More than a dozen scouts from around the NBA flocked to Diddle Arena to see the 2019-20 WKU men’s basketball team participate in its second straight pro day on Wednesday evening.
The scouting opportunity consisted of practice drills that allowed NBA scouts to see players like four-star freshman guard Jordan Rawls, junior guard Josh Anderson, sophomore center Charles Bassey and others showcase their individual skills.
“Well, you know, I think there’s several people,” head coach Rick Stansbury said of who the NBA scouts were keeping their eye on during pro day. “I think the whole team benefits because whether guys can play in the league or not, a lot of them think they can. So, they got an opportunity. A lot of NBA teams were here today. If you’re a good enough NBA player, they will find you."
Head coach Rick Stansbury addresses the media following Hilltopper Basketball Pro Day: https://t.co/OqdBObOMF3— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Bassey, the reigning Conference USA Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year, entered the 2019 NBA Draft without an agent in April and participated in the 2019 NBA Draft Combine in May.
The star freshman later announced he would be withdrawing from the NBA Draft pool and officially returned to WKU on May 29.
Bassey showed improved range from behind the arc during pro day. Bassey was 9-of-20 on 3-pointers a season ago, but the 6-foot-11-inch big man seemed much more confident in his stroke.
Charles Bassey shows off his improved 3-point stroke to the NBA scouts in attendance at WKU pro day. pic.twitter.com/AbM9KPPEUx— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
“It’s all better,” Stansbury said when asked about Bassey's three-point shot. “Just the little bit you watch him shoot, if you guys were here during shooting, he’s much better. His body is better. He’s doing everything better.
"But again, remember this — he’s only 18 years old. He doesn’t turn 19 for a couple of weeks. He was 17 years old this time last year. He really should have been a high school senior. So, nothing surprises me with him. There’s no substitute for experience. Experience you gain here, experience he gained in the offseason. I think he’s put it all into good use, and he’s better in every way— physically and mentally.”
Charles Bassey and Carson Williams shooting around prior to pro day. pic.twitter.com/VcNxr5Stek— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Jared Savage slams it home. pic.twitter.com/t6o8HsyUyv— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
The Hilltoppers show off their layups and dunking abilities. pic.twitter.com/RUefMGy8mL— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Four-star freshman Jordan Rawls nets a jumper during one-on-one drills. The 6-foot-2 guard was originally a member of the 2020 class, but Rawls reclassified to 2019 and joined the Hilltoppers this summer. pic.twitter.com/MgN1cbOTVf— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Charles Bassey slams down an alley-oop on one end, sprints back, plays defense and gets a rebound on the other. Head coach Rick Stansbury called it a “winning possession.” pic.twitter.com/kHF2XsjpnG— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Taveion Hollingsworth goes 2 for 2 from the charity stripe. pic.twitter.com/L151Kesnxn— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Lipscomb transfer Kenny Cooper finds Northern Kentucky transfer Carson Williams for an easy finish in transition. pic.twitter.com/byhrK4fJYS— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
Taveion Hollingsworth drills a 3-pointer during a five-on-five scrimmage to conclude pro day. pic.twitter.com/ilvRTghvCK— WKU Herald Sports (@wkuheraldsports) October 9, 2019
WKU will take the court again on Oct. 17 for Hilltopper Hysteria, the annual tip-off event for the WKU men's and women's basketball programs, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. that evening.
Unlike years past, the men's team's scrimmage will be a full-length open scrimmage in front of the Hilltopper Hysteria crowd.
The Hilltoppers will open play with an exhibition against Kentucky State on Nov. 2 before beginning the regular season against Tennessee Tech three days later on Nov. 5.