Ranking the 10 best players in the South Region that Kentucky could face on the way to the Final Four

John Calipari and the Wildcats will have a tough road to the Final Four out of the South Region in the NCAA Tournament, and these are the players in the way of the Wildcats and Final Four No. 19.
Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1)
Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
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9. player. . Senior 6'6" 228 lbs. 16.9 ppg 7.8 reb. Trey Townsend, F. Trey Townsend, F. 2384. Trey Townsend.

Head coach Greg Kampe has been at Oakland for 40 years and has known Trey Townsend for nearly all 21 years of his life. Townsend’s father Skip played for Kampe, and his mother Nicole played basketball at Oakland too. So, when Trey led the Golden Grizzlies to the NCAA Tournament with 38 points against Milwaukee in the Horizon League final, Kampe called it one of the happiest moments of his life. 

Much like Reed Sheppard, a Kentucky legacy, Townsend means everything to the Oakland program emotionally and symbolically, but also on the court. Townsend, the Horizon League Player of the Year, leads the Golden Grizzlies in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. 

A 6-foot-6 stretch power forward, Townsend will even play small-ball five for Oakland, but this season, he’s dialed back his three-point attempts, just 26 all year, and ramped up the pressure he puts on the rim. While he only shot 45% from the field this season, Townsend atoned for that lack of efficiency by scoring 159 of his 574 points this season from the free throw line. 

Adou Thiero is the right body type to handle Townsend and Justin Edwards will be able to bother him with his length, so Townsend and Kampe’s Cinderella story should end in the Round of 64, but with the way Kentucky plays defense, it may not be easy.