Stansbury suggests adding Kentucky and Louisville to schedule

New WKU head men’s basketball coach Rick Stansbury speaks during his first press conference at the Harbaugh Club in Smith Stadium. Stansbury was most recently an associate head coach at Texas A&M and was also head coach at Mississippi State. JUSTIN GILLILAND/HERALD

John Reecer

WKU Head Basketball Coach Rick Stansbury said that he wants the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville to be on the Hilltoppers’ schedule, according to the Bowling Green Daily News. 

“You all know this, we’d love to get Kentucky and Louisville back on the schedules moving forward,” Stansbury said to the Bowling Green Daily News. “You all are going to ask that question, you know the answer to that already. We want to in every way.”

The Hilltoppers are just 2-4 all-time against the Wildcats and 39-40 against the Cardinals.

WKU last played UK in the 2012 NCAA Tournament where the Wildcats won 81-66. The Hilltoppers last played the Cardinals on Dec. 18 at the YUM! Center in Louisville where the Cardinals won 78-56. 

Also in the interview with the Bowling Green Daily News, Stansbury said that Belmont University and Murray State University are schools within the region that he would like to see on WKU’s schedule in the future. 

Stansbury also told the Bowling Green Daily News that at the Conference-USA meetings, all 14 league coaches voted to move the conference to a divisional format in the sport of men’s basketball.

In Stansbury’s suggested conference divisions, WKU would be in the east division with Marshall University, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Old Dominion University, Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University. 

This model follows along with the same divisions that are in place for C-USA football. 

“Being in the (SEC) so long, the one thing I saw in February when you had the East and West, there were maybe three teams coming down the stretch in the West fighting for a championship,” Stansbury said to the Bowling Green Daily News. “What does that do? It creates two things. It creates excitement for your fans and it creates more revenue, more people buying tickets.”

Stansbury told the Bowling Green Daily News that the 14-0 vote by the league coaches has been sent off to the league’s athletic directors for final approval.