Hilltopper basketball roster sees summer shake-up

WKU men’s head basketball coach Ray Harper draws a technical foul against Conference USA opponent Rice Feb. 7, 2015 at E.A. Diddle Arena. The Hilltoppers would go on to lose to the Owls 72-68 in only their third home loss of the season. (Luke Franke/Herald)

Jonah Phillips

Wednesday, May 20 marked the final day NCAA basketball teams can conduct recruiting operations. The mandatory recruiting dead period lasts from Thursday, May 21- Friday, May 29.

The program has undergone a multitude of changes, some of which didn’t even wait for the offseason to roll around. As it stands, the program potentially could add 10 new student-athletes to its roster by means of incoming freshman and transfers.

Furthermore, the team has already lost two underclassmen (both walk-ons) that left the program and are at great risk of losing a third underclassman by way of transfer.

WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says that losing and gaining players to transfers is becoming a bigger and bigger part of all college programs.

“I think it is the landscape of college basketball—there is enormous amount of transfers that occur every year,” Stewart told WBKO. “I think it has been a little bit higher with (WKU) than the average and a bit higher than I would prefer. Continuity is important, and the more players are around each other, the better they get to know each other’s games and the better they get to know each other.” 

The Hilltoppers graduated three seniors—George Fant, T.J. Price, and Trency Jackson. To many critics and Hilltopper fans, Fant and Price were two of the best to ever wear the red and white.

“My hope is moving forward that we have more George Fants and T.J. Prices,” Stewart said. “…Guys that we sign their freshman year and have really good careers.” 

But even before graduation day, the roster was undergoing change.

Freshman Jordan Green departed the program and school in September.  Walk-ons sophomore Brandon Price and freshman Rob Marberry also left the program at the conclusion of the season. Freshman D.J. Clayton requested his release from the program shortly after the post-season ended, and did not make an appearance at the team’s end of the year banquet. 

When the news of Clayton broke in late March, the WKU athletic department released a statement saying it won’t comment on potential transfers until the conclusion of the spring semester.

Since the conclusion of the semester, no new information has been released regarding Clayton and if he plans to depart. The Herald reached out to the WKU athletics department on Wednesday for comment on the status of the team but Ray Harper was not made available.

The Hilltoppers have already signed junior college transfers Fredrick Edmond and Phabian Glasco as well as high school seniors Marlon Hunter Jr. and Chris McNeal.  High school guards Keifer Dalton and Dylan Sanford, who will pursue walk-on spots next season, have made verbal commitments.

Bellow is an updated list of the WKU 2015-2016 basketball roster:

New additions to the program are in bold

**Denotes redshirt class ranking


  • Chris McNeal (G)
  • Marlon Hunter (G)
  • Dylan Sandord (G)
  • Kristaps Gluditis (G)
  • Keifer Dalton (G)


  • Justin Johnson (F)—Played 31 games his freshman year, averaging 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
  • Avery Patterson (G)—Pulled in 35 points all season in his freshman campaign off of 108 minutes played.
  • DJ Clayton (G)—Averaged 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 29 games played. (Still unclear of Clayton’s future at WKU).


  • Ben Lawson (C)—Averaged 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 44 games last season. The 7-foot-1 big-man from England has blocked 62 shots in his two seasons on the Hill.
  • Fredrick Edmond (F)—College of Southern Idaho transfer.
  • Phabian Glasco (F)—Connors State College transfer.
  • Anton Waters (F)—Gulf Coast State College transfer.
  • **Chris Harrison-Docks (G): Played in 32 games last season, averaging 11.1 points per games (a mark only bested by Price and Fant).


  • Aleksej Rostov (F)— Played in 32 games last season, averaging 10.2 minutes per contest.
  • **Aaron Cosby: Illinois transfer will play his final season of eligibility on the Hill.
  • **Nigel Snipes (F)—Played in 24 games last season, averaging 8.6 minutes per contest.

The roster will again become subject to change on May 29 when the mandatory recruiting dead period ends.