The Kentucky-Indiana college basketball series may be on hiatus, but the prep version of the rivalry continues this weekend.
Kentucky and Indiana will battle for bragging rights when prep stars from both states meet for a two-day doubleheader, beginning Friday night at Freedom Hall in Louisville. The two teams will meet again on Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Kentucky stars will face a tall order against the Hoosiers, who have swept six of the past seven series matchups and won 23 of the past 26 games between the two rivals.
George Rogers Clark graduate Bopper Stenzel has been working out with the team this week at Spalding University in Louisville and likes the team’s chances despite being an underdog.
“We’ve got a really good team and I’ve got some really good teammates,” Stenzel said. “They’re really unselfish, they work hard, they hustle and they’re really good team players. Everybody is smart, quick and we work hard. We’re long and pretty quick. We’re also competitive.”
Although Indiana’s roster is stocked with talent and features a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans, including Michigan State signee Gary Harris and Yogi Ferrell, who has signed to play at Indiana University.
Kentucky’s roster will be without three members of the team this weekend. Mekale McKay, Mike Terry and Jaysean Paige won’t be on the floor for Kentucky, which will have nine players available for the two-game series.
“I’m very excited, especially playing with and against all of those big names in the big arenas,” Stenzel said. “I know (Indiana has) big names, five-star recruits and they’re really quick, really fast, jump and do it all.”
Stenzel said the key to the Kentucky team’s success is “rebounding, limiting turnovers, playing smart and playing good defense.”
During the past three days, Stenzel said his pre-game workouts have been “no different” than the ones conducted at Clark and is looking forward to the two-day doubleheader.
“We want to be the first team in a while to beat Indiana,” he said.