The two frontrunners for next year's Kentucky "Mr. Basketball" award have surged in the latest edition of the Rivals 150 recruiting rankings for the Class of 2008.
On the strength of their play as juniors and the spring AAU circuit, Mason County's Darius Miller and Scott County's Bud Mackey have positioned themselves as two of the nation's elite prospects.
Miller, a 6-foot-6 wing, is a four-star prospect who saw his ranking improve from No. 37 to No. 29 coming off a junior season which saw him average 20 points, 9.5 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots for the Royals. He is rated the No. 5 small forward in the nation.
The Mason County star has drawn strong interest from a list of major programs that includes Kentucky, Louisville, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Duke Indiana, Cincinnati and UConn. He maintains a "wide open" position in his recruitment and has yet to narrow his list of favorites.
Mackey, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, saw his stock skyrocket after leading the Cardinals to a 34-2 record and the Kentucky state championship. Previously unranked, he is now a four-star prospect, the No. 7 shooting guard and the No. 35 player overall in the junior class.
An Indiana verbal commitment, Mackey averaged close to 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals per game, establishing a reputation as one of the state's most well-rounded players on both ends of the court.
Mackey's reputation got even stronger this season when he went head-to-head with O.J. Mayo and fared well against the national phenom in leading Scott County to a win over eventual West Virginia state champion Huntington High School.
The Bluegrass State almost placed three players in the Top 50. University Heights Academy standout Scotty Hopson comes in at No. 51. The 6-foot-5 swingman dropped from his previous spot at No. 10 in the junior class, but still commands respect for his potential. He is an early commitment to Mississippi State.