WKU teams receive first spring signees

Jordan Wells

The spring signing period began slowly for WKU’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, as neither program signed a single recruit in the period’s opening days.

But recruiting news picked up steam over the last several days, with the Toppers receiving their first commitment in Otero Junior College point guard Brandon Harris on April 18. Meanwhile, the Lady Toppers picked up commitments from Kilgore (Texas) College guard Bianca McGee and Dupont Manual High School senior guard LeAsia Wright.

Harris comes to WKU after averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.4 steals per game over a 33-game span for the Rattlers, hitting 35 percent of his three-pointer and 78 percent of his free throws.

He posted his commitment on Facebook Wednesday evening with a status update announcing, “Western Kentucky here I come!!!”

Harris said the relationships he developed with WKU players made the difference in picking the Toppers.

“It’s one thing when coaches say they want you there, but it makes it a lot easier when the guys you’re going to play with say it too,” Harris said.

The Toppers have hosted several other men’s targets recently, including Eddie Alcantra, a 6-foot-5 forward from Chicago.

As a junior at Hales Franciscan, Alcantara helped lead his team to the Illinois Class 2A state championship, scoring 15 points in a 61-47 win over Murphysboro High School.

He went on to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game as a senior, including shooting more than 40 percent from 3-point range.

“My strongest part about my game is my hustle,” Alcantara said. “Nobody is going to out-work me on the court.”

He said one of the biggest factors in his final decision will be his relationship with coaches, adding he really liked Head Coach Ray Harper’s coaching style.

“I’m a team-oriented guy. Everybody likes to win,” Alcantara said. “And those are the kind of guys Coach Harper wants here. I know my teammates would be just like me.”

Another WKU target, 6-foot-10 Connecticut transfer Michael Bradley, appears to be nearing his college decision.

According to an April 17 article posted on Nooga.com, Bradley is expected to make his decision “fairly soon” and has no other visits planned.

Bradley told the Herald during his visit last weekend that he was “really high” on WKU.

On the women’s side, new commitments McGee and Wright become the seventh and eighth guards on Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard’s first WKU roster.

McGee, a Michigan City, Ind., native, averaged 12.9 points, 5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for Kilgore (Texas), a junior college, in 2011-2012.

Wright comes to WKU after leading Manual to the girls’ state championship, scoring 21 points in the final game in a 58-54 victory over Marion County High School.

She averaged 9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.4 assists  game her senior season.

“We needed a point guard, and when I got the job, she was my first target,” Clark-Heard said. “… Manual High School has an unbelievable program, and she brings that winner’s mentality.”