, the second highest scorer of the night, helping the #1 ranked Bowling Green Purples defeat the defending state champion Doss Dragons, 60-50. 17 December 2016

Bowling Green forward Terry Taylor prepares to shoot over Doss forward Terez Traynor. Taylor scored 18 points in the game, the second highest scorer of the night, helping the #1 ranked Bowling Green Purples defeat the defending state champion Doss Dragons, 60-50. 17 December 2016

GAME 1: BOWLING GREEN VS. GRAVES COUNTY, NOON WEDNESDAY

BOWLING GREEN

Coach: D.G. Sherrill.

Record: 32-2.

Nickname: Purples.

Location: Bowling Green.

Region: Fourth.

Enrollment: 1,250.

Litkenhous Rating: 103.6 (No. 4 in state).

Sweet 16 trips: 17th (10-16).

Last trip to State: 2016 (lost to Paul Dunbar 57-51 in second round).

What to look for: The Purples look to be one of the favorites in Lexington this week as a veteran crew makes the school’s fourth straight trip to Rupp Arena. They’re also one of the hottest teams. Since losing two in a row at the King of the Bluegrass, Bowling Green has reeled off 25 straight victories. Look for the Purples to push the tempo as they average 76.1 points a game and shoot better than 55 percent from the floor and 43 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

Key player: With four players averaging in double figures, it’s hard to hone in on one player. However, Austin Peay signee Terry Taylor ranks among the state leaders in shooting percentage (66.7 percent) and rebounds (12.1 rpg).

Coach-speak: “It goes back to the good senior leadership we have. We have a core group of seniors who have been really good players for us,” Sherrill said.

STARTERS

21-Terry Taylor

6-6, Sr., 17.4 ppg, 12.1 rpg

13-Kyran Jones

6-6, Sr., 11.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg

2-Deangelo Wilson

5-10, Sr., 11.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg

3- Zion Harmon

5-10, 8th, 16.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg

10- Jay Buser

5-10, Jr., 2.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg

KEY RESERVES

12- Jarius Key

6-5, Jr., 5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg

14- Trey Jones

5-10, Jr., 3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg

1- Collin Jackson

6-1, Sr., 2.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg

5- Eli Thurman

6-0, Jr., 4.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg

ALSO: Boys Sweet 16 by the numbers

MORE: Here’s the bracket for the Boys Sweet 16

MORE: Who’s Sweet 16 favorite? Coaches make picks

GRAVES COUNTY

Coach: Josh Frick.

Record: 27-7.

Nickname: Eagles.

Location: Mayfield.

Region: First.

Enrollment: 1,292.

Litkenhous Rating: 85.9.

Sweet 16 trips: Ninth (4-8).

Last trip to State: 2013 (lost to Hopkinsville 50-34 in quarterfinals).

What to look for: The Eagles feature a strong frontcourt with plenty of size that may pose problems for teams in Lexington this weekend. They’ve dealt with injuries to their two leading scorers and are peaking at the right time as they’ve won 12 straight games. Guard Ryan Mathis broke his hand in an auto accident in late January. He was expected to miss up to eight weeks but came back in time to play in the regional tournament, though his right hand is not 100 percent yet.

Key player: 7-footer Chris Vogt is one of the top shooters in the state, hitting 70 percent from the field. The Northern Kentucky signee also uses his size to his advantage as he ranks second all-time in the state in blocked shots. “He’s a special talent,” Frick said.

Coach-speak: “I think for us, we’ve got to get off to a good start,” Frick said. “For our guys, it’s our first time in four years, and none of our guys have played in a state tournament. We don’t want that shell shock.”

STARTERS

33-Chris Vogt

7-0, Sr., 16.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg

43-Brenden Young

6-6, Jr., 6.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg

12- Jordyn Naranjo

6-2, So., 11.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg

14- Trevor Grant

6-2, Jr., 6.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg

4- Brady Wetherington

5-11, Sr., 4.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg

KEY RESERVES

11- Ryan Mathis

6-1, So., 13.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg

23- Jacob Savage

6-3, So., 4.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg

10- Aaron Jones

5-10, So., 1.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg

3- Tae Shannon

5-11, So., 1.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg

-Steve Bittenbender