2011–12 WKU Hilltoppers basketball team

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2011–12 WKU Hilltoppers men's basketball
WKU Hilltoppers wordmark.png
Sun Belt Tournament Champions
NCAA Tournament South Region 16 Seed, Second Round
Conference Sun Belt Conference East Division
2011–12 record 16–19 (7–9 Sun Belt)
Head coach Ken McDonald first 16 games
Ray Harper remainder of season
Assistant coach Lawrence Brenneman
Assistant coach Jake Morton
Assistant coach Kip Wellman
Home arena E. A. Diddle Arena
Seasons
« 2010–11 2012–13 »
2011–12 Sun Belt Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
East
Middle Tennessee 14 2   .875     27 7   .794
South Alabama 8 8   .500     17 12   .586
Florida Atlantic 7 9   .438     11 19   .367
WKU 7 9   .438     16 19   .457
Troy 5 11   .313     10 18   .357
Florida International 5 11   .313     8 21   .276
West
Arkansas–Little Rock 12 4   .750     15 16   .484
Denver 11 5   .688     22 9   .710
Louisiana–Lafayette 10 6   .625     16 16   .500
North Texas 9 7   .563     18 14   .563
Arkansas State 6 10   .375     14 20   .412
*Louisiana–Monroe 2 14   .125     3 26   .103
2012 Sun Belt Tournament winner
As of March 21, 2012; Rankings from AP Poll
*Ineligible for conference tournament

The 2011–12 WKU basketball team represented Western Kentucky University during the 2011–12 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Hilltoppers were led by fourth year head coach Ken McDonald for the first 16 games of the season before he was fired and were then led by former assistant and new head coach Ray Harper for the remainder of the year. They played their home games at E. A. Diddle Arena and are members of the East Division of the Sun Belt Conference. They finished the season 16–19, 7–9 in Sun Belt Play to finish in a tie for third place in the East Division. The Hilltoppers were champions of the Sun Belt Basketball Tournament to earn the conference's automatic bid into the 2012 NCAA Tournament. It was their 22nd tournament appearance and first since 2009. WKU was also the first sub-.500 team to make the NCAA Tournament since Coppin State in 2008. They defeated Mississippi Valley State in the First Four round before falling in the second round to Kentucky.

Roster[edit]

Number Name Position Height Weight Year Hometown
0 Kene Anyigbo Forward 6–5 250 Sophomore Bellaire, Texas
1 Kevin Kaspar Guard 6–0 172 Freshman Istanbul, Turkey
3 Kahlil McDonald Guard 6–3 200 Senior Brooklyn, New York
5 Derrick Gordon Guard 6–3 185 Freshman Plainfield, New Jersey
10 Caden Dickerson Forward 6–4 200 Junior Argyle, Texas
11 Spence Sheldon Guard 5–11 165 Freshman Bowling Green, Kentucky
14 Jamal Crook Guard 6–3 175 Junior Louisville, Kentucky
15 O'Karo Akamune Forward 6–6 205 Sophomore Miami, Florida
21 Nigel Snipes Forward 6–5 205 Freshman Marietta, Georgia
22 Teeng Akol Forward 6–11 217 Junior Wian, Sudan
24 Stephon Drane Forward 6–7 228 Sophomore Raleigh, North Carolina
25 Jay Starks Guard 6–3 187 Junior Scottsville, Kentucky
41 Vinny Zollo Forward 6–8 240 Freshman Winchester, Kentucky
44 George Fant Forward 6–5 245 Freshman Bowling Green, Kentucky
52 T.J. Price Guard 6–3 220 Freshman Slidell, Louisiana

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance Record
Exhibition
11/05/2011* 7:30 PM Xavier (LA) E. A. Diddle ArenaBowling Green, KY W 73–61   
Regular Season
11/11/2011* 7:00 PM Saint Joseph's E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 61–72  3,813 0–1
11/14/2011* 7:00 PM Tennessee State E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY W 52–49  3,372 1–1
11/17/2011* 11:30 PM vs. Tulsa TD ArenaCharleston, SC
(Charleston Classic First Round)
ESPN3 L 49–65  2,532 1–2
11/18/2011* 12:00 PM vs. LSU TD Arena • Charleston, SC
(Charleston Classic Consolation Round)
ESPN3 L 57–76  1,711 1–3
11/20/2011* 11:00 PM vs. VCU TD Arena • Charleston, SC
(Charleston Classic 7th Place Game)
ESPN3 L 64–69  2,455 1–4
11/23/2011* 7:00 PM VCU E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 45–68  3,285 1–5
11/26/2011* 7:00 PM Southeastern Louisiana E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY W 72–67  2,714 2–5
12/01/2011* 7:00 PM Murray State E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 59–70  3,845 2–6
12/04/2011* 2:00 PM Bowling Green E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS W 60–53  3,119 3–6
12/07/2011* 7:00 PM at Southern Illinois SIU ArenaCarbondale, IL FCS W 62–55  3,012 4–6
12/10/2011* 6:00 PM at IUPUI The JungleIndianapolis, IN FCS L 76–84  1,135 4–7
12/17/2011* 7:00 PM Furman E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY
(BB&T Classic)
FCS L 63–76  3,192 4–8
12/23/2011* 6:00 PM at #4 Louisville KFC Yum! CenterLouisville, KY ESPN2 L 60–70  22,150 4–9
12/29/2011 7:30 PM at Louisiana–Monroe Fant–Ewing ColiseumMonroe, LA FCS W 76–71 OT 1,319 5–9 (1–0)
12/31/2011 1:00 PM FIU E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 63–81  2,375 5–10 (1–1)
01/05/2012 7:00 PM Louisiana–Lafayette E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 70–72 OT 2,137 5–11 (1–2)
01/07/2012 4:00 PM Troy E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS L 65–67  5,172 5–12 (1–3)
01/12/2012 7:00 PM at North Texas The Super PitDenton, TX WKYU L 67–84  3,941 5–13 (1–4)
01/15/2012 2:00 PM at Denver Magness ArenaDenver, CO L 65–78  6,232 5–14 (1–5)
01/21/2012 1:00 PM Arkansas–Little Rock E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS W 65–53  4,254 6–14 (2–5)
01/26/2012 6:00 PM at Florida Atlantic FAU ArenaBoca Raton, FL FCS L 66–67  1,554 6–15 (2–6)
01/28/2012 6:30 PM at FIU U.S. Century Bank ArenaMiami, FL FCS W 61–51  1,171 7–15 (3–6)
02/04/2012 7:00 PM South Alabama E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS W 75–66  6,407 8–15 (4–6)
02/09/2012 7:00 PM at Middle Tennessee Murphy CenterMurfreesboro, TN ESPN3 L 64–72  7,080 8–16 (4–7)
02/11/2012 1:00 PM at Troy Trojan ArenaTroy, AL FCS L 77–83  1,472 8–17 (4–8)
02/16/2012 7:00 PM Florida Atlantic E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS W 64–57  4,588 9–17 (5–8)
02/18/2012 7:00 PM at South Alabama Mitchell CenterMobile, AL FCS L 61–66  4,126 9–18 (5–9)
02/23/2012 7:00 PM Arkansas State E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY FCS W 79–76  4,298 10–18 (6–9)
02/25/2012 5:00 PM Middle Tennessee E. A. Diddle Arena • Bowling Green, KY Sun Belt Network W 73–67  7,326 11–18 (7–9)
2012 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
03/03/2012 8:30 PM vs. FIU Summit ArenaHot Springs, AR
(First Round)
W 67–63  3,820 12–18
03/04/2012 8:30 PM vs. Arkansas–Little Rock Summit Arena • Hot Springs, AR
(Quarterfinals)
W 68–63  4,365 13–18
03/05/2012 8:30 PM vs. Denver Summit Arena • Hot Springs, AR
(Semifinals)
Sun Belt Network W 67–73  3,708 14–18
03/06/2012 6:00 PM vs. North Texas Summit Arena • Hot Springs, AR
(Championship Game)
ESPN2 W 74–70  4,216 15–18
2012 NCAA Tournament
03/13/2012* 5:40 PM vs. (S 16) Mississippi Valley State #(S 16) UD ArenaDayton, OH
(First Four)
truTV W 59–58  8,510 16–18
03/15/2012* 5:50 PM vs. #1 (S 1) Kentucky #(S 16) KFC Yum! Center • Louisville, KY
(South Region Second Round)
TBS L 66–81  22,131 16–19
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time (#) during NCAA Tournament is seed with Region.

References[edit]