Bullitt East High School’s Derek Willis has been considered the front-runner for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball award all season, but he might have some competition from a teammate.
Senior guard Rusty Troutman has been named the Sixth Region’s Player of the Year, receiving six votes from the 15 coaches who participated. Willis was the runner-up with four votes.
Bullitt East coach Troy Barr said both players are deserving candidates for the Mr. Basketball award.
“I think the award for Mr. Basketball is about how much a guy affects the game,” Barr said. “It’s not just scoring but about the total basketball player. Both of them affect the game in so many ways, from scoring to rebounding to defense to taking charges to blocking shots.”
Ballard junior Quentin Snider, considered a top candidate for the 2014 Mr. Basketball award, was voted Seventh Region Player of the Year. He received six of the 13 votes, with teammate Kelan Martin the runner-up with four votes.
The 6-foot-5 Troutman, who has signed with Bellarmine University, is averaging 17.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals. He’s also shooting 38.4 percent from 3-point range (66 of 172).
He opened the season in style, scoring 32 points twice in victories over Lafayette (Nov. 26) and Hopkinsville (Dec. 1).
“When you look at what he did that first week of the season when Derek sat out a couple of games … he opened a lot of eyes,” Barr said. “He really started out hot this season.”
The 6-1 Snider, who has committed to the University of Louisville, is averaging 19.7 points, 4.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds while playing just 24.3 minutes per game. He’s shooting 40.2 percent (78 of 194) from 3-point range and 78.2 percent (115 of 147) from the free-throw line.
Bruins coach Chris Renner said Snider’s work ethic is what sets him apart from other players.
“College coaches always ask if a guy is a gym rat,” Renner said. “Quentin truly is. He’s the first guy in taking jump shots, and he’s the last guy leaving.”
Renner said the next step for Snider is becoming a leader.
“For him to progress and mature to the next phase, he has to become more vocal,” Renner said. “We’re starting to see that emerge.”