LEXINGTON, Ky. – Eleventh-year head coach Matthew Mitchell continues to sign some of the best high school basketball players in the country to play at Kentucky as he has announced that high school stars Blair Green (pictured) of Harlan, Ky., and Rhyne Howard of Cleveland, Tenn.,have inked National Letters of Intent.
“This is an exciting day for my staff and I as we welcome two fantastic people and basketball players to the Big Blue Nation,” Mitchell said. “Both Blair and Rhyne are everything you look for in a player when you hit the recruiting trail. They both are outstanding athletes and playmakers that will add versatility to our team. Blair and Rhyne have terrific personalities, are fun to be around and are all-around tremendous additions to our program. We are just thrilled that both of them are Wildcats.”
Below is a detailed look at both players, including comments from Mitchell.
Blair Green, 6-0, Guard – Harlan County High School in Harlan, Ky.
Athletic, versatile guard that can score from the perimeter but also create off the dribble … Four-star prospect according to ESPN.com and ProspectsNation.com … ESPN.com ranks her as the ninth best wing in the 2018 class and praised her long-range shooting, ability to exploit mismatches, rebound, handle and pass in transition … ProspectsNation.com ranks her as the 46th best player overall in the 2018 class … Incredible junior season averaging 23.1 points per game with 7.2 rebounds per game … Shot 53.8 percent from the floor last year, including 43.8 percent (39-for-89) from 3 and 77.2 percent from the free throw line …
The strong season paced Harlan County to a 28-3 record and a appearance in the regional championship game … Averaged over 18 points per game with eight rebounds per game for the Black Bears as a sophomore, hitting over 50 percent from the field … Coached in high school by her mother, Debbie Green, who was also a letterwinner one season at Kentucky … Was named a first-team all-state performer by both the Lexington Herald-Leader and Louisville Courier-Journal in 2017 … Was second-team all-state by the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald Leader in 2016 … Honorable mention all-state as a freshman by multiple outlets … Played for the AAU Kentucky Premier team coached by Jarrad Parmley … Chose Kentucky over offers from Louisville, Dayton, Tennessee and UCLA.
Mitchell on Blair Green:
“Blair Green is a player that we have known about for a long time and have had a great relationship with for many years. We are absolutely thrilled that she is officially a Wildcat. She was the first one in the class to commit and we are so excited that she has signed with us. Blair is a player that fits well into what we like to do having a hard-nosed, blue-collar work ethic. She is a gymrat and a great athlete with an outstanding skillset, which is a truly dangerous combination. Blair is a player that has continued to get better throughout her career. She can play numerous positions and is very versatile. We have always valued versatility and always had success with versatile players. She fits in great with our program. She is high character, a great student and has a great family, which are all things that we really, really value.”
Rhyne Howard, 6-2, Guard – Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tenn.
Explosive combo guard that is known for attacking the rim with her up-tempo style … All-Star Girl’s Report ranks her as the eighth best player overall in the 2018 class evaluating her as “super athletic, leaper, strong, explosive in open court, finishes in traffic, likes up tempo game” … Five-star prospect according to ESPN.com, which ranks her as the 10th best guard and 31st best overall player in the 2018 class …
ESPN.com evaluates her as, “athletic, versatile combo-guard that brings size to the back court; explosive in up-tempo game, attacks rim off dribble; elevates in mid-range game; quick-leaper, active on glass, mismatch producer; an elite prospect in the class of 2018” … ProspectsNation.com ranks her as the 18th best player in the 2018 class … Averaged 19.6 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game, 4.6 steals per game, 3.8 assists per game and 1.2 blocks per game as a junior at Bradley Central High School … Scored 647 points last year for the Bears, hitting 55 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 74 percent from the free throw line … Her 153 steals as a junior ranked third overall in the state of Tennessee … Was named 2017 TSSAA Class AAA Miss Basketball runner up … Unanimous District 5 AAA Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017 and two-time Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association All-State honoree …
Led Bradley Central to an undefeated regular season and state tournament appearance in 2016 averaging 18.5 points per game … Added 233 rebounds (6.8 per game), 154 assists, 117 steals and 47 blocks her sophomore year, hitting 56 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range … Named the Region 3-AAA MVP as a sophomore and junior … Enters her senior season with 1,753 career points, which ranks 14th all-time on Bradley Central’s all-time scoring list … Played AAU basketball with the FBC United under coach Keisha Hunt … Mother RJ Avery played college basketball at Florida … Chose Kentucky over offers from South Carolina and Purdue.
Mitchell on Rhyne Howard:
“Rhyne Howard is a player that Big Blue Nation is going to be really excited about. She is extremely versatile and can play – if called upon – all five spots on the floor. She is another very athletic player for us with a high basketball IQ and just the definition of a play maker. But not only can she make plays for herself, but can make others better as well. I think Rhyne is one of the most dynamic players in the 2018 class. She is highly intelligent and is an incredible student. Rhyne is another high character person with a great family and we are absolutely thrilled she decided to become a Wildcat.”
Photo by Jamie H. Vaught,