#4 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Conference: Conference USA
2019-20 Final KenPom Ranking: 113
2020-21 Preseason KenPom Ranking: 81
Preseason AP Poll: Unranked
Make no mistake, the unquestioned most talented player on the Western Kentucky roster is Charles Bassey.
Bassey, a former five star prospect, is the best player on the Hilltoppers team. Bassey only played in 10 games in 2019 before suffering a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg.
In a game versus Louisville in 2019, Bassey put up 14 points and 9 rebounds against the Cardinals as Louisville went on to win the game 71-54.
Bassey is a 6’11” 234 lb monster at the position who averaged a double-double in 34 games his freshman season. Bassey should be back with a vengeance in 2020 and will likely be one of the best centers in the country once again.
Bassey is an athletic big that excels at running the floor like a guard. He also has the ability to catch and shoot from three and a nice looking face up jump shot from the post area.
Taveion Hollingsworth is another big name to watch for the Hilltoppers. In 2019, Hollingsworth put up 16.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He also led the team with 1.3 steals per game.
Hollingsworth put up a team-high 16 points in their matchup against Louisville in 2019.
Hollingsworth is a bouncy guard that excels in transition. He is not afraid to go in amongst the trees for crafty finishes in the paint. His pull-up mid range game is solid for just a 6’2″ guard as well.
Lipscomb transfer Kenny Cooper is another name to watch for Western Kentucky.
With these two main components at the helm, the Toppers have a chance to beat anyone. Louisville will have to find answers for Bassey. They may look to bring double teams to the post. They will surely have to keep him off the offensive glass.
This game may be a shootout. Look for Louisville to try and attack the paint to get Bassey in foul trouble early on.
This game feels like it really could go either way based on how these two match up. Bassey has real ability to take games over.