One Reddit user (u/JohnDoeMonopoly) has way too much time on his hands and I’m jealous.
After finding major success in the project last year, he went after the 2018 Statewide Award Teams project again for this past season. The result? An 85-team masterpiece of the top college basketball players in each state (larger states get multiple teams based on region).
As you can see in the picture above, two Wildcats made the list for the All-Kentucky squad, and it’s not a big surprise who they are: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox. Jonathan Stark of Murray State, Drew McDonald of Northern Kentucky, and Justin Johnson of Western Kentucky rounded out the starting lineup.
Most importantly? No Louisville players in the starting lineup.
So how did he create such a large and in-depth system? It’s about the most decorated players and the biggest individual impact at each respective school.
First things first: this is not an attempt to pick the 12 best players from each state. I learned my lesson last year. Rather, this is an attempt to pick the 12 players who had the most distinguished individual seasons in each state. The 6th man at a big school might be better than the star player at a small one in the same state, but if the small school star was more decorated at season’s end then he’s the one who made the team. There was a little more thought that went into these teams than that, but I just wanted to get that out of the way early. It’s not just about pure talent.
This year I formed the Statewide Award Teams by sifting through each and every postseason award announced by every conference. Since not all conferences are created equal, I applied some weighting to the awards. In essence awards from the top seven conferences carried more merit than awards from the rest of the conferences, and certain awards (such as an all conference selection) meant more than others (such as an all freshman team selection).
For a little taste of some of the other states he did, check out the North Carolina and Kansas All-State teams below:
To see every team, including the different regions for some states, take a look at the photo slideshow.
Do you guys agree with the Kentucky selections? Any states that shock you?