WKU basketball fans who watch Saturday’s U.S.A-Mexico FIBA World Cup game will recognize one of the Mexican players from his time on the Hill.
Guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez played at WKU from 2005 to 2009, and was a key member of the Hilltoppers’ 2008 team that reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. Mendez-Valdez plays in a professional league in Mexico, and has been a key contributor to the country’s World Cup team.
The U.S. team went 5-0 in the tournament’s group stage, and is led by a group of NBA stars including James Harden, Derrick Rose, and former University of Kentucky standout Anthony Davis.
The U.S. takes on Mexico in the knockout stage of the FIBA World Cup Saturday at 9 a.m. central. The game is being televised on ESPN 2.
The WKU men’s basketball team will open its first season as a member of Conference USA with 18 league games, as well as home contests against Louisville and Belmont.
The Hilltoppers start the season at E.A. Diddle Arena Nov. 14 against Austin Peay, and will play home-and-home series against Conference USA opponents Marshall, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International.
The rest of WKU’s first-ever Conference USA league schedule features home games against Texas-El Paso, Texas-San Antonio, North Texas, and Rice. The Hilltoppers will go on the road to take on Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Alabama-Birmingham, and Middle Tennessee.
WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart speaks about the move to Conference USA.
After 32 years as a member of the Sun Belt Conference, WKU has now officially become a member of the newly re-aligned, 14 member Conference USA. It's a move Athletic Director Todd Stewart has been working toward for several years, but even he admits it's a high-risk, high-reward situation.
Stewart spoke with Joe Corcoran about leaving the comforts of the Sun Belt for the new challenges ahead.
Professional golfer Adam Gary has been named the new head coach for WKU’s Women’s Golf team, it was announced Thursday.
Gary was on the US Pro Golf Tour from 2003-2005 and on the Egolf Professional Tour from 2006-2009. The Bowling Green-native currently runs his own golf academy and has served as director of Golf for Kenny Perry’s Country Creek course in Franklin.
Gary graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2003 where he played collegiate golf.
The men’s tennis program at WKU has become a victim of university budget cuts. Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced late Tuesday the intercollegiate men’s tennis program is being eliminated for the 2014-2015 academic year. With the loss of men’s tennis, WKU is left with 18 sponsored sports as it begins its first year competing in Conference USA.
"This is certainly a disappointment," Stewart said. "Unfortunately, the cumulative effect of three consecutive years of cuts to the overall athletics budget forces us to make difficult decisions. We have actually increased both our ticket and sponsorship revenue in each of the last two years along with private donor support, but cuts to the athletics budget have lessened the impact of our growth.”
Student athletes in the men’s tennis program will have the chance to transfer to another school to keep playing tennis without having to sit out a year. Scholarship athletes who want to stay at WKU will have their scholarships honored through their senior year.
WKU junior Chastity Gooch has been named the Sun Belt Conference "Defensive Player of the Year" for the second consecutive season while freshman Kendall Noble was named the league's "Freshman of the Year".
Gooch was also named a First-Team All Conference selection, Noble a Second Team selection and sophomore guard Micah Jones a Third Team All-Conference choice in a survey of the league's coaches and media members.
This is the first time since 2004-05 that WKU has had three players selected as All-Conference selections when Crystal Kelly, Tiffany Porter-Talbert and Leslie Logsdon were honored. It's only the tenth time in program history that it's happened.
The WKU men’s basketball team heads into the weekend on the verge of another 20-win season.
The Hilltoppers are traveling to the Lone Star State in search of another Sun Belt conference victory. WKU will enter Saturday night’s game against UT-Arlington with a 19-9 record, with 11 wins and four losses in the Sun Belt Conference.
You can read more about the UT-Arlington game at WKU Sports.
The Hilltoppers are in second place in the Sun Belt, behind only Georgia State.
WKU hopes to continue the momentum from Thursday's win over Texas State, which saw the Tops rally from a 12 point deficit and win by one. The team's final home game is next Thursday against Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Lafayette.
Trency Jackson scored 25 points and Chris Harrison-Docks added 15 as Western Kentucky got off to a fast start and beat Louisiana-Monroe 72-63 on Saturday night.
Western Kentucky (18-9, 10-4 Sun Belt Conference) raced to an 18-1 lead to start the game as Louisiana-Monroe (8-14, 5-9) struggled to score. It took the Warhawks more than 8½ minutes to make their first field goal.
The Hilltoppers held a 43-28 advantage in rebounding, which helped them overcome their own offensive struggles. Western Kentucky won their eighth game out of their last 10 despite shooting just 39.7 percent from the field and hitting only 17 of 32 field goals. The Hilltoppers also committed only six turnovers.
Tylor Ongwae scored 19 points and Jayon James had 13 for Louisiana-Monroe, which has now lost seven of its last nine.
Darel Carrier looks back on his childhood, his pro career and his three remarkable years at WKU
Darel Carrier’s new home just outside of Bowling Green features an expansive workout room in the basement. Upstairs there’s a display of many of the mementos from his distinguished college and pro basketball careers. He enjoys giving visitors a detailed tour of the home, right down to the insulation
The handsome, two-story house is a far cry from his humble beginnings in Warren County.
His family's house growing up lacked electricity or a bathroom until he was a teen, but Carrier found a way to sharpen his basketball skills.
“I saved up enough money to buy my first ball and goal. It was a little lace up ball and a goal for $3.99. I put it on the side of a corn crib and I shot with my little ball through that goal for two or three days,” said Carrier. “My ball went over the fence and a big ol’ hog took a bite of it. That was the last of my ball.”
WKU has a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Head coach Jeff Brohm has selected Cincinnati’s Tyson Helton to fill the role that Brohm himself held last season. Helton spent one year as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Cincinnati. The Bearcats had a 9-4 season and appeared in the Belk Bowl against North Carolina.
Helton has 13 years of coaching experience, including six at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Brohm and Helton were on the same staff at UAB in 2012.
Helton, 36, played football and earned his bachelor’s degree from Houston. He and his wife April have two daughters, ages 10 and 8 and twin 5-year-old boys.