Offense is King at Derby Fest Classic

Basketball purists need not bother with the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

There’s not much defense or fundamentals on display, but there’s a whole lot of running, gunning, dunking and laughing going on in the annual all-star game, conducted last night at the Yum Center to the delight of 10,019 fans. And talent, oh, yea.

Zach Price does the post-game interview. PHOTO: Luke Redding

Card recruit Angel Nunez launched a 1st quarter three-pointer that seemed to almost hit the roof. IU-bound Cody Zeller had his way under the basket.  Duece Bello, on his way to Baylor, made some eye-popping moves.  There were good moments for U of L recruits Zach Price (from Jeffersontown) and Chane Behanan (Bowling Green) as well as WKU future stars Derrick Gordon and George Fant, who wore the Red Towel Territory t-shirts in warmups.

They did keep score. The Gold team won 126-122. The U of L guys were on the losing side.

Price wowed the crowd during introductions by walking out in a UK t-shirt, only to rip it off and jump around in a U of L shirt.

I was especially interested in seeing Aaron Cosby, who won the three-point contest but missed 8 of 10 shot in the game. He played football at Manual his freshman year, transferred to Jeffersontown, committed to play at UMass until Travis Ford left, then finished up his high school career in Massachusetts, He’ll be back at Yum playing for Seton Hall.

Dan Owens, the game’s recruiting director, said the players competing represented one of the most talented groups in years — including players committed to Duke, Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Alabama. But not Kentucky, thanks to rules that limit the number of games players can participate in, and four UK recruits choosing another all-star contest last weekend. Among the few undecided players was Tony Kimbro, Jr., who played his senior year at J-town.

The game was televised locally on Fox41.