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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: County Pride and UK Basketball

kentucky-county-map

The state of the Kentucky takes as much pride in it’s counties as maybe any other state in the country.  Folks often identify with their county more than the city they grew up in.  And that can often bleed over into Kentucky basketball as well.  Especially for counties outside of the major cities in Kentucky, the more rural areas of the state, to have a player don the blue and white takes on a kind of county pride that us folks in Louisville and Lexington don’t feel.  Sure, Scott Padgett came from Louisville, but I didn’t take anymore pride watching him as I did Anthony Epps.  But I bet the folks of Marion County would disagree when it comes to Epps.

But do you know exactly how many players in the history of Kentucky basketball have come from each of the 120 counties?  Well, I tabulated the numbers from Jon Scott’s website, and here are the results:

86 players
Fayette

41 players
Jefferson

15 players
Boyd

13 players
Kenton

12 players
Mason

11 players
Bourbon, Campbell, Woodford

10 players
Madison

8 players
Daviess, Hopkins

7 players
Clark, Floyd, Perry

6 players
Pike, Whitley

5 players
Anderson, Boone, Shelby

4 players
Hardin, Harlan, Henry, Johnson, McCracken, Montgomery, Pulaski, Union

3 players
Bell, Casey, Christian, Crittendon, Franklin, Graves, Harrison, Henderson, Jessamine, Laurel, Lee, Marshall, Muhlenberg

2 players
Barren, Bracken, Bullitt, Carroll, Clay, Fleming, Greenup, Hancock, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Marion, Martin, Mercer, Oldham, Scott, Warren

1 player
Ballard (Ken Rollins), Bath (Dan Swartz), Boyle (Doug Pendygraft), Breckenridge (Michael Parks), Calloway (Stan Key), Estill (Guy Strong), Fulton (Harold Ross), Grant (Dave Lawrence), Grayson (Jim Dinwiddie), Hart (Arthur Donan), Hickman (Sam Harper), Knott (Ernest Sparkman), Knox (Terry Mills), Larue (Adrian Back), Magoffin (Lincoln Collingsworth), Metcalfe (J.P. Blevins), Nelson (Harvey Mattingly), Nicolas (Ned Jennings), Ohio (Marshall Barnes), Pendleton (John Campbell), Powell (Harold Hurst), Taylor County (Merion Haskins), Trimble (Jack Tingle)

NO PLAYERS
Adair, Allen, Breathitt, Butler, Caldwell, Carlilse, Carter, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Gallatin, Green, Jackson, Lawrence, Leslie, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, McLean, Meade, Menifee, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Simpson, Spencer, Todd, Trigg, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wolfe

So, what do you think?  Where is your county and what is the player you think could have succeeded at Kentucky that didn’t get the chance?  Let me hear it in the comments section.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

90 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: County Pride and UK Basketball



  1. John
    9:01 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Besides Joe B. Hall, who are the other two from Harrison County?



  2. jeremy
    9:05 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Where is Garrard co. I don’t think they have anybody but that’s pretty interesting



  3. Bryan the Intern
    9:08 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    1) Karl Rohs and Jack Tucker



  4. Jonathan
    9:08 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    You forgot Adam Chiles from Ballard.



  5. BoCo
    9:09 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Alvin Sims played at Louisville. He could’ve wore the Blue and White. He played at Paris in Bourbon County.



  6. catsfan
    9:12 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    i’m from just up the road from matt’s home county of bell. my home county of knox had 1 player to suit up for the cats, terry mills. the only reason i knew this is because i have saw pictures of him in knox central’s trophy case standing with coach Rupp!



  7. Alumni Gym
    9:13 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Daviess has 9. Embry, Watson, Hagan, King Rex, Bibb, Miller, Foust, Hickerson, and Kron. Plus, Rex’s father, Wayne Chapman played freshman ball at UK.



  8. BIG BLUE#1
    9:14 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Who are the six players from Whitley County.



  9. Fleming Co. Sweatsuit Guy
    9:15 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Fleming County’s Josh Graham could have been a good Tubby Smith recruit. He was a lot like Chuck Hayes but at least he had a somewhat decent jumper. He would have been in the same recruiting class as Keith Bogans. Probably woulda been even better as a monstrous Defensive End on the football team.



  10. Aaron
    9:16 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Muhlenberg had 3? All I can think of is Patrick Sparks and Reggie Warford. Who was the other?



  11. jason
    9:17 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Barry Goheen, Dan Hall, and Dan Langhi all went to Vandy from Marshall, and could have played at UK.



  12. mattchu da man
    9:17 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I would like to know what 3 players came from Franklin?



  13. Kenton County
    9:18 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Kenton County has had 13!? Who besides Krebs and McKinley?



  14. swampthang
    9:20 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #4 I think Chiles went to Ballard High School in Louisville…not Ballard County



  15. Boom!!
    9:23 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Stephon Pettigrew from Elizabethtown AKA Hardin County… Went to WKU and had a great 4 years



  16. Rockfield, KY
    9:24 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    My buddy’s uncle, Ricky McPherson, had a scholarship to play for UK and died in a motorcycle accident the summer before he was to enroll. He was from Cumberland County. Would’ve been their only one.



  17. I Say
    9:25 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Riley Benock from Meade County could have played at UK. He played on scholarship for 4 years at Mississippi State under Rick Stansbury from 2007 to 2011. Stansbury also happens to be from Meade County. Battletown to be exact



  18. Go Cats
    9:30 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    BTI, I want to see it broken out by points, rebounds and assists by county and then do a heat map so we can visually see where the good players are coming from. Don’t slack, BTI!



  19. chad ritter
    9:31 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Spanky patterson. Best player outta spencer co. Rumors that michigan wanted him to join the fab five.



  20. jpay
    9:32 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    A tip of the hat to the country boys from Boyd County.



  21. nate
    9:32 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Krebs is Campbell (went to NCC). He went to UK from Thomas More, which is kenton.



  22. greginky
    9:33 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I am from Pendleton County but have never heard of John Campbell. It must be from a very long time ago is all I can think.



  23. Daniel Orton's Escape Goat
    9:36 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I’m from Lyon County and I think Ty Rodgers could have been able to play at UK. Probably a walk on or maybe logging Jon Hood minutes. Ty holds the Kentucky high school record for most 3’s in a career.

    You may recall Ty Rodgers played at WKU and hit the LONG three point buzzer beater shot to beat Drake in the NCAA tournament. They ended up losin to Kevin Love and UCLA in the sweet 16.



  24. greginky
    9:36 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    11) There was a Dan Hall that played 1 year at Kentucky, I think he was in the same class as Robey and Phillips, not sure if that is the same one or not.



  25. greginky
    9:37 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    13) Dickie Beal was from Covington in Kenton County



  26. UKFaniac
    9:39 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    A little known fact is that Gayle Rose is from Carter County. He was left West Carter High School to play for his brother who coached in Winchester to get more exposure. He returned to Olive Hill after his playing days to open a pharmacy called Rose’s Drug store.



  27. UK BABY ALL THE WAY
    9:41 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Where is Owen county don’t know if they had any but still like to know and who are two players from Carroll



  28. bo jackson
    9:41 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    There have not been 3 players from Crittenden County play at UK.



  29. wkcatsfan
    9:42 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I’m from Crittenden County and didn’t realize that any players from there had made it to UK, much less three!



  30. Dr. Tom
    9:43 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I grew up in Union County and can only remember 3 players (Larry Johnson, Duane Casey and Freddie Cowan). Who was the 4th? Anyway my favorite story regarding a Wildcat from Union County and Sturgis my hometown involved Freddie Cowan. He was a freshman on the 1978 championship team. The following night after winning the title in St. Louis the team was recognized at a huge rally in memorial coliseum. After Macy, Givens, Robey, Phillips and the other starters and upper classmen talked they then brought up the freshmen to say something to the crowd. I will never forget the following immortal words of Freddie Cowan, “We’re number one and there ain’t no school tomorrow”!! Well that was all the student body needed to hear and practically no one attended class the next day. Thanks BTI for reminding me of that story. I laugh every time I recall the story!!



  31. Dale in Orlando
    9:45 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    16 legion army.



  32. GoJaguars
    9:45 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Aint nothing good slid out of Rockcastle County since it was founded!



  33. bo jackson
    9:48 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Kenneth Polson and Ercel Little… who would be 3rd?



  34. greginky
    9:48 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    32) That may be true sports wise, but I remember a little old lady Named Anna Ingles that was my 8th grade math teacher. She used to crack us on the knuckles with her ruler if we miss behaved. All 4 foot of her, LOL.



  35. kes
    9:49 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    13. krebs was from campbell county, newport central catholic



  36. Todd County Native
    9:50 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    To get Todd County on the board, Harold Ross lived almost all his life in Todd County, just might not been from there while he played.



  37. bo jackson
    9:52 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Here is the link BTI is referring to:
    http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/Statistics/playershometown.html

    In case you want to do some fact checking… BTI is wrong with his list… as usual.

    Only 2 from Crittenden. You’re right #30 only 3 from union.



  38. CaldwellFootball
    9:53 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Two brothers from Caldwell County…. Dwight & Greg Smith could have been stars at UK. Both went to WKU. Dwight was selected by Lakers in 2nd round of 1967 draft; he died in a tragic car accident shortly after. Greg (the younger of the two) was also drafted & had a long career in the NBA.



  39. Jeff Garlin
    9:53 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    32. Wring, Rockcastle County produced Jerry Bob Reynolds..



  40. Kevin
    9:55 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Donald Mitts from grant county played for Rupp too. I know this cause he is my uncle.



  41. Musehobo
    9:55 am July 23, 2013 Permalink


  42. Tim Couch
    9:56 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Tim Couch in Leslie County. Averaged 36 ppg as a Junior at LCHS. He obviously dominated the gridiron at UK but I think he could have played on the hardwood also. One of the best HS athletes of all time.



  43. Jeff Garlin
    9:56 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Wrong not wring… LOL



  44. Jeff Garlin
    9:57 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Those Cash brothers from Rockcastle would’ve dominated if they went to UK but Transy and Berea came calling…



  45. Andrew
    10:00 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Any info on Owen County?



  46. Bobby Bouche'
    10:01 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Wish Clem Haskins would have been given the chance to suit up in the Blue and White



  47. Dr. Tom
    10:05 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Wow #38 you reminded me of another story. I was a freshman at WKU during the spring of 1966 when both UK and WKU made the 16 team NCAA tournament field. Two car loads of us frat brothers drove to Iowa City to see them both play in the tournament. In the first game Western was matched up against Michigan. We had a one point lead near the end of the game when a jump ball was called. Back then the players actually had to jump against each other for the ball. I don’t remember which player but it was either Dwight or Greg Smith who had to jump against Cazzie Russell. The ref called a pushoff against Smith and Russell hit the free throws and Michigan won the game by one point. We paraded around the Iowa City downtown circle the next day with “Michigan sucks” painted on our cars with white shoe polish. Oh the wonderful college day memories!!



  48. Bbn1524
    10:12 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ben Bolling from PCC in perry co could have suited up



  49. ky1der
    10:14 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Nice way to leave Owen county off the list. Owen County had one that I know of Ed Godby. Owen County had a former coach that played for Rupp. He was actually the person that helped lead the charge to desegregate our school system, Bill Smith, played on the ’58 championship team.



  50. Musehobo
    10:16 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Went through the list looking for Lincoln Co. players, could only find one. Evan Settle, guess he was born in Crab Orchard, but played in Shelby Co. Anyone else know the other person?



  51. Stroker Ace
    10:23 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Russ Chadwell from Clay Co could have played at UK, was NAIA All-American at Georgetown College in early 1990s



  52. ky1der
    10:24 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    The D1 ballplayer from Owen County that most remember is Bobby Nix. He signed with Auburn out of Owen County but ended up transferring to Minnesota. He was the point guard for the team that had the large fight with Ohio State, which put Ohio State player, Luke Witte, in the hospital. Dave Winfield of New York Yankee fame was on the Minnesota team.



  53. Jeff
    10:24 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Garrard Co. had a player, think his last name was Long, before my time, schools were still Lancaster, Camp Dick, Paint Lick and Buckeye.



  54. Pawn star
    10:31 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Would love to know who the four are that played at Henry county



  55. NO MATT JONES
    10:49 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Fayette county master race.



  56. Retired young b-ball player
    10:52 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Really? As I write this, there are 54 comments, and no mention of Chris Lofton yet?!?! The one that definitely got away from UK that we definitely needed. The one that Tubby got huge backlash for not offering? Darius Miller (also Mason County) was of course a great asset to the team, but Lofton was the better basketball player. Before I get a hundred comments, I mean an overall BASKETBALL player. Darius is more athletic, more physically gifted than Lofton, but I’ve never seen a better shooter.



  57. BellCounty Mounty
    10:55 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Larry Pursiful was from Bell Co. Who were the other two?



  58. ky1der
    11:00 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #54 As a young man I played ball against Henry County in the 8th Region, 32nd district. I do not remember any Henry County players from ’75 to present playing for UK. That said, the players from Henry County that played for UK would have come from the city schools before Centralization in the late 60s and early 70s. You would have to know all the old city school names to find them. New Castle, Eminence, Smithfield, Pleasureville, Campbellsburg, etc. Rupp had a Beatty from Smithfield that played for him.



  59. BellCounty Mounty
    11:01 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Two other good ones that UK didn’t take were Phil Cox from Harlan Co. to Vandy and Rodney Woods from Bell Co. to Tennessee. Torched UK for all three years of their careers. (Before freshman eligibility)



  60. UKid
    11:02 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Reggie Hanson- that’s all i got for Pulaski



  61. ky1der
    11:04 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #56 Where is Chris Lofton, now? Darius is playing in the NBA. Lofton was not that good in high school. He worked hard and improved his game immensely over the years he was at UT. During high school, he wasn’t nearly as prolific shooter as he became the last two years at UT. I’ll take Darius everytime over Lofton. Guess you never watched Larry Bird, Jerry West or Kyle Macy, they were all better shooters than Lofton.



  62. Livingstonbory
    11:09 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Back in the day (60’s) there was a player named Don Ringstaff for Livingston County. Led us to our only state tournament and still holds the state record for most made FT in a state tourny game ( I think he was 34/34). He coached at Livingston for years and had great success for such a small rural cty. The man could shot it anywhere on the court well into his sixtys. During class (he taught PE) I once saw him hit 40 straight free throws. Had offers from many schools, but had some issues. Probably Livingston’s only shot



  63. BellCounty Mounty
    11:11 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Does Matt playing at Coach Cal’s fantasy camp count for Bell County?



  64. Retired young b-ball player
    11:17 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #61 I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Again, I prefaced by saying Darius is more athletic, more physically gifted (he’s 6’8 to Lofton being 6’2). But, I think Chris is the better BASKETBALL PLAYER. If Chris was 6’8, or even 6’5 – game over. But he’s smaller, not as quick…but just has a better feel for the game.

    To answer your question, Chris is playing overseas (probably Spain – making a good living). I wish he could be in the NBA, and still don’t see why he’s not. I believe he could be a Norris Cole type player. Anyway, your argument is that Darius is in the NBA, Chris is not – that means Darius is better than Chris? I disagree. Darius is a great player, a multi-dimensional player, but he isn’t the basketball player Chris is. Chris could carry a team – he did at UT. Darius was always a good player, but couldn’t be “the man”. And before you say anything, UT was ranked #1 and #2 (def. top 10) when Chris was the go to player at UT.

    All I’m saying is – UK should have offered Lofton. In my generation, that is one of the biggest whiffs/miss UK has made in the last 10-20 years.



  65. Cat Fan Bama
    11:19 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Kelly Wells from Rowan County could have played. He’s now the coach at UPike.



  66. Hillbilly
    11:20 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    I always wondered if Bert Greene from Olive Hill couldn’t have played for UK. He’s still one of the most prolific scorers in KY basketball history.

    And to comment 61: Lofton was a lights out shooter in high school. Not the best in the history of basketball like was claimed a few post earlier but about as good as it gets for a high schooler.



  67. Retired young b-ball player
    11:24 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #61 – also…Lofton wasn’t that good in high school? Mr. Basketball, MVP of the Sweet 16, won the Sweet 16 his junior year and made it to the finals his senior year? How do you say he wasn’t that good in high school???



  68. Doug the Prosecutor
    11:31 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Who was from Barren County besides Brandon Stockton?



  69. WGY944
    11:36 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    You only have 118 counties listed……..math must not be required on this site.



  70. Jason
    11:37 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Different Dan Hall. Dan played at Vandy like 89-93.



  71. everett
    11:44 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Josh Carrier and Jason La them out of Warren County, but I think Pitino missed out on two that could have been good. Dameon Fishback from Greenwood High School (ended up at Auburn) and Brian Britt from Warren East High School see state final four 1997. ( ended up in D-II.



  72. Harlan County
    11:44 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Charles Thomas could have played at UK. He went to Minnesota to play for Clem Haskins and played against UK in the Final Four.



  73. JKK
    11:53 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    King Kelly Coleman, from Floyd co., should of played at UK



  74. Clint
    11:54 am July 23, 2013 Permalink

    “King” Kelly Coleman from Floyd County could have been another. He was before my time but is still a legend in KY HS Bball.



  75. Big T
    12:02 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #10, Roger Newman played for Greenville in the 50’s and later played for UK. Newman, Warford, Sparks all from Muhlenberg.



  76. Dr
    12:05 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    There was a players that coach Rupp recruited and got named Webb Young. He never got to play for Kentucky. WWII started and he went overseas and got his arm blown off.



  77. G
    12:29 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Does anybody know the who the 5 players from Boone County are?



  78. Ryan
    12:29 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Ralph Beard should make Breckinridge County have 2 players



  79. Rex
    12:36 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    If I had to pick just one from Hart County, it would be Terry Compton from 1970. He was big-time for Vandy for four years. Also, Tick Rogers.



  80. CUK02
    12:39 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    69 – The sad thing is that you counted that just to make that lame comment. Congrats!



  81. Mammoth Cave
    1:08 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    #79 Certainly would have wished Tick Rogers was at UK instead of UL…(his family were all UL fans), but wish we had him as a modern day Big Blue hero for Hart County.



  82. Gary
    2:14 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Breathitt Co. Had great teams in the 50s and 60s under Fairce Woods. Two that could have suited up for the Big Blue were Arch Johnson, and Earl Stevens.



  83. cathalchan
    2:42 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Dan Hall from Marshall County would have been what the 1993 team needed to win title. Instead, he was another who left us for success at Vandy.



  84. Edmonson76
    3:07 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    In the KHSAA sweet sixteen championship, Phil Rich did not miss a shot. At 6’5″, 230, he went on to play in the NFL. In the 70’s small town players went under the radar, but a player of that size would receive notice today. Also, surprised no one mentioned “Tick” Rogers from Hart County, went on to UofL to play for Crumb. Good catch #71, Fishback was a beast – that team should have won the state tournament his senior year.



  85. TJCats
    3:56 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Deron Feldhaus actually spent his childhood in Russell County. His father coached here and they lived here for quite some time. His brother, Willie, is the head coach at Russell County High School.



  86. Ravel
    4:08 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    One of the biggest UK misses of all time…Dave Cowens from Campbell County.



  87. Rack
    4:38 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Paul Smith, Owsley Co



  88. C
    5:02 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    No mention of Shaun Alexander?!?!? Boone County pride and joy



  89. One Guy With A Problem
    5:58 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    Where is Boone County on this list?



  90. Aaron
    10:08 pm July 23, 2013 Permalink

    75) thanks. I could only think of the two.