4A/3A BOYS PREVIEW: Rose ready to take on leadership role for Pea Ridge

Posted: November 5, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Kobe Rose, Pea Ridge senior, was named to the Class 4A All-State Tournament team last season after helping the Blackhawks reach the state championship game.

PEA RIDGE -- Kobe Rose knew his role last season was simply that -- a role player.

This year, he's a role player of a different kind. As a senior returning starter for Class 4A state runner-up Pea Ridge, he now slides into a starring role.

4A/3A Boys High 5

Chad Graham^Elkins^6-0^Jr.

Averaged 13.2 ppg, 4.7 assists and 2.2 steals last season.

Jack Hutchinson^Shiloh Christian^6-3^Sr.

Averaged 18.6 ppg, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season. Two-time All-4A-1 selection.

James Taylor^Subiaco Academy^5-8^Jr.

Averaged 15 ppg, 4 assists last season. Named to the All-4A-4 team.

Kelton Trembly^Gravette^6-3^Sr.

Averaged 16 ppg last season. Named All-4A-1 team. Offered by UT-Tyler.

Dayten Wishon^Gravette^6-4^Sr.

Averaged 14 ppg, 10 rebounds last season. Selection to the All-4A-1 team.

"Kobe was last year, what I considered to be one of the best 3-point shooters around," said Pea Ridge boys basketball coach Trent Loyd. "He was consistent all year, like 45-50 percent on threes. He did it a lot in the state tournament, knocking down big shots.

"But now he's become a complete player. This year, you're not going to see him just sit in the corner and let Joey Hall or one of those players go make a play for him. Now you're going to see a guy going off ball-screens and trying to get other players involved. And he's still shooting the ball exceptionally well."

Pea Ridge was a senior-dominated team last season and rode that experience through the Class 4A playoffs all the way to the state title game in a 32-3 season. The Blackhawks fell to Baptist Prep 59-51 in the finals in a back-and-forth game.

While players like Hall, Matt Thomas, Cole Wright and other seniors led the team, it was the perimeter shooting of Rose that helped carry the team in several key games. Rose (6-foot-3), went on a shooting tear in the postseason and earned a spot on the all-state tournament team.

On the season, Rose averaged 8.3 points per game and shot 58 percent from the floor and 45 percent from behind the 3-point arc. He was named to the All-4A-1 Conference team.

"The seniors last year, they taught me so much," Rose said. "They brought me in and taught me pretty much everything I know. They got me out of my comfort zone and made me a better leader. That showed me how I need to push my players and my team. "

Rose said his confidence level grew game-by-game last season as his team gained more trust in his ability to knock down big shots. He wants to help this year's players elevate their play just like he did, he said.

Loyd said he expects Rose to be able to handle the additional responsibilities that come with transitioning from a catch-and-shoot specialist to a floor leader

"I think you're going to see him more active this year," Loyd said. "You're going to see him guard the other team's best player. You're going to see the offense go through him. He won't just be catch-and-shoot, it will be catch, penetrate, create. So the options are going to be a lot more for him this year."

The Blackhawks will have two players with experience returning in Rose and senior Hayden Holtgrew (6-1 senior). Loyd said newcomers to keep an eye on are guard Nick Coble (6-2 junior) and junior Landon Allison (5-9).

The 4A-1 Conference will be tough again, Loyd said. He projected Gravette as the league favorite with two of the top returning starters in the region in seniors Dayten Wishon and Kelton Trembly. Wishon averaged 14 points per game last season and Trembly averaged close to 16. Shiloh Christian will also be an improved team with Jack Hutchinson, who averaged 18 points per game last season, returning.

In the 4A-4 Conference, Subiaco Academy will be a team to watch as junior point guard James Taylor returns for the Trojans.

Class 3A will have a different look this season as Charleston is without graduated scoring machine Brandon Fenner.

Sports on 11/05/2017