We’re almost through the first week of the season and there is still no sign of the NCAA granting WKU Basketball PG Kenny Cooper a wavier to be eligible this season.
Cooper, a Lipscomb transfer, averaged 9.8 PPG, 4.5 APG, & 2.0 steals per game for a Lipscomb roster that made the NCAA tournament and NIT final four in the previous two seasons. With Lipscomb’s head coach taking the job at Belmont, Western Kentucky felt good about Coopers wavier being approved by the NCAA. Rick Stansbury even had this to say earlier in May to the Bowling Green Daily News-
We feel good about (Cooper) applying for his waiver and we feel good about the waiver,” Stansbury said. “These kids nowadays, these waivers, they pass them out like Halloween candy a little bit. There are some other mitigating factors in his situation too. So we feel really good about him.”
Rick Stansbury (via: BGDN)
Well we’re a week past Halloween and we still have no word on Cooper’s eligibility.
Hilltopper fans have seen this before, most recently in the 2017 season when former Hilltopper Moustaphia Diagne and current Hilltopper Josh Anderson went until December until the NCAA ruled both eligible. Ridiculous.
Moving forward without Cooper for now Western Kentucky will turn to junior Taveion Hollingsworth to run the point. While Hollingsworth is not a natural point guard he can get the job done through the next 4 games until WKU faces off with Louisville in Nashville on November 29th. To increase their chances against the cardinals Western Kentucky will likely need their senior point guard to be eligible.
The longer this decision lingers, the more of a joke the NCAA becomes. Your move NCAA.
With the start of the season just around the corner WKU Basketball has had some prospect news break over the past few days.
J.J. Traynor Picks Louisville
No surprise here, in a post last week we mentioned that Traynor was most likely headed to Louisville because of his strong connection with the university and it seemed that ever since he received an offer from UofL he has his sights set on the Cards.
WKU Men’s basketball Head Coach Rick Stansbury was early on Traynor, offering him his first division 1 scholarship offer back in late April. WKU was in the lead mostly for Traynor until Louisville stepped in an offered him earlier this month. Since the Louisville offer it had been all cards by every service that follows recruiting.
Stansbury will have to turn elsewhere for his center piece of the 2020 recruiting class. As of right now Dayvion Mcknight remains the only commitment the Hilltoppers have inline for 2020. If we know anything about Rick Stansbury it is that he has shown the ability to go out and find grad transfer in his time on the Hill. I wouldn’t worry to much about the 2020 recruiting class if he can continue to bring in high level grad transfer to Western Kentucky.
Zion Harmon picks up an offer from Maryland
You may be asking yourself, why is this significant news? Simply put, Harmon is originally from Maryland (D.C. metro area) and he even added Maryland to his top list of schools after receiving the offer last week. Easy to see why Marlyand could be a contender in landing a commitment from Harmon. They were even in to visit him this morning according to his social media feed.
Since taking an official visit to Western Kentucky Harmon has also attended Meet the Racers, Murray States form of Midnight Madness. As of right now the 2021 guard has not said where he will be taking an official visit to next. A rumor is going that Harmon is a lock to reclassify to the class of 2020 pending that he be eligible for the 2020-2021 college basketball season.
Kyree Walker is still a mystery
A 5 star talent from Arizona,Western Kentucky was in to visit Walker the end of last month. Then,Kyree was still a part of his High School team Hillcrest Prep, now news has came out that Walker has left the school and is exploring his options with potentially college and overseas teams interested in his services. As of right now, I don’t think even Kyree Walker knows what his next move is.
Western Kentucky has offered 2021 Power forward Alex Tchikou of Wolfeboro, NH. Tchikou attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, NV. A prep school who has produced the likes of Tristan Thompson, PJ Washington, Bol Bol, and Avery Bradley.
Tchikou is rated as a 4 star recruit and #31 overall in the class of 2021 by 247 Sports. (#25 overall by Rivals)
Alex has went from unranked this time last year to a top junior in the country. Tchikou is an athletic power forward who can run the floor and defend the basket. His outside shot needs improvement as well as his frame before making the jump to the next level.
He holds offers from Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas, UCLA, and Nebraska.
As you know recruiting is one of the lifelines of this website and we strive to bring updates on recruits with quick and accurate information.
Therefore, I hate to say it, but it appears WKU is out of the running for 4 Star Bardstown prospect JJ Traynor in the class of 2020. In a post published yesterday we detailed JJ’s connection to UofL and how they are the clear front runner to land Traynor.
Yesterday this news proved even more true when Traynor posted this to his Instagram page:
It’s almost certain Traynor’s decision will be between UofL, and Cincinnati. An offer from Kentucky could possibly slide them into this list as well.
With the news of WKU likely being out of the picture for Traynor the question now to be asked is, who does Rick Stansbury look for to be the center piece of the 2020 class?
Earlier today a source close to 4 star prospect JJ Traynor reported that Traynor’s timetable for a decision is currently set in November, but could be delayed.
We know that Traynor was in attendance Thursday night for Hilltopper Hysteria on an unofficial visit. Traynor was also in Louisville Saturday morning to attend a UofL practice in the KFC Yum Center. Since Louisville head coach Chris Mack offered JJ last week mutual interest has been established between the two. 247 Sports views Louisville’s recruitment of Traynor as “warm” according to their metrics. The advantage Louisville holds over everyone else right now is JJ’s High School Coach James Brewer played for Louisville in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Something to keep in mind.
WKU Head Coach Rick Stansbury was the first to officially offer Traynor back in April of this year and has been regularly in contact with him ever since. Making frequent visits to Bardstown to watch Traynor its safe to say he is Stansbury’s top target in the 2020 class.
UPDATE: Traynor now viewed as “unlikely’ to commit to Western Kentucky.
2021 4 star prospect Zion Harmon was on his official visit over the weekend attending Hilltopper Hysteria Thursday night and Saturdays Football game against Charlotte.
Western Kentucky is the first official visit for Harmon. With 4 more official visits to take it is likely he will visit Murray State, Louisville, Kansas, Seton Hall, LSU, and Kentucky to finish out his top 7. WKU getting the first official visit for Harmon does hold some weight as it has been rumored Harmon could reclassify to the 2020 class.
2021 SF Brooks Barnhizer of Lafayette, IN was on his official visit this past weekend. Western Kentucky extended an offer to Barnhizer in July. A source close to Barnhizer confirmed the visit went well, impressing Barnhizer.
Vegas bookmakers continue to doubt Western Kentucky. Sunday evening Vegas Sportsbooks opened the line in favor of Marshall at -4.5 and the O/U total at 46.5 since the opening of the line it has since moved in favor of Marshall, now at -6.5.
Western Kentucky is 5-2 this season and 4-0 against the spread in their last 4. Western is rolling hot into Huntington and a -6.5 point underdog is baffling in a rivalry game.
Safe to say my money is on the Hilltoppers. Underdogs?! Crazy!