Tag: Ray Harper

Ray Harper

European shooting guard not joining Western Kentucky program

Leave a comment

With four of their top five scorers from last season’s 20-win team having moved on, Western Kentucky enters in the 2015-16 season in need of options to step up alongside junior guard Chris Harrison-Docks. One possibility on the perimeter was guard Kristaps Gluditis, a native of the Czech Republic whose perimeter shooting ability was praised by head coach Ray Harper earlier this summer.

Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Gluditis will not be with the team this season according to the Bowling Green Daily News. The reason is that Gluditis, who is eligible to compete by NCAA standards, did not meet the school’s academic standards for international students. In regards to college basketball Gluditis has three options at this point according to the report: retake the exam in hopes of joining the team midyear, enroll at a junior college or enroll at another four-year school since he’s cleared by the NCAA.

Without Gluditis additions such as grad student Aaron Cosby, junior college transfer Fredrick Edmond and freshmen Chris McNeal and Marlon Hunter Jr. have an even greater opportunity to earn minutes than they did when it was assumed that Giuditis would be joining the WKU program. Each of those players will need to step forward to relieve some of the pressure due to be heaped upon Harrison-Docks.

Harrison-Docks, who led the Hilltoppers in minutes per game (33.6 mpg) and started 30 of the team’s 32 games, averaged 11.1 points per contest in 2014-15. After Harrison-Docks WKU’s most productive returnee is junior forward Ben Lawson, who averaged 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Former Seton Hall, Illinois guard to finish career at Western Kentucky

AP Photo
Leave a comment

Having lost two productive perimeter players at the end of the season in T.J. Price and Trency Jackson, Western Kentucky head coach Ray Harper added some depth to his backcourt Thursday afternoon. Aaron Cosby, who’s had stops at Seton Hall and Illinois, will join the program for his final season of eligibility according to Zach Greenwell of the Bowling Green Daily News.

Provided he go through with plans to complete his studies at Illinois Cosby will be eligible immediately for the Hilltoppers, who finished the 2014-15 season with a 20-12 record. In a conversation with Greenwell, Cosby cited his familiarity with Harper and the WKU program as reasons for his decision.

“Ultimately, the opportunity to go back home and play for guys that have known me since my freshman year of high school was big,” Cosby said. “They know my game. They saw me play AAU, prep school, high school. That was important.”

Expected to be part of the Illinois backcourt rotation after playing two seasons at Seton Hall, Cosby played in 19 games (starting 13) before being suspended indefinitely in late January for a violation of team rules. In February, head coach John Groce announced that Cosby would be leaving the program at the end of the season.

Cosby averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for the Fighting Illini but he didn’t shoot particularly well in doing so, making 29.3 percent of his shots from the field and 31.1 percent from beyond the arc. Cosby shot much better during his time at Seton Hall, shooting 37.7 percent from three as a freshman and 40 percent as a sophomore before deciding to transfer.

Provided he get back to the numbers he posted in his first college stop, Cosby can be a solid addition for the Hilltoppers alongside Chris Harrison-Docks, who averaged 11.1 points per game in 2014-15. Harrison-Docks, who began his career at Butler, is WKU’s leading returning scorer with forward George Fant joining Price and Jackson as players who have run out of eligibility.

In addition to Cosby, WKU will add junior college transfer Fredrick Edmond and freshmen Chris McNeal and Marlon Hunter Jr. to the perimeter this summer.

Junior college transfer guard requests scholarship release from Western Kentucky

Ray Harper
Leave a comment

Less than two weeks after Kevin Kaspar made the decision to leave the program in order to pursue professional opportunities in his native Turkey at the end of the semester, Western Kentucky incurred another personnel loss Friday. According to Zach Greenwell of the Bowling Green Daily News, junior Ayinde Sprewell has requested to be released from his scholarship.

Sprewell played in just three of WKU’s first seven games, averaging 0.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per contest. The hope of having a more substantial role is the reason why Sprewell has made the decision to transfer.

Three of WKU’s top four players in minutes played, T.J. Price, Chris Harrison-Docks and Trency Jackson, are guards with Price and Harrison-Docks both playing more than 31 minutes per game. With that being the case, minutes proved to be tougher to come by for Sprewell.

According to Greenwell’s report, while WKU head coach Ray Harper was hopeful that Sprewell could earn more time as the season progressed he also made note of the fact that Sprewell was still figuring things out.

“The other kid that we think has a chance, and we’re trying to get him to come along is Sprewell,” Harper said following the team’s game against Murray State on Sunday. “He’s probably more gifted than the other guys, but he’s still trying to figure some things out, especially on the defensive end.”

Western Kentucky, which is 3-4 on the season, plays at Ole Miss on Saturday.