In a post free agency mock draft by NBC Sports lists Western Kentucky Center Charles Bassey as the #8 overall prospect in the 2020 draft class. You can view the entire mock draft here.
What the scouts are saying
Here’s what we know Bassey needs to improve on entering his sophomore season:
Health: Bassey is 100% heading into his sophomore campaign. Wearing a knee brace on an off throughout last season limited his mobility on the floor.
Mid range consistency: This season Bassey will need to prove he can consistently knock down the 15 footer, being able to stretch the floor is key in the NBA right now with the space and pace era in full swing.
Foul prone: We know Charles can be quite foul prone on the defensive end. This will be key for the Hilltoppers this season with their front court depth being very short in 2019-2020.
Expand low post moves: Bassey’s go to move on the block is a baby hook over his left shoulder, he will have to expand on this throughout his sophomore season.
Charles attended the NBA draft combine last May in Chicago, he has received feedback from NBA scouts. He is aware of what he needs to work on and will likely show improvements in every area this upcoming season.
(Please pass him the ball when he is posted on the block)
After a long summer of workouts with NBA teams and on his own, Charles Bassey is officially back in Bowling Green. After missing the beginning of summer workouts Charles should be back for good and ready to form some chemistry with his new teammates. Charles also missed the WKU Basketball camps over the summer which had campers from all over the state come to WKU for its overnight camp.
It’s good to have Charles back in town and I know I speak for the rest of the fan base when I say, we can’t wait to see your sophomore campaign.
Charles Bassey is on pace to set a scoring WKU record that not even Jim McDaniel’s or Courtney Lee accomplished through two seasons. Through Bassey’s freshmen season on the Hill he has totaled 495 points. He would need 505 points to break the 1,000 point barrier. His teammate Taveion Hollingsworth almost broke this record in (2018-2019) only 4 points shy with (996).
It seems like every off season WKU Basketball hype is through the roof. This year I believe the hype is real.
Next season WKU returns:
79% 3’s Made
75% Minutes Played
With WKU loosing some players via transfer including Jake Ohmer, Dalano Banton, Matthew Horton, and Lamonte Bearden who graduated. WKU gained some key pieces for next season as well. This group includes:
PG – Kenny Cooper – Transfer – Lipscomb
G – Camron Justice – Transfer – IUPUI
F – Nick Ogenda – Signed – Southwest Christian Academy (AR.)
F- Isaiah Cozart – Signed – Madison Central High School (KY.)
G – Jackson Harlan – Signed – Clinton County High School (KY.)
G – Jordan Rawls – Signed – Hamilton Heights (TN.)
F – Carson Williams – Transfer – Northern Kentucky – Owen County High School (KY.)
Another big piece that will play a role in the success of WKU Basketball next season is Junior Forward Carson Williams. Williams sat out the 2018-2019 season due to the NCAA’s transfer rule, but it expected to be fully ready for next season and will be a big piece in the Hilltoppper rotation.
Rawls a 4 star gaurd was originally a part of the 2020 class is set to join WKU this summer as a part of the 2019 class. Rawls will be another big piece in the Hilltopper rotation at guard. With his quickness and ability to find the open man, Rawls should see good minutes next season.
Cozart a 6’7 forward holds the Kentucky state record for blocks at 714 for his high school career. He was also named the Kentucky Gatorade player of the year in his senior season. Cozart will probably see limited minutes in his freshmen season setting behind Charles Bassey and Tolu Smith.
Harlan a native of nearby Albany, KY who averaged 26.4 points as a junior and had 30+ in 16 games as a junior, and 40+ in 3 games. Next season Harlans minutes will be limited because of WKU’s depth at guard.
Nick “Stretch” Ogenda
Ogenda is a talented big man from Southwest Christian academy in Arkansas. His game is above the rim and is improving everyday. Look for Ogenda to see some time next season giving breathers for Bassey and Smith.
Justice a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball in 2015 will see a big role in the Hilltopper rotation at guard. Justice provides the shooting and floor general experience WKU will need next season. As of right now I would assume Justice and Cooper will battle it out for the starting PG position.
Cooper who played his last 3 season at Lipscomb in Nashville, TN will still need to be ruled eligible by the NCAA for next season (He should be). Let’s hope the NCAA doesn’t wait until January to rule Cooper eligible like they did with Anderson and Mou in 2017. I expect Cooper and Justice to battle it out for the starting spot, but both will see good minutes next season.
Prediction for next season:
With WKU returning much from last season and upgrading holes left by transfers and players graduating. My WAY TOO EARLY WKU Basketball prediction is 30+ wins, a conference USA regular season and tournament title, an NCAA birth AND first round win in the tournament. (Go ahead and screen shot that)
As of right now the full 2019-2020 basketball schedule has not been released but when it is I will do a full breakdown of each team and the outcome.
There it is, let the preseason hype begin. See you at Diddle!
Everyone’s favorite College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman had this to say about Charles Bassey and WKU in a post earlier this morning. He has WKU as the #9 overall “Winner” in the NBA Draft Decision Deadline. The article can be found here.
Goodman had this to say about WKU-
” The talented big man was dead-set on staying in the NBA Draft, but was persuaded at the last minute to return to the Hilltoppers. It’s the right decision for Bassey, who wasn’t going in the first round and may not have gotten a guaranteed deal in the second round. Bassey can improve his stock and Western Kentucky should be the favorites in C-USA.”
Goodman actually gave WKU some praise by naming them the favorites next season in CUSA. With this praise now raises the question, can WKU live up to the hype next season? After last seasons sky high preseason expectations and coming up short in the conference USA championship game for the second straight year, Bowling Green is hungry for another NCAA tournament bid.
This is how the roster looks as of now for the 2019-2020 season-
With a back court of:
Kenny Cooper (Assuming eligible)
The WKU back court is loaded with talent and experience and should be a big scoring threat from inside and out.
The front court/wing consists of:
Next years 2019/2020 roster looks to be a legit 10 players deep with a strong inside and outside presence. Hopefully the off court drama can stay at a minimum, and WKU can take care of business to make a deep run in March.