LOS ANGELES — WKU Hilltopper Basketball will look to win multiple games in the NIT
for the first time since 1948 when it travels to top-seeded USC for a second-round
matchup at 10:30 p.m. CT Monday in Los Angeles.
The Hilltoppers routed Boston College 79-62 at home in the first round.
USC needed two overtimes to defeat UNC Asheville 103-98 in the first round in
WKU has split its two previous meetings with USC, losing the only matchup in Los
Angeles in 1987. WKU head coach Rick Stansbury has never faced the Trojans.
NIT Second Round
No. 4 WKU (25-10) at No. 1 USC (24-11)
March 19, 2018 | 10:30 p.m. CT
Galen Center| Los Angeles
Listen: Hilltopper IMG Sports Network (WKLX
100.7 FM flagship), (free) (Randy Lee, pxp | Hal Schmitt, analysis)
Watch: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch, pxp | Bill Walton, analysis)
• WKU has made at least one 3-pointer in 973 consecutive games, dating back to March
15, 1987. The 3-point shot was instituted prior to the 1986-87 season. The
Hilltoppers’ streak is the fifth-longest in the nation behind UNLV, Vanderbilt, Duke
• The Hilltoppers’ 25 wins and 14 conference victories are both their most since
2008-09. This is the 19th 25-win season in program history.
• WKU has 10 wins this season against programs with at least 20 victories: Old
Dominion (3 times), UAB (2), Marshall (2), Purdue (1), Wright State (1) and Nicholls
• WKU’s current scoring average of 78.4 points per game would be the program’s
highest since 1994-95.
• WKU ranks 13th in the country in field goal percentage and first in Conference USA
at 49.5 percent. That percentage would rank eighth for a single season in program
• The Hilltoppers have outscored their opponents 1,348-1,003 in the paint this
• WKU ranks 13th in the nation with 129 dunks against Division I competition,
according to Ken Pomeroy.
• Justin Johnson has five straight double-doubles and seven in the last nine games.
He has 39 career double-doubles and 15 this season.
• Justin Johnson is on pace to become the first Hilltopper to lead the team in both
scoring and rebounding in three straight seasons since Jim McDaniels did it from
• Justin Johnson leads C-USA in rebounding at 9.6 boards per game. He could become
the first player to lead the league in rebounding average in back-to-back years
since Memphis’ Joey Dorsey from 2006-08.
• As of Friday, Justin Johnson was ranked sixth among active NCAA players for career
rebounds and fifth in career double-doubles. Johnson is the only active player in
the nation with at least 1,600 career points and 1,000 rebounds. He ranks 17th in
the country this year with 337 total rebounds.
• Justin Johnson is ranked 12th on WKU’s all-time scoring list with 1,658 career
points. He needs 23 points to pass Clem Haskins to move into 11th.
• Justin Johnson ranks fifth on WKU’s all-time rebounding list with 1,035 career
boards. Johnson is one of five Hilltoppers in program history ranked in the top 15
in scoring and the top 10 in rebounding.
• Justin Johnson is the fifth player in WKU history with 1,000 career points and
1,000 rebounds, joining Tom Marshall, Art Spoelstra, Ralph Crosthwaite and Jim
McDaniels, the last to accomplish the feat in 1971.
• Taveion Hollingsworth has scored more points and played more minutes than any
freshman in Hilltopper history. He recently passed WKU great Courtney Lee for the
• Darius Thompson needs to play just 65 minutes to rank first on WKU’s list for most
minutes played in a single season. Thompson ranks ninth in the country in total
minutes played this season.
NIT EXPERIMENTAL RULES
The 2018 NIT will feature four rules modifications:
• The three-point line will be extended by approximately 1 foot 8 inches to the
same distance used by FIBA for international competition (22 feet 1.75 inches).
• The free throw lane will be widened from 12 feet to 16 feet, consistent with the
width used by the NBA.
• The games will be divided into four 10-minute quarters as opposed to two
20-minute halves. Teams will shoot two free throws beginning with the fifth foul of
• The shot clock will reset to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound instead of the
full 30 seconds.
LAST MEETING WITH USC: DECEMBER 28, 1987
Brett McNeal led WKU with 22 points, but the Hilltoppers shot just 39.1 percent –
including 29.2 percent in the second half – in a 53-47 loss to the Trojans in Los
Angeles. Fred Tisdale added 14 points for the Hilltoppers.
MED CENTER HEALTH
The 2017-18 WKU Basketball season is presented by Med Center Health. With The
Medical Center at its core, Med Center Health has served Southcentral Kentucky for
more than 90 years, and its system of care includes six acute care hospitals, a
complete network of immediate to emergency services and services in dozens of
specialties. Whether it is emergency treatment for heart attack victims or
preventative programs to improve the health of the communities it serves, Med Center
Health is committed to providing the highest level of care and service.