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.
4 star F JJ Traynor WILL BE in attendance tonight for Hilltopper Hysteria. Stansbury has been on Traynor from the beginning official offering Traynor back in May.
Traynor has been rising up the recruiting ranks over the summer and now earning high praise from 247 Sports head recruiting analyst Evan Daniels having this to say about Traynor,
“I think he is a tremendous talent,” said Daniels. I’ve said this multiple times. I think he’s one of the biggest sleepers in the country, certainly the biggest sleeper I saw all July. I think he’s got tremendous physical tools. He was just measured in at 6-8.5, a 7-2 wingspan, has a 32-inch standing vertical. All the physical tools are there, and the game is coming. He’s just taking big strides. He just turned 17 last week, so he’s still pretty young, and his game is starting to develop.”
Traynor has since earned offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Xavier.
WKU men’s and women’s basketball programs will be in action tonight with Hilltopper Hysteria. This will be the first time fans get to see the teams for the upcoming season. Both teams are coming into the season with high expectations.
The full scrimmage will showcase how deep the team will be this year.
Things that are expected to happen tonight: an exiting entrance for all the players, full scrimmage from the men’s basketball team, and autograph signings from both teams.
Recruits in the building
Here is an updated list of recruits that will be in attendance tonight:
DayVion McKnight: PG 6’1 Shelbyville, KY 2020 (WKU Commit)
JJ Traynor: F 6’9 Bardstown, KY (2020) rated a 4 star prospect by every major recruiting site.
Zion Harmon: PG 5’10 Benton, KY (2021) rated a 4 star prospect on all major recruiting platforms and a top 50 player in the class of 2021.
Jaden Rodgers: PG 6’0 Louisville, KY (2021) 3 star prospect by 247 sports.
Darrius Washington: F 6’8 Louisville, KY (2021)
Zek Montgomery: F 6’6 Louisville, KY (2021) ranked #5 player in state of KY.
Isaiah Mason: G 6’4 Bowling Green, KY (2021)
Brooks Barnhizer: F 6’5 Lafayette, IN (2021) Official Visit
Cearius Warren: F 6’7 Louisville, KY (2021)
Turrell Cleaves Jr: G 6’4 Louisville, KY (2022) Ranked #2 player in the state of KY.
James Jewell: F 6’5 Louisville, KY (2022) ranked as #1 player in state for 2022.
This afternoon 4 star PG Zion Harmon of Marshall County confirmed that he will be taking an official visit to Western Kentucky this weekend.
A big recruiting weekend on the Hill for Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Stansbury, as Hilltopper Hysteria will take place Thursday night followed by homecoming activities including the homecoming football game Saturday at 3 PM vs Charlotte.
Harmon is ranked as the #37 overall player in the class of 2021 by 247 Sports and #1 prospect in the state of Kentucky.
UPDATED: Hilltopper Hysteria will take place tomorrow inside Diddle arena at 6 PM. We know the roster looks like for this season, but how is it shaping out in the seasons to come?
Here is a list of those known to be attending the event Thursday night.
Zion Harmon- 5’11 G Benton, KY (2021)
Isaiah Mason- 6’4 G Bowling Green, KY (2021)
James Jewell- 6’5 F Louisville, KY (2022)
Christian Spalding- 6’5 F Louisville, KY (2022)
Jaden Rodgers- 6’4 G Louisville, KY (2022)
The big question: Will JJ Traynor be in attendance?
Though it has not been confirmed yet Traynor is not expected to be at Hysteria Thursday night. The 4 star’s interest in WKU has seemed to fade as other division 1 offers have started to roll in, most notably Louisville who is thought to be in the lead to land a commitment from Traynor.
UPDATE: Louisville head coach Chris Mack was in to visit Traynor early this morning. A scholarship offer was extended to Traynor.
On Wednesday October 9th Western Kentucky held their 2nd NBA pro day at E.A. Diddle Arena. Around a dozen scouts were in attendance.
Here are 3 takeaways from others at the event.
Charles Bassey has improved his body, much leaner heading into his sophomore campaign.
Bassey will likely be asked to play more minutes with the lack of depth in the WKU front court this season. Last season Bassey averaged 31.4 minutes per game. Stansbury will probably try and get Charles around the 35 minutes a game mark if possible.
I mean look at this guy, you can tell a difference. By the way, he’s only 18.
Anderson’s shot continues to improve each off season. If you remember when Josh first got here his jump shot was a real weakness for him, heading into his sophomore year we began to see a real improvment in his shot. This year is more of the same, Anderson’s shot is more fluid and natural now. Look for him to be respected more from outside 15 feet this season.
Coming into the season I wondered whether or not freshmen point guard would be able to shoot at the college level. Coming out of high school Rawls had a bit of a hitch in his shot, Similar to Anderson.
This video suggest that Rawls shot is smooth and quick. Suggesting he should be able to get his shot off effectively at the college level.
This event gets me even more ready for the season. We will all have a chance to see the Hilltoppers at Hilltopper Hysteria on October 17th.