Former Hilltopper Deon Yelder Is A Super Bowl Champion | WKU Connection

Last night the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in super bowl 54 from Miami, Florida.

Among those on the winning side included former Hilltopper Tight End Deon Yelder.

Yelder famously was a former 4 year walk-on at WKU under Jeff Brohm before totaling 52 catches and 688 yards in 2017.

This season Deon recorded 3 catches for 50 yards in 12 games played.

Yelder becomes the second Hilltopper with a super bowl ring joining former RB Bobby Rainy (Giants).

Congrats Deon! Go Tops!

The Internet Reacts to Western Kentucky's 23-20 Win Over Western Michigan | WKU Connection

WKU Athletics/WKU Football

In a back and fourth game it came down to one untimed down and Freshmen kicker Corey Munson’s right leg. Munson would nail a 52 yard field goal to give WKU their 9th win on the season and a victory in the Servpro First Responder Bowl.

Here’s how Hilltopper Nation and the internet reacted to the kick.

Here’s a view from inside the stadium as the kick goes through.

Interesting stat.

Pat Forde y’all.

Full game recap coming soon.


Current Rankings for Hilltoppers and Upcoming Opponents

Following an exciting overtime win over Arkansas see where the Hilltoppers rank among the college basketball hierarchy.


WKU comes in at number 88 in today’s Kenpom ratings. They currently sit with the nations #40 offense. Defensively, the Hilltoppers have struggled to close out games, registering the #151 ranked defense in the country.


WKU comes in at #81 in the Sagarin Ratings

Upcoming Opponents (Kenpom)

KWC: Division II, NR

Rhode Island: 78

Belmont: 80

North Texas:135

Rice: 178

This next stretch features winnable games heading into and to begin conference play. Without Bassey, it will be interesting to see how the Hilltoppers fare against a few quality teams, needing to win both non conference games to increase its resume.

Breaking: Kenny Cooper denied immediate eligibility, will sit out 2019-2020 season

Point guard Kenny Cooper, who transferred from Lipscomb University last spring, was denied his request at immediate eligibility this season per Elliot Pratt. Cooper averaged 9.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 4.5 apg last season before transferring this offseason. This will force the Hilltoppers to rely on both Taveion Hollingsworth and Jordan Rawls to run the offense for the rest of the season. Cooper will be eligible at the start of next season, which will be his senior season.

Curiously, it took until midway through December before this decision was announced. Better known players such as Jemarl Baker (Kentucky->Arizona) and Quade Green (Kentucky-> Washington) were granted immediate eligibility before the season started despite their transfers coming due to playing time and Cooper’s coming due to a coaching change. Through both football and basketball the NCAA has shown its preference to Power 5 programs over mid-majors, and this is yet another example. This news comes one day after WKU learned it lost its star player Charles Bassey due to injury for the remainder of the season.

What does Charles Bassey's injury mean for the Hilltoppers?

What was supposed to be a celebration of defeating an undefeated Arkansas team Saturday night turned to shock for Hilltopper Nation Monday afternoon when it was announced star sophomore Charles Bassey, an NBA talent, would be sidelined for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. After landing awkwardly on his left leg nearing the end or regulation (Video posted to our Twitter feed), a sold out Diddle Arena went silent as its star player stayed down. The Hilltoppers were able to erase a 5 point deficit and force overtime before walking away with a win, giving hope to the Hilltopper faithful that they can continue on with their season in hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013 season. The question now is who will step into Bassey’s starting role as the Tops inch closer to conference play.

The old saying “you can’t teach size” comes to mind when talking about replacing the 6’11 Center. Averaging 15.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg Bassey was the focal point on offense and proved to be the only real rim protector on the roster. Matt Horton, 6’11, now stands as the lone player over 6’7 on the roster. Offseason transfers by Horton and Tolu Smith left the Tops with virtually no backups to the star big man if this situation were to happen, but luckily Horton ended up coming back to the Hill for his senior season where he will now be forced to provide valuable minutes either off the bench or via a starting role. He has averaged just 5 minutes-per-game this season and will see an instant spike in that number. Obviously we cannot expect him to step in a fill Bassey’s role, but the big man from Tuscaloosa, Alabama will need to be active on the boards and provide spacing for a guard-dominated offense, as well as handling opposing teams inside on defense. Freshman Isaiah Cozart will also see an increase in minutes much sooner than expected, as he is seen as more of a project for Stansbury and his coaching staff. In minimal appearances I have liked what I have seen from Cozart on both sides of the ball, showing a high motor and physicality. He will be invaluable as a rim protector for the Tops after blocking 716 shots in high school, a Kentucky state record. While I’m not sure how these two players would be used, they are all the height left on the bench. Carson Williams, who is putting together a nice season, will be relied on for rebounds and interior play even more in Bassey’s absence.

Even with Bassey on the court WKU was primarily a guard based offense. Last season they struggled to get the ball inside, opting for contested jumpers or penetration, and much of the same carried over to this year, so its not as if Bassey was touching the ball every play. What he did do was space the floor, as well as the defense, which allowed driving lanes and open shots as he absorbed most of the double teams. This proved valuable for the likes of Josh Anderson and Taveion Hollingsworth who are at their best when they can attack the rim. The key here is ball movement which will open up lanes as well as open shots for Jared Savage and Camron Justice.

With no true post presence the Hilltoppers will most likely revert to small-ball as it did at the end of the Arkansas game. This lineup consisted of Hollingsworth-Justice-Savage- Williams-Anderson. Anderson will probably slide into the center position despite only standing 6’6. After beginning this season on the bench Anderson is deserving of a starting role, proving most valuable getting to the rim and getting fouled as well as running fast breaks. The key to this is forcing turnovers like they did against Arkansas, shooting the gaps and converting on the offensive end. What I see to be the main problem with this lineup is the lack of a true point guard. Hollingsworth will be the focal point of the offense now, but has struggled throughout his career when he runs the offense. Barring Kenny Cooper becoming eligible Hollingsworth will play the point guard position with Jordan Rawls to back him up.

The best part of this injury is when it happened. WKU doesn’t play for almost 2 weeks before it faces Kentucky Wesleyan, a Division II program from Owensboro, Kentucky. This will provide an opportunity to test out each lineup variation before a tough stretch leading to conference play. Being a down year in the C-USA the Hilltoppers still look to be the favorite in conference play, but it will will need to be Coach Stansbury’s best job to date if they want to return to March Madness. All hope is not lost and collectively WKU will work to replace Bassey’s workload, which is not an easy task. It may take a few games, but the way this team fought in overtime against Arkansas proved to me they can compete with anyone. Go Tops!

SOURCE: Charles Bassey To Miss Remainder Of 2019-2020 Season | WKU Connection

Credit: Evan Brown/WKU Athletics

Late Sunday night a source close to the men’s basketball program confirmed to WKU Connection that Sophomore center Charles Bassey has sustained a season ending injury in Saturday nights match-up with Arkansas.

The actual specifics of the injury itself have not yet been publicized, but are likely to come out sometime within the week. (Likely Coach Stansbury’s press conference Monday afternoon).

Bassey was averaging 15.9 ppg and 9.6 rebounds per game entering Saturday night.

Several NBA Draft evaluation sites had Charles listed as a top 10 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Western Kentucky is off this week for finals and will not play in again until an exhibition match with Kentucky Wesleyan on Tuesday December 14th.


Western Kentucky Defeats Arkansas 86-77 Charles Bassey Leaves With Injury To Left Knee | WKU Connection

Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

Let me start with this, Diddle Arena made a difference in tonight’s game and this team is going to need their home crowd now more than ever moving forward.

Western Kentucky Center Charles Bassey went down with an injury sustained to his left knee late in the second half. Rick Stansbury said he will undergo an MRI on his knee Sunday morning.

This is graphic video and my heart is hearing for him right now.

As for the game, Junior Taveion Hollingsworth filled it up tonight adding 23 points along with Junior Forward Josh Anderson adding 16 points off the bench.

The story from the game comes at the end of the second half Senior Jarad Savage pulls this 3 from the corner to tie the game.

The team never looked back in overtime.