2019 WKU Football Season Outlook

The Schedule

Central Arkansas (8/29)

@ Florida International (9/7)*

Louisville (9/14)**

UAB (9/28)*

@ Old Dominion (10/5)*

Army (10/12)

Charlotte (10/19)*+

@ Marshall (10/26)*

Florida Atlantic (11/2)*

@ Arkansas (11/9)

@ Southern Miss (11/23)*

Middle Tennessee (11/30)*

* Indicates C-USA matchup

** Indicates neutral site matchup

+ Indicates Homecoming matchup

The Team (Offense)

Key Returners:

  • QB Steven Duncan (108-187, 1071 yds, 9 TD, 7 INT)
  • RB Joshua Samuels (648 yds, 121 ATT, 1 TD)
  • WR Lucky Jackson (552 yds, 50 catches, 4 TD)

Key Additions:

  • WR Manuel Allen (Moreno Valley, CA)
  • WR Tyler Smith (Conyers, GA)
  • OG Jack Randolph (Franklin, KY)

The Team (Defense)

Key Returners:

  • DB Devon Key (71 TOT, 3 TFL, 3 INT)
  • DL DeAngelo Malone (60 TOT, 9 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 INT)
  • DL Juwuan Jones (42 TOT, 6 TFL, 5 sacks)

Key Additions:

  • S Clayton Bush (Bowling Green, KY)
  • OLB Celestin Haba (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • DE Stephone Atkinson (Lake Minneola, FL)

Season Outlook

WKU football should be expecting improvement under first-year head coach Tyson Helton going into the 2019 season. Coach Helton plans to bring his high-flying offense to the Hilltoppers, which racked up about 325 YPG last season with the Volunteers. The new offense will hopefully benefit returning starting quarterback Steven Duncan. Last season Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano threw for 1907 yards with 12 touchdowns against 3 interceptions. In comparison, Steven Duncan only threw for 1071 yards with 9 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.

Some key matchups to look forward to are a neutral site game against Louisville in Nashville, a home game against Army, and a road matchup against Arkansas. Last season the Hilltoppers nearly came away with a victory against the Cardinals on the road, but this year they’ll get a shot at them a bit closer to home.

Be on the lookout for our Game 1 Preview tomorrow, where we’ll take a closer look at the Hilltoppers first opponent, the Central Arkansas Bears.

RedZone Radio also returns to the airwaves this Sunday at 7:00pm on Revolution 91.7. Tune in for a full analysis of WKU Football’s home opener against Central Arkansas.

Wrapping up the Men’s C-USA Championships for WKU

The Western Kentucky University Men’s Basketball Team fell to the Old Dominion Monarchs in the C-USA Tournament Championship on Saturday night 62-56. Here’s one final recap by RedZone Radio’s John Alden. Listen to John and the rest of the team discuss the events of the weekend Sunday night at 7 on Revolution 91.7.

Charles Bassey led the Hilltoppers in scoring with 12 points, and Josh Anderson and Jared Savage also made it to double figures.

Coach Stansbury had lots to say about his team during the postgame press conference.

“We didn’t make some shots as well as we have to,” Coach stated. “Give them [Old Dominion] some credit defensively. We still had our opportunities.”

Jared Savage said he was disappointed in his team’s lack of toughness in the early going.

“Whenever you play a team like that, they’re tough, they’re rough, they’re gonna bump you around,” Savage said. “You gotta bring that energy, and I don’t think we brought it the first half.”

When reflecting on the outcome, Coach Stansbury went back to what he’s been talking about since day one: a fine line.

“We take no moral victories away from here being in this championship game,” Coach said. “We want to find a way to win it, and winning and losing’s a fine line.”

The Hilltoppers will learn their postseason fate in the coming days. The team will likely earn a bid to either the NIT or the CBI. Coach Stansbury said he hasn’t given any thought as to whether his team will accept a bid or not.

Fans can watch the team’s press conference in its entirety on the WKU RedZone Radio Facebook page.

2019 Men’s & Women’s C-USA ChampionshipsRecap: Semifinals

RedZone Radio’s John Alden has another recap for you, so you can be ready to catch the show this Sunday from 7 – 8 PM on Revolution 91.7!

Men:

WKU Men’s Basketball kicked things off for us today at 3:00pm as the Hilltoppers defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles and slowed down their high-powered offense en route to earning a spot in tomorrow’s C-USA Championship title game. Josh Anderson and Taveion Hollingsworth led the way in scoring with 18 points and 17 points respectively.

“They (Southern Miss) were the hottest team in this tournament,” Coach stated. “But our guys found a way to make enough plays to win the game.

Hollingsworth knew he had to be focused late in the game to ensure his team would have a chance to win in the end.

“The first half I didn’t shoot too well,” Hollingsworth said. “The second half I knew my team needed me to step up, so I knew I had to lock in on offense and do what I gotta do.”

Coach Stansbury said he knows it will be a tough challenge tomorrow going up against a team that’s already defeated his squad twice this season.

“We’ll have to play extremely well to have a chance to win this,” Coach stated. “But we have an opportunity as a coach, as a player, as fans, as administrators. That’s all you ask for.”

The Hilltoppers will be playing for a C-USA Tournament title as well as an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament next week when they take on Old Dominion tomorrow night at 7:30pm (CT). The game will be broadcasted live on CBS Sports Network.

Women:

The Lady Toppers’ C-USA Tournament run came to an end this evening as they fell to the top-seeded Rice Owls in a game that was much closer than expected. Alexis Brewer and Arame Niang both had solid performances during the game, scoring 17 points and 15 points respectively.

“I told our players I was really proud of their effort, their competitiveness,” Coach stated. “I thought they executed the game plan about as well as we could have executed it.

Alexis Brewer gave her teammate, Arame Niang, a ton of credit for her performance after Raneem Elgedawy exited the game due to foul trouble.

“I think Arame really stepped up big for us tonight coming out and hitting those threes,” Brewer stated. “She really played hard tonight offensively and defensively.”

Although the Lady Toppers’ C-USA title run ended earlier than he wanted, Coach Collins is still very pleased with his team’s growth when looking back on the season.

“I feel like the last five ball games we’ve played really hard together,” Coach stated. “That’s really the growth of this team, not relying on their individual skills as much as relying on their teammates and working hard together.”

The WKU Women’s Basketball season isn’t over quite yet, however. The team placed a bid to host an opening round game for the WNIT, and they will find out if they have earned one sometime early next week.


2019 Men’s & Women’s C-USA Championships Recap: Quarterfinals

Representatives from RedZone Radio made it out to Texas to cover the Men’s and Women’s C-USA Championship Quarterfinals. Here’s the round-up, presented by John Alden.

Women:

The Lady Toppers got things started off on the right foot for WKU as they defeated 5-seed Old Dominion to earn a spot in the semifinals on Friday. The Tops received outstanding performances from Whitney Creech and Raneem Elgedawy, both of which notched a double-double on the day.

“The key I felt like going in was that we were really gonna have to attack the rim,” Coach Greg Collins stated.

Creech was particularly impressed by her team’s ability to attack in transition.

“I think this was one of our better games in transition,” Creech stated. “We were very successful in getting the ball out quick, pushing it, and getting easy layups.”

Coach Collins knows tomorrow’s matchup against the top-seeded Rice Owls will be difficult, but he believes his team is up for the challenge.

“They (Rice) change the way you play because of how they play,” Coach stated. “But we’re excited about the opportunity to play them for a chance to advance to the championship.”

The Lady Toppers will continue their trek to another C-USA Tournament title tomorrow evening when they face Rice at 5:30pm (CT). The game will be broadcast live on WKU’s PBS station as well as the Stadium streaming network.

Men:

WKU Men’s Basketball capped off the day with a strong performance on both ends of the floor, coming away with a 67-51 victory against the North Texas Mean Green to secure a spot in the semifinals on Friday. Taveion Hollingsworth led all scorers during the game with 19 points.

Coach Rick Stansbury knew it was important to get off to a hot start against a North Texas team that was riding momentum coming into the game.

“It’s always good when you can do that,” Coach stated. “It gives you a lot of confidence particularly in your first game.”

Taveion Hollingsworth understands the importance of finishing games and refusing to give up big leads in late game situations.

“We’ve been in multiple situations like that,” Hollingsworth stated. “Teams are gonna go on runs, and you gotta find ways to get around that.”

Stansbury knows the quick turnaround tomorrow can’t affect the performance of his team, especially because their opponent will have to deal with it as well.

“Whatever it is, that team playing out there, they gotta play under the same circumstances that we have to play,” Coach stated. “You know everybody’s playing you-lose-you-go-home. A lot of urgency right now.”

The Hilltoppers will have a shot at earning a trip to the C-USA Championship game tomorrow afternoon when they take on Southern Miss 3:00pm (CT). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

A Proposal for College Coaches in Kentucky

VOL 2017: UTSA vs WKU OCT 22

Courtesy: WKU Sports

By: Sam Gormley

WKU Volleyball is 27-2 and winners of 25 straight matches, yet they still find themselves on the outside looking in of the Top 25. Yesterday, the AVCA Coaches Poll ranked them at #26. This team has only lost two games the entire season: a road game at Louisville and a neutral site match against #28 Illinois. Since losing both of those games in early September, the Lady Toppers have not lost, but yet they still seem to fail to gain the respect of the voters in the poll.

I have come up with a solution to not only allow for WKU Volleyball to strengthen their schedule, but also to help grow the game of volleyball in the state of Kentucky.

There are seven Division One Volleyball teams in the state of Kentucky. I am proposing that those seven teams plus one Division Two/Three/NAIA team should come together and play a “State of Kentucky Championship” tournament.

How it would work? The tournament could occur every two years. It would rotate between four different arenas around the state. One year the Yum Center in Louisville could host, one year could be Memorial Coliseum/Rupp Arena in Lexington, one year could be BB&T Arena in Highland Heights and one year could of course be at Diddle Arena.

The bracket would be a random draw. Each team would be guaranteed three games. This would allow a direct showing of the ranking of the teams in the state. For example, here is how it could look if this tournament was hosted next season:

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 11.01.46 AM

This would create an excitement for the game of volleyball in the state and would give teams the chance to take down the perennial powers in the state of Kentucky.

A win in this tournament would definitely boost the tournament resumé of any team that would participate. For the most part, WKU usually plays in a tournament that is below their competition level every year. I think it should be a no brainer to replace that with something like this.

Oh yeah, I can also take that same tournament and propose it for another sport… basketball. While this has an almost zero percent chance of happening, because Kentucky and Louisville would never accept it. This would satisfy the wants of many WKU, EKU, Morehead and Murray fans.

You cannot tell me that this wouldn’t make a lot of money for basketball in the state. I can assure you that every game in this tournament would be sold out. Maybe to make Kentucky and Louisville more willing to participate, only do this tournament once every four years.

In fact, we can even make this a non-random draw and instead use RPI rankings to set the top 8. This would almost always allow Kentucky and Louisville to not have a chance of meeting unless both made the championship game. This again would be a compromise for both sides of the aisle.

Will these two tournaments ever happen? Probably not, but the possibility of it excites me.

What do you think? Would you buy tickets to these events? Vote in our poll then let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Sam Gormley is one of the hosts of WKU RedZone Radio. RedZone Radio is a WKU-themed radio show that airs every Sunday at 7pm on Revolution 91.7. You can follow them on Facebook @WKURedZone or on Twitter @WKURedzone