Western Kentucky mascot Big Red

Western Kentucky will reportedly join Conference USA in 2014


Western Kentucky will no longer be a member of the Sun Belt Conference and will instead move to Conference USA in 2014, Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com is reporting.

The Hilltoppers will reportedly take the place of Tulsa, which is reportedly set to move to the soon-to-be-renamed Big East. The addition of Western Kentucky adds to the list of schools that have joined Conference USA recently, including Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee.

Western Kentucky men’s basketball finished 20-16 overall this past season and 10-10 in the Sun Belt. The Hilltoppers won the conference tournament, which earned it an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. Once in, WKU gave No. 1-seeded Kansas a scare before ultimately falling to the Jayhawks, 64-57, in the Round of 64.

Ray Harper has served as the team’s head coach the past two seasons and led the Hilltoppers to two straight NCAA tournament berths.

With realignment continuing, Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com is reporting that Liberty and James Madison top the list of possible schools that could fill the void that has been left vacant in the Sun Belt by Western Kentucky’s move.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.