‘All those young men we wanted back, are back’: Stansbury talks 2022-23 basketball season

Coach+Rick+Stansbury+shouts+orders+to+the+team+on+Saturday%2C+Jan.%2C+29.+WKU+lost+93-85.

Tucker Covey

Coach Rick Stansbury shouts orders to the team on Saturday, Jan., 29. WKU lost 93-85.

Lynda Eernisse, Basketball Reporter

WKU Basketball head coach Rick Stansbury met with the media Thursday afternoon to preview the upcoming 2022-23 season. 

WKU will have four of its usual starters return to the lineup this year. The returnees include Jairus Hamilton, Dayvion McKnight, Luke Frampton and 7-foot-5 center Jamarion Sharp, the tallest player in NCAA D1 Basketball.

“At the end of the day, all those young men we wanted back, are back,” Stansbury said. “The main thing is that both of those guys, [Jamarion] and Jairus are both back and I’m looking for big things from both of them.”

The Hilltoppers will head into the year without fan-favorite Camron Justice. Justice has now joined Stansbury’s coaching staff as director of player development and video following his graduation. 

With several players departing, WKU brought in experienced players and a familiar face to make an immediate impact within the program. 

Guard Jordan Rawls is back with the team after leaving to play for Georgia State back in 2021. Rawls started his college career in Bowling Green where he was recruited as a freshman. 

“After he left, he figured out ‘I like Western Kentucky’ and came back,” Stansbury said. “There’s no question coming back now with his mindset the way it is, he’s only become a better player for us; he’s had a great summer.” 

Another new addition fans are excited to see is Dontaie Allen, a redshirt junior guard who transferred from Kentucky. 

“Coming from one of the best programs in the country, he’s had a lot of experience,” Stansbury said.

This year, the team is only scheduled to play two Power Five opponents, both away from home – South Carolina and Louisville.

“Out of 20 Power Five games, 16 of them have been on the road away from here, and we’re 11-9 against them,” Stansbury said.

The Hilltoppers can be seen in action for the first time Thursday, Nov. 10 against Eastern Kentucky in Richmond.

Football reporter Lynda Eernisse can be reached at [email protected]