WKU Men’s Basketball media day: Veterans focused on bringing new faces up to speed

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WKU Athletics

Head coach Rick Stansbury in the huddle with the Hilltoppers in the midst of a timeout. WKU played UAB in the C-USA Semifinal winning 64-60 to advance to the Championship game. 

Kaden Gaylord-Day, Men's basketball reporter

WKU Men’s Basketball held its annual media day on Wednesday to preview the upcoming 2021-22 season. Head coach Rick Stansbury, fifth-year senior Josh Anderson, senior Luke Frampton and sophomore Dayvion McKnight fielded questions from the media.

Head coach Rick Stansbury opened up the press conference by sharing how practice has gone for the program so far. 

“It’s a daily process right now, just trying to keep getting better everyday, as we all know we have a lot of new pieces,” Stansbury said. “We’re trying to get a lot of things in early, and hoping and trying to get guys to understand how hard you have to go every possession.”

The big focus this year has been on the new additions to the team and how much of a transition it has been for the program. WKU welcomed a heap of roster additions such as transfers Jairus Hamilton, Jaylen Butz and Keith Hamilton and true freshmen like Zion Harmon and Elijah Hughey.

“We have a lot of new guys so coach is real heavy on communicating and talking with each other,” Anderson said. “Everybody is kind of learning each other right now but I feel like it’s going good.”

The act of building team chemistry was brought up by all at the podium. It’s a process, but the team is confident in each other. 

“The chemistry has been going good for all the new guys and new faces on the team,” McKnight said. “Us three [Frampton, Anderson, McKnight] have been bringing the new faces along and talking a lot, so I think it’s going to be a good year.”

With a total of nine players on the roster listed as a guard, rotations and starting line ups have been in question from the beginning. But for the players, it’s about contributing in any way they can on or off the court.

“I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to win, that’s all I’m worried about,” Frampton said. “I don’t care if I make a three all season, as long as we’re winning I’m happy.”

WKU will play two exhibition games next week before its official season opener. On Nov. 1, the Hilltoppers will scrimmage against Campbellsville, followed by a Nov. 5 scrimmage against the University of the Cumberlands. 

“We’ll be into some games still trying to figure out what you can do and what you can’t do and who plays best together and all those kinds of things,” Stansbury said. “Exhibition games are just good just to play against somebody else.” 

WKU will officially open up the season on Nov. 9 against Alabama State at Diddle Arena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. CT.

Men’s basketball reporter Kaden Gaylord-Day can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @_KLG3.