WKU basketball lands 3 all-conference honorees for 1st time since 2002-03, receives 5 total C-USA honors

WKU guards Jared Savage and Taveion Hollingsworth celebrate after Hollingsworth’s game-tying 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Hollingsworth was 4-of-7 from beyond the three-point line, shooting 57.1% as WKU defeated LA Tech 95-91 in Diddle Arena on Feb. 27, 2019.

Matt Gadd

For the first time in 17 years, a trio of players from the WKU men’s basketball program received all-conference honors, the Conference USA league office announced on Monday.

Junior guard Taveion Hollingsworth was selected to the 2019-20 All-C-USA First Team, while redshirt senior wing Jared Savage and redshirt junior forward Carson Williams were both named to the All-C-USA Third Team after the duo stepped up in the absence of inured sophomore center Charles Bassey.

Savage also earned a place on C-USA’s All-Defensive Team, and first-year guard Jordan Rawls was picked for the league’s All-Freshman Team after his debut season on the Hill.

Hilltopper basketball has now featured multiple all-conference picks for the third straight year. The last time the WKU men’s basketball program boasted three all-conference honorees in a single season was after the 2002-03 campaign, when Patrick Sparks, David Boyden and Mike Wells were chosen.

Hollingsworth gives WKU a first-team selection for the third consecutive season, following Bassey in 2019 and Justin Johnson in 2018. The Lexington native was a third-team selection as a sophomore one season ago.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 165-pounder is averaging 16.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 35 minutes per contest. He’s also shooting 47.1% from the field and 84.3% at the free-throw line.

In his last six games, Hollingsworth averaged 23.8 points. He ranks 18th in WKU history in career points, eighth in career games started and career minutes played and 10th in career free throws made.

In addition to being a third-team pick, Savage became the second Hilltopper to earn a spot on the All-Defensive Team, along with Bassey last season.

Savage is averaging 11.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s tied for fifth in the league in both rebounding and blocks and ranks third in defensive rebounds.

The 6-foot-5-inch Bowling Green native is one of 12 players in the nation with at least 213 rebounds, 37 steals and 33 blocks this season.

Williams also found a spot on the third team after averaging 14 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game this season.

Taking on a larger role in the post after Bassey’s season-ending injury, Williams is shooting 55.5% from the field, 39% from 3-point range and 75% from the free-throw line.

The 6-foot-5-inch Owenton native ranks sixth in C-USA in field-goal percentage, eighth in rebounding and sixth in offensive rebounds.

Rawls’ selection gives WKU a player on the All-Freshman team for three straight years, following Bassey (2019) and Hollingsworth (2018).

Rawls is averaging 7.9 points and 2.2 assists per game this season. The 6-foot-1-inch guard from Chattanooga, Tennessee, started 16 games in conference play and posted his top two scoring games against the top teams in the league, North Texas and Louisiana Tech.

WKU closed the regular season by winning six of its last eight games, including a 91-85 win at Florida International in the regular season finale on March 7.

The second-seeded Hilltoppers (20-10, 13-5 C-USA) will open play in the C-USA Tournament against either seventh-seeded Alabama-Birmingham (18-13, 9-9 C-USA) or tenth-seeded Texas-San Antonio (13-18, 7-11 C-USA) on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Reporter Matt Gadd can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Matt on Twitter at @themattgadd.