Speaking of Sports on Pedro Bradshaw and 2017 4th Region basketball
By Jim Turner

Posted on February 17, 2020 5:02 PM


Although his team has been struggling lately, Russellville’s Pedro Bradshaw continues to put together a remarkable season.

A month ago, his Bellarmine Knights were 12-0 and ranked number one in the nation in NCAA Division II. Since then they are 5-6 with all the losses coming in their Great Lakes Athletic Conference.

Bradshaw has started 19 of the Knight’s 23 games.

He’s fifth on the team in scoring at 8.5 points per game. That’s his lowest ranking in any major statistical category.

Among the regulars he’s second in field goal shooting (49 of 121 for 57 percent), 3-pointers hit (12), free throws hit (45), free throw percentage (78.9 percent), rebounds (112) and rebounding average (4.9).

He is third in 3-point percentage (12 of 28 for 42.9 percent), assists (74), assist average (3.2), steals (10) and blocks (35).

He’s fourth in turnovers (42) and turnovers per game (1.8). That’s one you don’t want to be in the top three.

This is the Knights’ final season in Division II. They’re going to Division I and will be in the same Atlantic Sun Conference as Lipscomb University. They would undoubtedly like to win another Division II national championship before climbing that mountain.

The LoJo

It’s becoming more and more clear that the 2017 season was one of the greatest in Fourth Region history, maybe even better than the George Fant-Chane Behanan season of 2011.

Three years ago Bowling Green High beat the Russellville Panthers in the regional finals on the way to the Purples’ first-ever state championship. It was the final game at RHS for Bradshaw, magnificent multi-sport athlete Jaylin McMurry, and Coach Phil Todd, who was in his sixth regional finals, three of which his Panthers won.

Three Fourth Region players were finalists for Mr. Kentucky Basketball—Russellville’s Bradshaw, Bowling Green’s Terry Taylor and Franklin-Simpson’s Tavin Lovan, more than any other region.

Pedro’s early struggles are well-documented. After being held out of action by Coach Rick Byrd his first semester at Belmont in 2017, he obtained his release and then transferred to Eastern Kentucky, where he played sparingly in the spring of 2019. Now, however, he is having a strong sophomore season at Bellarmine, contributing mightily to a team coached by one of the greatest small college coaches in the nation, Scott Davenport.

Lovan had to attend a prep school for a year to get himself ready academically and athletically for Division I, but he now is a sophomore starter for UAB in the same conference as WKU. Lovan is averaging 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

BGH’s Taylor, who was one of Pedro’s best friends in high school, has had a sensational college career at Austin Peay. He not only has started all three years, but he was Rookie of the Year in the OVC as a freshman. One of the guys he beat out for that honor was Ja Morant of Murray State, who was the number two pick in last year’s NBA Draft and who should be NBA Rookie of the Year (if the hype over Duke’s Zion Williamson in his half season doesn’t rob him of it). Taylor is averaging 22 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season.

Another of the top players on that Bowling Green team, Deangelo Wilson, is having a great football career at APSU, and then-eighth grader Zion Harmon (I don’t think he and Mr. Williamson are related) continues to be among the best high school players in the nation, wherever he’s playing that week.

What a year 2017 was in the Fourth Region!

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