Stansbury signs five recruits in fall signing period

Evan Heichelbech

By Jeremy Chisenhall

WKU has closed on a successful fall recruiting period for men’s basketball, as head coach Rick Stansbury signed five recruits to national letters of intent for 2018.

Forwards Galen Smith III and Matthew Horton, guards Trevelin Queen and Jeremiah Gambrell, and guard/forward Dalano Banton are all set to join the Hilltoppers in the fall of 2018. Banton is rated a 4-star prospect by 247 Sports, the same recruiting outlet that has Smith and Gambrell rated as 3-star prospects. Queen and Horton are both junior college transfers.

“We have some kids that — I think all of them are quality people, I think they’ve all got big upside because of the work ethic they bring,” Stansbury said of his 2018 recruits. “We like all of five of them as people, and think all of them have great upsides.”

Banton is averaging nearly 30 points per game for Redemption Christian Academy in Northfield, Massachusetts. The 6-7 Canadian native was originally a 2019 recruit, but will reclassify to 2018.

“I always say you’ve got to have guys you’re not supposed to have, or guys that people think you aren’t supposed to have,” Stansbury said. “[Banton} one of them. Got good size at, whatever he is, 6-7, great perimeter skills, great feel how to play, can score it multiple ways, but a really really good passer at the same time. I think he’s got a high, high ceiling.”

Horton is currently playing for Shelton State Community College, where he averaged 5.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game a season ago. He helped Shelton State go 27-6 and win an Alabama Community College Conference Championship. The Tuscaloosa native stands 6-11, and will have two years of eligibility left once he gets to WKU.

Smith is a high school senior who is moving to Hawaii for his last season. In his junior season he averaged 13.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG and 2.1 BPG. The 6-10 big man led his team to a 25-6 record, and was named the All-South Mississippi Player of the Year by the Biloxi Sun Herald. He comes from a basketball family, as his brother plays college basketball and his mother played at the collegiate level as well.

Queen is currently playing for the New Mexico Military Institute, which he transferred to from the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. The 6-6 guard is currently averaging 29.5 PPG on 50 percent shooting in just 16.7 minutes per game. Queen will have two years of eligibility left when he gets to WKU.

Gambrell is a 6-1 guard who is in his senior season at Madison High School in Houston. He averaged 20 PPG in his junior season at Madison. The 3-star recruit was formerly a Baylor commit, but decommitted in early October before signing with WKU.

Stansbury has said in the past that he wants “continuity” in recruiting, and that this class is a step in the right direction so far.

“If you look at next year’s roster after this year, what’s there one senior? So you start getting some continuity in your program,” Stansbury said. “We’ll step back and see kind of what our needs are the rest of the way, we’ve got a couple more scholarships.”

Reporter Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 859-760-0198 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at

@JSChisenhall

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