Kentucky will host a team from a half-mile down the road from Rupp Arena tonight when Transylvania tries to upset the second-ranked Cats in another installment of the Battle On Broadway.
Transy’s roster looks to include about 72 people this year, but these are the five players you really need to keep a close eye on during tonight’s action. I watched hours upon hours of old Transy game film and whittled it all down to these potential threats. Remember their names.
#21 | Cooper Theobald
Guard | 6-1 | 170 | Senior
Fort Mitchell, Ky. | Covington Catholic
Theobald is the second-leading returning scorer for the Pioneers from a year ago at 11.7 points per game in his junior season. He started every single game in his first three seasons at Transy and is back as the team’s starting point guard for one last run.
Fun fact: He went 29-of-32 from the foul line in a single game his sophomore year, setting a new NCAA record for free throw attempts.
He was also an All-HCAC (Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) Honorable Mention last year.
#15 | Gabe Schmitt
Guard | 6-2 | 170 | Junior
Louisville, Ky. | Trinity
Schmitt is the leading returning scorer and the leading three-point shooter with 12.1 points per game and a 44 percent clip from outside in 2017-18. Like his backcourt mate, Theobald, Schmitt earned All-HCAC Honorable Mention a year ago.
Fun Fact: He hit seven three-pointers in a single game last season, so put a hand in his face.
#44 | Luke Schroeder
Center | 6-8 | 220 | Freshman
Sydney, Australia | Sydney Boys
Luke Schroeder made the long journey from Sydney, Australia to Lexington, Kentucky for his basketball career, and though he’s never played a minute of basketball for the Pioneers, he is one of my Players To Watch simply because he is mysterious (and Australian). I have no idea if he’s any good or if he’ll play a single second in tonight’s game, but he’s the biggest guy on the team and he played for something called the Sydney Boys, so I’m intrigued by what he’ll bring to the game, if anything.
#24 | Aiden Pashley
Guard | 6-5 | 187 | Freshman
Sydney, Australia | DME Sports Academy
Why focus on one Australian when Transy has two players from the Land Down Under? Like Schroeder, I do not have the slightest clue if Aiden Pashley is ready to contribute as a true freshman, but he averaged 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and shot 53 percent from outside as a senior back in Sydney, so he might be a steal for Brian Lane. He has career-highs of 45 points, 12 assists, 16 rebounds and 10 three-pointers in one game.
#14 | Spencer McKinney
Guard/Forward | 6-4 | 180 | Junior
Danville, Ky. | Danville
Here’s the thing about Spencer McKinney: he’s a two-sport star at Transy. He spends his winters playing on the wing for Brian Lane’s basketball team; then in the spring, he’s a star for Brian Lane’s golf team. That is a lot of Brian Lane for one athlete, so you know he’s well-coached. I don’t know what he’ll do in Rupp Arena tonight, but I know that, on the golf course, he won the HCAC individual championships and conference MVP last spring as a sophomore.
Name another basketball/golf star. You can’t. Do you think PJ Washington can shoot even par? Of course not. You think Keldon Johnson can hit out of a fairway bunker? No way. I bet Immanuel Quickley can’t even repair a ball mark.
Watch these five guys tonight.