Hysteria | Fans get a glimpse of things to come

Junior guard Fredrick Edmond (25) completes a dunk, after soaring over his teammate, redshirt junior Chris Harrison-Dock’s (51) body, during Hilltopper Hysteria. The crowd reacted with cheers and applause. Alyssa Pointer/HERALD

John Reecer

The WKU men’s basketball team gave Hilltopper fans a taste of action to come during the annual Hilltopper Hysteria on Saturday. Fans caught a first glimpse of this season’s squad, which features many changes from last season.

After graduating three seniors, the Hilltoppers return just 33 percent of their scoring and 38 percent of their rebounding from last season. However, the addition of 10 new players to the roster will give the team an array of new talents to choose from.

“All of these new guys bring so much effort,” said redshirt senior forward Nigel Snipes. “They always play hard, and they try every day to learn new plays. Out here they showed good athleticism, skills and shooting ability, so I think we are going to be alright.”

The event featured a 20-minute running-clock scrimmage between the Hilltoppers in which the gray team defeated the red team 42-34.

Leading the gray team, Snipes flashed his offensive versatility with 10 points while Coach Ray Harper yelled at him to “be aggressive.” Snipes managed to add two 3-pointers and an early baseline dunk that drew a loud ovation from the crowd.

“The last couple of years, [Coach Harper] has told me to be aggressive, attack, shoot and to do this and that,” Snipes said. “Tonight I just tried to go out and do it.”

Freshman guard Marlon Hunter made a big splash on Saturday as well.  Most of Hunter’s 10 points came from wide open layups off several steals he made on the defensive side of the court.

“They used to call me the garbage man in AAU ball,” Hunter said. “I used to anticipate the gaps and steal the ball all the time. That’s just what I love to do on the court.”

However, junior transfer Fredrick Edmond from the College of Southern Idaho made the most noise for the Hilltoppers during Hysteria; the guard led the Hilltoppers with 14 points during the scrimmage. Edmond also won the slam dunk competition, where he displayed his sizable hang time.

“It felt really good playing in front of all of the fans,” Edmond said. “We have a lot of athleticism and potential which was shown tonight.”

Sophomore transfer forward Willie Carmichael also made a good first impression as he scored 11 points for the red team. The transfer from the University of Tennessee showed his athletic capabilities; the 6-8, 210-pounder can be both a force in the lane and the perimeter of offense.

“We have a lot of great guys on this team,” Edmond added. “We have a lot of good big men and good guards. This is one of the better teams I have played [on] so far.”

The Hilltoppers will officially start their season with an exhibition match on Nov. 2 against Lindsey Wilson College at Diddle Arena.