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Hilltoppers Add Five for 2015-16

Hilltoppers Add Five for 2015-16

Posted on 08 June 2015 by Allen

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WKU Hilltopper Basketball head coach Ray Harper announced Monday the signings of Willie Carmichael (F, 6-8, University of Tennessee), Aaron Cosby (G, 6-3, University of Illinois), Kristaps Gluditis (G, 6-4, Riga, Latvia), Nathan Smith (C, 7-1, London, England) and Anton Waters (F, 6-6, Baltimore, Md.) to the program for 2015-16.

The group joins Fredrick Edmond (G, 6-3, Lansing, Mich.), Phabian Glasco (F, 6-7, Tulsa, Okla.), Marlon Hunter (G, 6-2, Memphis, Tenn.) and Chris McNeal (G, 5-11, Jackson, Tenn.) as newcomers for the Hilltoppers next season.

Cosby is eligible for one season at WKU as a graduate transfer, Gluditis and Smith will have four years of eligibility remaining and Waters will have two. Carmichael will sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer requirements and will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2016-17.

Willie Carmichael

Carmichael appeared in all 32 games for Tennessee in 2014-15 and made 19 starts, the most on the team among freshmen, and averaged 14.8 minutes per outing. He was the first Volunteer off the bench in seven games, and he averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best .519 from the field (40-for-77). He had nine points, six rebounds and two blocked shots against Kansas State on Dec. 6, and he led the squad in blocked shots in a game four times.

Carmichael played high school basketball at Wekiva High School in Apopka, Fla., where he was named the 7A State Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel as a senior in 2013-14. That year, he helped the team to a 25-5 record, a second-place finish in District 4 and a trip to the regional semifinals in the class.

Harper on Carmichael

“Willie is an unbelievable athlete with a lot of potential. He is a quick leaper, and he has good instincts on the court. The year he has to sit out will be very beneficial for him, and he will get bigger and stronger and improve even more on his fundamentals.”

Aaron Cosby

Cosby transferred to WKU from the University of Illinois, where he played 19 games and made 13 starts before an injury ended his season. He played 25.3 minutes per game for the Fighting Illini in 2014-15, averaging 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while hitting 32 three-pointers.

Cosby sat out the 2013-14 season after transferring from Seton Hall University, where he played in 65 career games and made 58 starts over two seasons. He averaged 10.1 points per game for his career at Seton Hall and shot 38.8 percent from three-point range.

Prior to prep school, the Louisville, Ky., native played two years at Jeffersontown High School after beginning his high school career at DuPont Manual. In high school, Cosby won the three-point shooting contest as part of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists in his final prep season at Northfield Mount Hermon Prep in Massachusetts, where he was named the team Most Valuable Player and helped the squad to a 21-9 record.

Harper on Cosby

“Aaron is a guy who can step right in and make a huge impact. He’s a shot maker, but he also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and is good in ball-screen action. He’s a great defender, and he loves being in the gym. His experience will help our younger guys tremendously.”

Kristaps Gluditis

Gluditis, who hails from the same hometown as Hilltopper senior Aleksej Rostov, spent the last two seasons at GBA Academy in the Czech Republic and has played on the Latvian National Team for the last four years in the U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 FIBA World Championships. Latvia finished fourth in the U-18 championships.

He averaged 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game during his junior season at GBA Academy, and he helped the team to the league final four and was named to the all-league team.

As a senior at GBA Academy, Gluditis averaged 20.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

Harper on Gluditis

“Kristaps is a tremendous shooter, and he will give us a punch from the perimeter that we need. He has international experience, which always helps with development by simply allowing more time on the court. He will fit in well with what we are trying to do.”

Nathan Smith

Smith played last season at Barking Abbey Basketball Academy in London, part of the Elite Academy Basketball League, where he averaged nine points, nine rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Smith had 14 points in a win that sent Barking Abbey to the Elite Eight of the EABL Tournament.

Harper on Smith

“Nathan has a ton of upside, much like Ben Lawson, but Nathan is even a little bigger. He has the height and solid frame, and he is not afraid to be physical in the paint. He’s a true center, and he will provide a presence that other teams will have to account for.”
Anton Waters

Waters is originally from Baltimore and played the last two seasons at Gulf Coast State (Fla.) College. Last season as a sophomore, Waters averaged 11.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, including nearly four per contest on the offensive glass, to help Gulf Coast State to a 19-10 record.

Waters shot 50.6 percent from the floor and 70.2 percent from the charity stripe.

As a freshman in 2013-14, he averaged 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Harper on Waters

“Anton is a tremendous athlete. He can chase down balls and rebound on both ends, and he brings a toughness that I love from kids. He’s going to quickly gain a lot of fans at E.A. Diddle Arena with his intensity on the court.”

Hilltopper Basketball on the Map: With a third-straight 20-win season in 2014-15, WKU and head coach Ray Harper entered into exclusive company.

- WKU and LA Tech are the only schools in Conference USA to win 20 or more games in each of the last three seasons

- The Hilltoppers are one of just 46 schools in the nation to currently have a streak of three-straight 20-win seasons
- Ray Harper joins 21 other head coaches since 2000-01 to record three 20-win campaigns in his first three full seasons as a Division I head coach

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Hilltoppers to Play in 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase This November

Hilltoppers to Play in 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase This November

Posted on 21 April 2015 by Allen

WKU

WKU will be part of the eight-team 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase, played Nov. 23-25 at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

WKU will be joined by Murray State, Central Michigan, Drake, Duquesne, Milwaukee, Pepperdine and Weber State in the field. Each team will play three games in the tournament. Green Bay won the showcase last year, and fellow Conference USA school LA Tech was the inaugural tournament champion in 2013.

Tickets for the 2015 Gulf Coast Showcase go on-sale on May 15 at 9:00 AM (CT) at GermainArena.com or through Ticketmaster. All-session tickets will be available on that date for $89 or $139. Single-session tickets will go on-sale this summer after matchups and game times are announced.

WKU played in the NIT Season Tip-Off last season for its exempt tournament and has played in the Cancun Challenge, Charleston Classic and Puerto Rico Tip-Off in recent years.

WKU went 20-12 in 2014-15 and finished 12-6 in C-USA action in its debut season in the league. The Hilltoppers have secured three-straight 20-win seasons, joining LA Tech as the only C-USA schools to accomplish the feat.

Matchups for the Gulf Coast Showcase and more information on the rest of WKU’s 2015-16 schedule will be available in the coming months.

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WKU to Retire Courtney Lee’s Jersey at Jan. 22 Game versus UTEP

WKU to Retire Courtney Lee’s Jersey at Jan. 22 Game versus UTEP

Posted on 10 January 2015 by Allen

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WKU Hilltopper Basketball great and current NBA star Courtney Lee will have his No. 32 jersey retired at the Hilltoppers’ game against UTEP on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Lee, WKU’s all-time leading scorer, will become the 10th person affiliated with WKU men’s basketball to have his jersey retired, joining E.A. Diddle, Clem Haskins, Tom Marshall, Jim McDaniels, John Oldham, Carlisle Towery, Bobby Rascoe, Darel Carrier and longtime radio play-by-play voice Wes Strader in the row of ceremonial jerseys hanging in the rafters of E.A. Diddle Arena.

“We are honored to have Hilltopper legend Courtney Lee return to Diddle Arena for the much-deserved retirement of his jersey,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “Courtney is an outstanding person and player whose presence enhanced our program and university and brought significant notoriety to each. While earning his degree, Courtney’s historic individual accomplishments on the court also resulted in equally significant team achievements. This will be a great night, and we look forward to having Courtney and his family return to Diddle Arena for this special occasion.”

“I am truly honored,” Lee said. “I enjoyed my time on The Hill and am grateful to have played in front of the fans in Bowling Green. I thank my teammates and the entire coaching staff, my academic advisor Ms. Dixie (Mahurin) and Danny Rumph and the Rumph family for helping to guide me in becoming the man I am today. I would also like to give credit to Jim Clark, President (Gary) Ransdell and Travis Hudson and everyone else that was a part of helping me reach this goal. This is a true blessing for my family and me.”

Lee finished his WKU career with 2,238 career points, equaling Jim McDaniels for the most in Hilltopper Basketball history. Lee’s 17.6 point-per-game scoring average for his career ranks seventh in WKU history, and he was a senior All-American on WKU’s 2007-08 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team while playing on four 20-win teams during his career.

In addition to the career scoring record and ranking seventh in scoring average, Lee ranks in the top-7 in the WKU career record book in eight other categories, including games started (2nd; 127), minutes played (1st; 3,957), field goals (3rd; 802), three-point field goals (2nd; 245), three-point field goal percentage (6th; .401), free throws (7th; 389), free throw percentage (2nd; .8172) and steals (2nd; 242).

Lee’s career record at WKU was 96-34 (.738), and he was 53-7 (.883) at E.A. Diddle Arena, where his jersey will now permanently reside.

In 127 games as a Hilltopper, all starts, Lee scored 2,238 points, an average of 17.6 per season, and shot 46.4 percent from the field (802-1729) and 40.1 percent from three-point range (245-611). He grabbed 663 rebounds for an average of 5.2 per season, and he converted at an outstanding 81.7 percent clip from the free throw line (389-476).

His high-water mark came as a senior in 2007-08, where he helped WKU to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and a 29-7 record by averaging 20.4 points per game. His 735 total points in 2007-08 are the third-most in a single season in Hilltopper history. The Indianapolis, Ind., native debuted as a freshman in 2004-05 and immediately contributed a freshman school-record 461 points (14.9 per game), which he increased to over 17.0 per outing in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

During his WKU career, Lee was a three-time first-team All-Sun Belt Conference performer (2006-08) and the 2005 SBC Freshman of the Year. He picked up SBC Player of the Year honors after his senior season in 2007-08, and he was also named an honorable mention Associated Press All-American for his stellar final campaign.

Lee graduated from WKU in 2008 with a degree in sociology and a minor in criminology.

Lee is in the middle of his seventh season in the NBA and currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies after suiting up for Orlando, New Jersey, Houston and Boston in previous seasons. Lee was selected with the 22nd pick of the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Magic.

During his professional career, Lee has averaged nearly 10 points per game over 475 outings, 250 of which were starts, and shot over 45 percent from the field and almost 40 percent from three-point range.

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T. Price, Johnson Earn Conference USA Weekly Honors

T. Price, Johnson Earn Conference USA Weekly Honors

Posted on 15 December 2014 by Allen

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WKU senior guard T.J. Price was named Conference USA Co-Player of the Week and freshman forward Justin Johnson earned C-USA Co-Freshman of the Week honors Monday for their performances helping the Hilltoppers take down Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday afternoon.

The duo becomes WKU’s first players to earn C-USA weekly awards in the Hilltoppers’ first season in the league. Price shared the award with LA Tech’s Alex Hamilton, and Johnson shared with Edward Simpson Jr. of Middle Tennessee.

Price had a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds in the key road win at Ole Miss Saturday, and 21 of his 26 points came in the second half where WKU erased a 17-point deficit from late in the first half and a 13-point halftime hole to win. The Slidell, La. native hit all eight of his free throw tries in the game, including four in the final 3:00 of the tight game.

Price also added five assists in 36 minutes, and the double-double was his first of the season and third of his career. Price’s 26 points in the game were a season high and four shy of his career best, and he tied a season high with four three-pointers.

On the season Price is averaging 15.6 points per game, which leads WKU and ranks seventh in C-USA.

Johnson had eight points and seven rebounds off the bench at Ole Miss, helping key the important WKU victory. He hit 4-of-5 free throw tries while WKU went 15-for-15 from the line in the second half, and he also added two blocked shots and an assist while not recording a turnover.

The seven rebounds for the Hazard, Ky., native tied a career high, and the eight points were his second-most of his career. Johnson has had two blocks in three-straight contests and is averaging 6.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this season.

Winners of three of their last four games, the Hilltoppers embark on a seven-game homestand, their longest since 1935, beginning Wednesday night at 7:00 (CT) against Chicago State.

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5 WKU games added to American Sports Network

5 WKU games added to American Sports Network

Posted on 21 October 2014 by Allen

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Five additional WKU Hilltopper Basketball games in 2014-15 have been added to the television schedule and will air on the American Sports Network.

Games against Bowling Green State (Dec. 3, 7:00 PM [CT]), at Murray State (Dec. 6, 5:30 PM [CT]), against Old Dominion (Jan. 10, 4:30 PM [CT]), at Marshall (Feb. 14, 4:30 PM [CT]) and at Old Dominion (March 7, 4:30 PM [CT]) will air on the network, which is owned and operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair owns and operates, programs and provides sales services to 164 television stations in 78 markets, reaching approximately 40 percent of U.S. television households. It includes FOX, ABC, CBS, MyTV, CW, NBC, Univision and Azteca affiliates. A full list of affiliates is available on ConferenceUSA.com and is available for each individual game leading up to the contest.

The five ASN games for the Hilltoppers in 2014-15 join two previously-announced FSN games, one on Fox Sports 1, one on CBS Sports Network, one on ESPNU and one on ESPN3. The Conference USA Tournament championship game will air on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday, March 15.

C-USA will have over 100 games televised in 2014-15 through its multiple network partners. Non-televised coverage of C-USA basketball will be available through the C-USA Digital Network, where league member home games will be offered live and archived for All-Access subscribers, along with weekly highlights and feature programming.

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Fant, Price Named Preseason All-Conference USA

Fant, Price Named Preseason All-Conference USA

Posted on 08 October 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU Hilltopper Basketball seniors George Fant and T.J. Price were voted to the 10-member Preseason All-Conference USA Team by the conference’s head coaches, the league announced Tuesday.

Conference USA also announced the top four vote-getters in the preseason coaches poll, which were LA Tech, UTEP, Charlotte and Old Dominion.

Fant and Price helped the Hilltoppers to a 20-12 mark in 2013-14 and a second-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference, and the duo will be called upon to lead the Hilltoppers in their inaugural season in Conference USA in 2014-15.

Fant contributed 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for WKU in 2013-14, finishing second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding for the second-straight season. The rebounding total was good for seventh in the conference, and he led Hilltopper regulars and ranked fifth in the league in field goal percentage (.530). Fant started all 31 Hilltopper games and was named a third-team all-conference performer after the season.

Price led WKU in scoring in 2013-14 for the second-straight season, averaging 15.5 points per contest which was good for 10th in the conference. Price picked up second-team all-conference honors as a junior for the second-straight year, thanks in part to scoring in double-figures in 25 of 30 games played and having seven 20-plus point games.

Price and Fant enter 2014-15 ranked 25th and 30th in career scoring at WKU, respectively.

2014-15 Preseason All-Conference USA Team

Pierria Henry, Charlotte (Jr., G)

Raheem Appleby, LA Tech (Sr., G)

Alex Hamilton, LA Tech (Jr., G)

Kenneth Smith, LA Tech (Sr., G)

Aaron Bacote, Old Dominion (Jr., G)

C.J. Washington, UAB (Sr., F)

Vince Hunter, UTEP (So., F)

Julian Washburn, UTEP (Sr., F/G)

George Fant, WKU (Sr., F)

T.J. Price, WKU (Sr., G)

Hilltopper Hysteria on Saturday, Oct. 18: The annual tip-off to basketball season on The Hill, Hilltopper Hysteria, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18 at E.A. Diddle Arena. The event will run from 6:00-8:00 PM (CT), with doors opening at 5:00 and the first 500 fans receiving a free t-shirt. Other prizes and giveaways will happen throughout the evening, and the event features scrimmages, introductions of players and coaches, slam dunk and three-point contests and an autograph session. The event and parking are free.

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Hilltopper Hysteria Set for Oct. 18

Hilltopper Hysteria Set for Oct. 18

Posted on 19 September 2014 by Allen

WKU

The annual tip-off to Hilltopper and Lady Topper basketball seasons at WKU, Hilltopper Hysteria, will take place Saturday, October 18 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at E.A. Diddle Arena. Admission and parking are free.

Hilltopper Hysteria includes individual player and coach introductions for both programs, scrimmages by both teams, a slam dunk contest, three-point contest and an autograph session with both teams to end the night. Hilltopper Hysteria will also feature performances from the WKU Pep Band, the WKU Topperettes, the WKU Cheerleaders and Big Red.

The first 500 fans will receive a free Hilltopper Hysteria t-shirt as they enter the arena courtesy of Coca-Cola and WKU Athletics. The first 250 fans will also receive a free Russell Athletic basketball key chain.

Free tickets to see Eli Young Band with Frankie Ballard and Will Hoge in concert at E.A. Diddle Arena on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m. will be given away throughout the evening to lucky WKU students and fans through various contests.

Fans can also sign up at Bowling Green and Glasgow-area Great Clips locations for a half-court shot contest with the chance to win free haircuts for a year.

The men’s basketball team returns its four leading scorers from 2013-14 and 72.5 percent of its overall scoring with the team welcoming back 54.3 percent of its rebounding from a season ago. The 2014-15 roster has combined for 17 varsity letters at WKU, which is the most since the 2008-09 Hilltopper roster also had 17 combined letters of experience. The 2013-14 team finished 20-12 on the season with a 12-6 mark in league play, reaching the semifinals of the league tournament.

The WKU Lady Topper Basketball program reached the NCAA Tournament for the 17th time in program history after securing the Sun Belt Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by posting a 61-60 win over Arkansas State in the title game of the Sun Belt Conference Championships. WKU scored 18 of the final 22 points of the game to beat Red Wolves, marking the fourth time during the 2013-14 season that WKU had overcome a double-digit deficit to win a game. In the NCAA Tournament, WKU fell to fifth-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas on March 22, 2014 by a final score of 87-74 after the game stayed within a single-digit margin for much of the game, including a late first half lead for WKU. The team returns reigning league Defensive Player of the Year and WBCA All-American honorable mention selection Chastity Gooch, Alexis Govan and reigning league Freshman of the Year Kendall Noble. It also welcomes in 2014 Kentucky Miss Basketball Ivy Brown and Tashia Brown to highlight the incoming class of freshman.

Both teams are set to begin their inaugural seasons in Conference USA this year.

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Toppers move first men’s game

Toppers move first men’s game

Posted on 18 September 2014 by Allen

WKU

The 2014-15 WKU Hilltopper Basketball season opener against Austin Peay has been moved from Friday, Nov. 14 to Saturday, Nov. 15 due to a change in WKU’s schedule in the 2014 NIT Season Tip-Off later that month.

The game will tip at 4:00 PM (CT). WKU football hosts Army at 11:00 AM (CT) that day, and the Lady Topper Volleyball squad plays Middle Tennessee at E.A. Diddle Arena that night at 7:00 (CT).

“Opening the season on a Saturday will be great for our fans, and having two other games that day will allow people to enjoy a full day on campus,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “We thank Austin Peay for their willingness to move the game back 24 hours to help us adjust our schedule to accommodate both fans and team travel.”

WKU travels to Minnesota to open play in the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Previous drafts of the schedule for the showcase had WKU playing the Golden Gophers on Monday, which is why WKU originally scheduled Austin Peay for Friday the 14th to help with travel logistics.

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WKU announces 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule

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WKU announces 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule

Posted on 05 September 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU will play three games in the 2014 NIT Season Tip-Off against opponents who all won at least 20 games and played in the postseason a season ago, including a Thanksgiving night contest at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City.

WKU will play at Minnesota on Tuesday, Nov. 18 on ESPN3 at 7:00 PM (CT), travel to Stony Brook on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 6:00 PM (CT) and play Saint Joseph’s at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, Nov. 27, on ESPNU at 5:00 PM (CT).

“Playing in this tournament will give our team a chance to face quality opponents early in the season,” head coach Ray Harper said. “All three of these teams had very successful seasons last year, and each game will be a challenge but come with an opportunity for us to earn key early-season victories. Playing in the legendary Madison Square Garden is something that every player, and every coach, dreams about, and we are very excited to be heading there on Thanksgiving night.”

Minnesota went 25-13 in 2013-14 and won the postseason NIT with a 65-63 victory over SMU. WKU and the Golden Gophers previously played in the 2010 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, which was a 95-77 Minnesota win. Minnesota is coached by Richard Pitino, who previously coached at FIU and was the head coach when WKU defeated the Panthers to win the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

WKU and Stony Brook have never met on the hardwood. The Seawolves finished second in the America East last year and ended the season with a 23-11 record and lost in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.

WKU holds a 6-3 advantage in the all-time series against Saint Joseph’s, but the Hawks have won three of the last four matchups including a 72-61 contest in Bowling Green on Nov. 11, 2011. Saint Joseph’s went 24-10 last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to eventual national champion Connecticut in the second round.

The Hilltoppers have a long history in Madison Square Garden, starting with finishing as the postseason NIT runner-up in 1941-42. WKU is 18-21 all-time at the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” and this season’s game will be the first at the venue since 1986-87. In addition to nine appearances at Madison Square Garden in the postseason NIT from 1942-65, the Hilltoppers regularly traveled to the city in November or December to face Seton Hall, St. Francis or Long Island, among others, during the 1940s and 1950s.

WKU last played in the NIT Season Tip-Off in 2009-10, where it defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee and lost to LSU in Baton Rouge, La., before returning home to defeat Cal State Northridge and lose to Indiana State.

The remainder of WKU’s 2014-15 schedule was announced in early August and features eight additional games against teams that played in 2013-14 postseason and an 18-game Conference USA schedule in its first season in the league. Highlights include a home game at E.A. Diddle Arena against in-state foe Louisville (Dec. 20) for the first time since 2010, the beginning of a four-year series with Belmont (Nov. 22) at E.A. Diddle Arena and a total of seven other games against teams that won at least 20 games a season ago.

2014-15 Preseason Prospectus Available: The 2014-15 WKU Hilltopper Basketball Preseason Prospectus is available and can be accessed at THIS LINK.

2014-15 Ticket Information: Season ticket renewal forms have been mailed. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally. With the anticipation of a sellout against Louisville on Dec. 20, all season ticket holders are encouraged to order additional tickets for that game on their renewal form. Season ticket pricing will remain the same as last season, ranging from $99 to $299.

If tickets remain, there will be a three-game mini plan offered in September that includes a ticket to the Belmont, Chicago State and Louisville games for $75. WKU opens the regular season at home on Friday, Nov. 14 against Austin Peay after an exhibition game against Pikeville (Ky.) on Monday, Nov. 10.

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Hilltopper Basketball Adds Rob Marberry to Roster, Names Jamal Crook Graduate Assistant

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Hilltopper Basketball Adds Rob Marberry to Roster, Names Jamal Crook Graduate Assistant

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Allen

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WKU men’s basketball coach Ray Harper announced Monday the additions of Tennessee Division II-A Mr. Basketball Rob Marberry to the 2014-15 roster and former Hilltopper guard Jamal Crook to the staff as a graduate assistant.

Marberry prepped at Franklin Road Academy in Nashville, Tenn., where he was named Division II-A Mr. Basketball after averaging 16 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and 1.5 assists per game as a senior in 2013-14, becoming the first player in school history to earn the prestigious award. He scored 17 points and had seven rebounds and three blocked shots for the Panthers in a loss in Division II-A state championship game, and he helped the Panthers to a 26-9 record as a senior.

“Rob has great toughness and brings a high basketball IQ,” Harper said. “He is a gritty, dive-on-the-floor type of player, and he comes from a great program and family. He is an unselfish player, which stems from an unselfish character which you can see by his decision to walk on this season. We are thrilled to have Rob and his family in our program.”

The 6-8 forward was named District MVP during both his junior and senior seasons at Franklin Road Academy, and he was named to the All-District Tournament Team as a junior in 2012-13 and was an All-Region Tournament selection as both a sophomore and junior. He finished his high school career with over 1,500 career points and over 850 career rebounds.

Marberry will wear number 33 for the Hilltoppers and is majoring in accounting. He chose to walk on at WKU over scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee, Belmont, Florida Gulf Coast and Toledo, and he played on the same summer team, the Kentucky Travelers, as fellow Hilltopper freshman Justin Johnson.

Former Hilltopper Jamal Crook Added as Graduate Assistant: Former Hilltopper guard Jamal Crook has been added to the 2014-15 basketball staff as a graduate assistant. Crook lettered four years at WKU from 2009-10 to 2012-13, and he played on two NCAA Tournament teams in 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Crook finished his career with 358 assists, which ranks fourth in WKU history, and he scored 779 career points over 123 games played for an average of 6.3 points per contest. The Louisville, Ky., native averaged 12.1 points and 4.0 assists per game during his senior season of 2012-13, both career highs.

In his graduate assist role Crook will assist with various administrative tasks involving the program, assist the current team managers and help with film study.

After graduating from WKU in 2013 with a degree in recreation administration, Crook played professionally in the National Basketball League of Canada for the Ottawa SkyHawks in 2013-14. He averaged 11.8 points and 3.4 assists per game in 16 contests, before his season ended in December due to a right foot fracture.

2014-15 Ticket Information: Season ticket renewal forms have been mailed. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally. With the anticipation of a sellout against Louisville on Dec. 20, all season ticket holders are encouraged to order additional tickets for that game on their renewal form. Season ticket pricing will remain the same as last season, ranging from $99 to $299.

If tickets remain, there will be a three-game mini plan offered in September that includes a ticket to the Belmont, Chicago State and Louisville games for $75. WKU opens the regular season at home on Friday, Nov. 14 against Austin Peay after an exhibition game against Pikeville (Ky.) on Monday, Nov. 10.

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Ole Miss, Belmont and Louisville on WKU Basketball Schedule

Ole Miss, Belmont and Louisville on WKU Basketball Schedule

Posted on 06 August 2014 by Allen

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WKU Hilltopper Basketball announced its preliminary 2014-15 schedule Wednesday, featuring eight games against teams that played in 2013-14 postseason and an 18-game Conference USA schedule in its first season in the league. WKU is contracted to participate in the 2014 NIT Season Tip-Off, and those games will be announced at a later date.

Highlights include a home game at E.A. Diddle Arena against in-state foe Louisville (Dec. 20) for the first time since 2010, the beginning of a four-year series with Belmont (Nov. 22) at E.A. Diddle Arena and a total of seven games against teams that won at least 20 games a season ago.

In its first season as a member of Conference USA WKU will play 18 league games, nine at home and nine on the road, including home-and-home series with Marshall, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Florida Atlantic and FIU. The Hilltoppers will host UTEP, UTSA, North Texas and Rice and travel to LA Tech, Southern Miss, UAB and Middle Tennessee for single games.

Season ticket renewals will be mailed within the next week. Fans interested in purchasing season tickets can call the WKU Ticket Office at 1-800-5-BIG RED or 745-5222 locally. With the anticipation of a sellout against Louisville, all season ticket holders are encouraged to order additional tickets for that game on their renewal form. Season ticket pricing will remain the same as last season, ranging from $99 to $299. If tickets remain, there will be a three-game mini plan offered in September that includes a ticket to the Belmont, Chicago State and Louisville games for $75.

WKU opens the season at home on Friday, Nov. 14 against Austin Peay. On Saturday, Nov. 22, WKU hosts Belmont in the start of a four-game series between the two schools located less than 70 miles apart. The schools have met just six times in history, with WKU holding a 4-2 advantage, and the last meeting came in 1999-2000. Belmont went 26-10 a season ago, won the Ohio Valley Conference and played in the NIT. The Hilltoppers will face Bowling Green State for the fourth time in the last five seasons on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at E.A. Diddle Arena.

WKU hits the road on Saturday, Dec. 6 to face Murray State for the 151st time and then travels to Ole Miss on Saturday, Dec. 13 to return a game that was hotly-contested in Bowling Green last season. Murray State finished the 2013-14 season with a 23-11 record and won the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, and Ole Miss went 19-14.

Chicago State comes to WKU on Wednesday, Dec. 17, and Louisville visits on Saturday, Dec. 20 to mark the seventh-straight season the in-state foes have squared off. WKU leads the all-time series 39-38, but Louisville has won four-straight including last season’s 78-55 triumph in Nashville, Tenn., when the Cardinals were ranked fifth in the nation. The Hilltoppers hold a 16-9 advantage in games contested in Bowling Green, with the last one coming in December 2010.

The non-conference portion of the schedule closes with a pair of home games against Brescia (Ky.) (Dec. 27) and Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College (Dec. 29).

The Hilltoppers start their tenure in Conference USA with three-straight home games against Marshall (Jan. 4), Charlotte (Jan. 8) and Old Dominion (Jan. 10). Road contests at Florida Atlantic (Jan. 15) and FIU (Jan. 17) follow, before the Hilltoppers welcome UTEP (Jan. 22) and UTSA (Jan. 24) for the first times ever. WKU has only played UTEP once, which came in December 1969 in the Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence, Kan. The Hilltoppers and UTSA have never played.

The following week, WKU heads to LA Tech (Jan. 29) and Southern Miss (Jan. 31), before hosting North Texas (Feb. 5) and Rice (Feb. 7) as the calendar turns to February.

WKU plays five of its final seven games on the road, including contests at Marshall (Feb. 14), UAB (Feb. 19) and Middle Tennessee (Feb. 21). Despite not playing last season, the game between WKU and Middle Tennessee will be the 130th in the series dating back to 1914-15.

The final two home games of the season come against Florida Atlantic (Feb. 26) and FIU (Feb. 28). The Hilltoppers end the 2014-15 regular season at Charlotte (March 5) and Old Dominion (March 7).

The Conference USA Tournament will be held March 11-14 in Birmingham, Ala.

WKU plays an exhibition game against Pikeville (Ky.) on Nov. 10.

All dates are subject to change based on television selections.

WKU ended the 2013-14 season with a 20-12 record and finished in second place in the Sun Belt Conference. A 20-win season in 2014-15 would mark the first instance of three-straight 20-win seasons for the Hilltoppers since 2008-10.

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Ben Lawson Finishes Time with Great Britain National Team

Ben Lawson Finishes Time with Great Britain National Team

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU sophomore center Ben Lawson played eight games and averaged nearly 20 minutes per contest for Great Britain in the recently-concluded Under-20 European Basketball Championship in Crete, Greece.

Lawson averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, and he finished fifth in the championship in blocked shots per game (1.6). Lawson shot 81.3 percent from the free throw line (13-for-16) and had 12 points in the opening game against Latvia. He added eight points on two other occasions, including against Lithuania while adding eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action. Great Britain went 3-6 in the championship and finished 11th, while Turkey won the tournament.

Lawson also played for Great Britain in the Under-18 European Basketball Championship in the summer of 2013, where he averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while the team finished in ninth place.

The Hitchin, England native appeared in 12 games in his debut season for the Hilltoppers in 2013-14, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in nearly eight minutes per outing.

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WKU Signee Johnson Named AP First-Team All-State, Green Honorable Mention

WKU Signee Johnson Named AP First-Team All-State, Green Honorable Mention

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Allen

WKU

WKU men’s basketball in-state signees Justin Johnson (Perry County Central HS, Hazard) and Jordan Green (Henry Clay HS, Lexington) picked up all-state honors from the Associated Press Thursday, with Johnson earning first-team recognition and Green being an honorable mention choice.

Both Johnson and Green were named first-team all-state players by the Lexington Herald-Leader in April, and the duo will also suit up for the prestigious Kentucky All-Star Team and face the Indiana All-Stars on the campus of Transylvania University on June 13 and in Indianapolis on June 14. Both will be freshmen for WKU in 2014-15.

Johnson, who prepped his final two years of high school at Perry County Central in Hazard, averaged 21.9 points and 17.6 rebounds per game as a senior in 2013-14. He finished his high school career with 1,519 rebounds, good for sixth-most in the history of the state, and 1,832 points. He averaged a double-double throughout his entire high school career, including doing it as a junior at Perry Central and as a freshman and sophomore at Sheldon Clark High School in Inez.

The forward was a second-team all-state player as a junior in 2012-13 after averaging 16.3 points and 10 rebounds per game and helping his squad to 14th Region runner-up status.

Green averaged 20.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for Henry Clay High School as a senior in 2013-14, and he helped the Blue Devils to the Region 11 championship game in each of his final two seasons at Henry Clay. Green led Henry Clay in scoring three seasons in a row, and he finished his career second on the program’s scoring list with 1,718 points and also had 709 career rebounds.

The Blue Devils’ Region 11 championship game losses the last two seasons came to eventual state champion Madison Central in 2013 and state runner-up Scott County in 2014.

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Hilltopper Basketball Signee Justin Johnson Named First-Team All-State by Lexington Herald-Leader

Hilltopper Basketball Signee Justin Johnson Named First-Team All-State by Lexington Herald-Leader

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Allen

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WKU men’s basketball signee Justin Johnson was named to the Lexington Herald-Leader’s All-State Boys Basketball First Team, the newspaper announced Sunday evening.

He received the fifth-most votes from the coaches among the 10 first-team members, and he also received two first-place votes.

Johnson, who prepped his final two years of high school at Perry County Central in Hazard, averaged 21.9 points and 17.6 rebounds per game as a senior in 2013-14. He finished his high school career with 1,519 rebounds, good for sixth-most in the history of the state, and 1,832 points. He averaged a double-double throughout his entire high school career, including doing it as a junior at Perry Central and as a freshman and sophomore at Sheldon Clark High School in Inez.

The 6-7 forward was a second-team all-state player as a junior in 2012-13 after averaging 16.3 points and 10 rebounds per game and helping his squad to 14th Region runner-up status.

Johnson joins Derrick Clayton (6-5, G, Castro Valley, Calif.) and Avery Patterson (6-1, G, Decatur, Ga.) as early signees for the Hilltoppers’ 2014-15 squad.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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