Mike Clark - College Heights Herald

GAMEDAY: Tops @ Texas State


Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It is once again that time of the week…GAMEDAY! The season is coming to a close and every game is crucial for the Tops in order to get the prized possession number two seed in the SBC tourney. Tonight is a night they need to capitalize a victory, as the next three contests for the Hilltoppers won’t be as easy to come by.

The Bobcats haven’t had the season they wished they would have had…to say the least. Texas State comes into tonight’s with a record of 4-10…with their only wins coming against the bottom tier of SBC teams. The Bobcats only have one offensive weapon that averages double digit points…that player being Joel Wright. Wright averages 14.9 PPG…as well as leading his squad in rebounds with 6.2 per outing. Another player that poses the threat to make a high impact is Emani Gant. Gant isn’t as potent as Wright but nonetheless provides a presence on the stats (9.3 PPG; 5 RPG). With the season winding down…Texas State will still want to have an awesome outing while still having a chance mathematically of making the SBC tourney. Look for them to come out with their highest potential in front of their home crowd…it will be up to WKU however to see if they are able to slow down the Bobcats impact players.

Now for the Tops! Last outing against ULM was a mood changer and a definite momentum builder for this squad. After the South Al loss…even with the win over the Warhawks…concerns still loom in my mind if this Hilltopper squad can maintain consistency as we are on the final stretch of the season. Tonight is a huge game that will once again need to be a momentum builder as WKU has three tough match ups before heading into the Sun Belt Tournament.

If the Tops want to leave Strahan Coliseum with an added number in the win column…then they will have to perform as a TEAM. The ULM showed us that the Tops can play as a team, and have people who don’t usually see the hardwood that often, come out and make an impact on the ball game. I think of Daouda Soumaoro as an impact player from the ULM game who can come in tonight and make his presence known once again. His stat line wasn’t the impressive part of his game against the Warhawks, however him just being in the game is what made him stand out. He provided a bigger body to help George Fant down in the post, allowing the guard play to be so efficient as it was.

Overall, I feel like the Tops guard play will continue to need to stand out as it has been in order to get the win. The number of offensive weapons that are able to go off at any given time is what makes this Hilltopper squad so versatile. If they Tops get clicking offensively then they easily walk out of the arena tonight with a win, and more importantly a confidence boost.

Tonight I think the starting five will feature what Harper put on the floor against ULM, those players being CHD, Dickerson, Jackson, Fant, and Soumaoro. While also with the possibility of T.J. Price being thrown in the line-up somewhere if he is feeling adequate enough.

I can’t stress enough how important the momentum needed from tonight’s game will be as we head into the final three outings of  the season. Each of those three games will be physical and be detrimental to the seeding for the Sun Belt Tourney. To put it simply these next couple of weeks are going to be fun! So sit back and enjoy the Tops tonight at 7PM sharp!


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Tags: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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