BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — As the 2016-17 season grows near, the WKU men’s basketball team gave fans a chance to see what’s in store Saturday with a full, open scrimmage as part of Homecoming on The Hill.
The Hilltoppers scrimmaged each other for about two hours at E.A. Diddle Arena, breaking up their competition into two 20-minute periods. The teams changed lineups for each period, with the score starting tied at 35 in each period.
WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said he’d still like to see his group’s communication and concentration improve, but he’s been pleased with the team’s effort in the preseason.
“One thing guys have been doing, is they’ve been giving me good effort,” Stansbury said. “They’ve been working hard. That doesn’t mean we always make the right decisions or make the right reads, but they’ve been working hard. As long as they work hard, we’ll keep getting better.”
Senior forward Ben Lawson led all scorers in the scrimmage with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field. Redshirt sophomore forward Willie Carmichael finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Graduate senior guards Pancake Thomas and Que Johnson finished with 23 and 21 points, respectively, while senior forward Anton Waters contributed 22 points and 11 rebounds. Johnson and Thomas combined for 12 assists and two turnovers, and Thomas also tallied seven rebounds.
Johnson and freshman guard TJ Howard each made five 3-pointers, while junior guard Lamonte Bearden finished with 14 points and nine assists.
WKU opens its schedule Nov. 1 with a home exhibition against Campbellsville, while the regular-season opener will be Nov. 12 at home against Alabama State.
The squad will take its guidance from the first-year coach Stansbury, who boasts 293 victories and a career home winning percentage of better than 80 percent in his 14 years at the helm at Mississippi State.
The Hilltoppers are 573-162 all-time at Diddle Arena and are one of the nation’s most storied programs. WKU ranks third in NCAA history in regular-season league titles (42), seventh in 20-win seasons (43), ninth in all-time winning percentage (.663) and is tied for 16th in all-time wins (1,737).
How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter, @WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.