WKU relying on veterans in New Orleans

WKU’s senior forward O’Karo Akamune (15) drives around ULM’s forward DeMondre Harvey (2) during the second half of WKU’s 72-63 victory over the University of Louisiana-Monroe Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Tyler Lashbrook

WKU’s roster has an intricate dynamic between new guys and veterans.

Junior forward George Fant and junior guard T.J. Price are the reigning Players of the Year from the last two conference tournaments and they are surrounded by senior guard Caden Dickerson and senior forward O’Karo Akamune, who has provided monumental minutes in the last two tournaments.

But freshman guard Chris Harrison-Docks, junior guard Trency Jackson and junior forward Aaron Adeoye have each logged a ton of minutes this season and have played pivotal roles in shaping the team’s identity.  Those guys, however, have never played in a Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

“We’ll rely on (the veterans) to help some of the guys like Chris and Trency who have not been through it,” coach Ray Harper said Thursday.

Giving those new guys some guidance has been important, according to Fant.

“Before we left (Bowling Green) we watched a video, showing the new guys that this is a business trip,” Fant said. “We’ve done it once, we’ve done it twice and we’re here to do it again.”

He said that the team watched the Lady Toppers play last night and that it showed the team that anything can happen come tournament time.

“It doesn’t matter if you beat a team once or twice, that team is going to give you their all in the last game,” Fant said.

Akamune said that the veterans are focused on “encouraging others.”

“We’re going to need everybody,” Akamune said. “You know, everybody is playing at their best at this time of the year. So just encourage everybody to give it their all and make each other better.”

Harper said “anytime you’ve done something before and you’ve been successful at it, it helps.” 

“The most important thing is—in terms of tournament play—is to stay in the moment,” Harper said. “Every possession is important and you can’t play in rewind or in fast forward. You have to play in that particular moment and that’s where I think we’ve been good the past couple of seasons.”