Hilltoppers ready for season opener, Frampton and McKnight to make debut

WKU guard Jordan Rawls (3) looks on during the basketball game between La. Tech and WKU on February 6, 2020 in Diddle Arena. WKU won 65-54.

Nick Kieser

The WKU basketball program will be heading out to Lincoln, Nebraska on Nov. 23 and will open the 2020-21 season against the University of Nevada on Nov. 25. at 5 p.m.

“We will get thrown into the fire right off the bat against a really good Nevada basketball team,” head coach Rick Stansbury said. 

According to a report from The Advocate, the LSU men’s basketball program will not play in Nebraska against the Hilltoppers. LSU will instead be playing Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Thanksgiving in Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena. 

Head coach Rick Stansbury said Friday there wasn’t much of a scouting report when it came to preparing to play Nevada for the season opener. 

“When they run out there and start running that first play you’ll see it for the first time just like I did,” Stansbury said. “We’ll all have to make that adjustment accordingly.” 

This season WKU has 11 upperclassmen on the roster, and heading into this year’s campaign Stansbury said he feels like he has seen a collective effort in terms of leaders on the program. 

Having depth this season amid the pandemic will be a key factor for WKU and being able to play has the team poised to get to Nebraska.

“We’ve managed to get to this point right now virus free, the whole program,” Stansbury said. “I know they’re excited just like we’re all excited to get college basketball started.”

In terms of the crop of players this season, Stansbury will have different pieces to dabble with when matching up against opponents. 

“We have multiple guys who can score in different ways,” Stansbury said. “Taveion has continued to become a better shooter every year, Josh Anderson is better than he was. Kenny Cooper has some ability to make some shots. I think you’ll see Charles make some shots this year, something you haven’t seen, Luke will shoot that’s his role.” 

“I think the biggest thing with our team is we have to get some rhythm and chemistry to our rotation, that’ll be our challenge. These five games will make us better because those are some good teams.” 

Redshirt junior Luke Frampton, a transfer from Davidson, has not been on the court for a game with a team in nine months. While at Davidson he was the second player in program history to hit 100 3-pointers in a season, Steph Curry being the first to do so during his collegiate career. 

“Everybody knows I can shoot the ball, that’s one of my strong points,” Frampton said. “I just want to be a leader, that’s what it comes down to.” 

Frampton said when he put his name in the transfer portal coach Stansbury called him not even two hours after. 

“That really stuck out to me because you could tell he really wanted me and that he cared about me,” Frampton said. “I was looking for a school where I was wanted and I am happy I made the decision to come here.” 

Freshman Dayvion McKnight will enter into his collegiate debut against Nevada, the guard was named Mr. Kentucky Basketball after his senior season at Collins High School. 

McKnight finished his prep days with 1,897 points and now makes the transition to division one basketball next week. 

“All of the seniors and upperclassmen have been helping me transition,” McKnight said. “The biggest transition is the speed but I have taken it very well.” 

Over the summer McKnight was able to workout with senior Taveion Hollingsworth in preparation for his first season on the Hill. 

“He’s only 45 minutes away from where I live and while we were quarantined we worked out together,” McKnight said. 

WKU will play four games in nine days on the road to begin this season, and will open play in Diddle Arena on Dec. 10 against Campbellsville at 7 p.m.

Sports Editor Nick Kieser can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Nick on Twitter at @KieserNick.