WKU Basketball: Stansbury Press Conference Provides More Off-season News
WKU head coach Rick Stansbury held a press conference today in Louisville that revealed many new details about the team next season.
The biggest detail being the verification that senior forward Justin Johnson will be suiting up for the WKU football team next season as a scholarship player but he won’t be leaving hoops altogether. He will (likely) play with the football team until the end of the season in December and will then rejoin the basketball team as a walk-on just in time for conference play. Johnson has been a vital part of WKU’s success in basketball and will be one of the few players returning from last year’s team so his experience and leadership could make a huge difference for WKU once he is back.
One good thing about this is that he will no longer be one of the 13 players on WKU’s basketball team on scholarship so Stansbury will be able to give his to one of the newly acquired players coming in this season while he still stays on the football team’s scholarship. So WKU’s leading scorer from last season with 14.5 points per game and also 9.5 rebounds per game will now be a walk-on. Go figure.
Another thing mentioned by Stansbury is that redshirt junior Jabari McGhee will be medically exempt from the 2017–2018 season. McGhee averaged 4.7 points and 4 rebounds per game last season for WKU last season after being ruled eligible to play by the NCAA in December. While the details of the situation or what his injury is are still disclosed, he did have some injuries towards the end of last season. He is someone that would’ve given some depth at the forward position next season so it sucks to see him have to sit out another year. One other thing to note is that two players that have been medically exempt the past season didn’t return to the team. Nathan Smith and Phabian Glasco both were medically exempt for WKU last season but never saw playing time as Hilltoppers again. Smith ended up transferring but Glasco graduated from WKU this May but did not return to the team.
The last thing to note is the promotion of graduate assistant manager Ben Hansbrough to assistant coach. WKU officially announced after Stansbury addressed the media in Louisville that the former college star, who played for Stansbury for 2 years before transferring to Notre Dame, and NBA player that he would be promoted to assistant coach on Stansbury’s staff. He will be filling the open spot on WKU’s coaching staff that was left by Quannas White who left for Houston.
While several things are still up in the air, Stansbury helped give some assurance to WKU fans today by proving that he does have a plan for all the things that need to happen before next season. The full press conference can be found here.