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
Division 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
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, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
11/05/2011*
7:30 PM
Xavier (LA) W 73–61 
E. A. Diddle Arena 
Bowling Green, KY
Regular Season
11/11/2011*
7:00 PM, FCS
Saint Joseph's L 61–72  0–1
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,813)
Bowling Green, KY
11/14/2011*
7:00 PM
Tennessee State W 52–49  1–1
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,372)
Bowling Green, KY
11/17/2011*
11:30 PM, ESPN3
vs. Tulsa
Charleston Classic First Round
L 49–65  1–2
TD Arena (2,532)
Charleston, SC
11/18/2011*
12:00 PM, ESPN3
vs. LSU
Charleston Classic Consolation Round
L 57–76  1–3
TD Arena (1,711)
Charleston, SC
11/20/2011*
11:00 PM, ESPN3
vs. VCU
Charleston Classic 7th Place Game
L 64–69  1–4
TD Arena (2,455)
Charleston, SC
11/23/2011*
7:00 PM, FCS
VCU L 45–68  1–5
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,285)
Bowling Green, KY
11/26/2011*
7:00 PM
Southeastern Louisiana W 72–67  2–5
E. A. Diddle Arena (2,714)
Bowling Green, KY
12/01/2011*
7:00 PM, FCS
Murray State L 59–70  2–6
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,845)
Bowling Green, KY
12/04/2011*
2:00 PM, FCS
Bowling Green W 60–53  3–6
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,119)
Bowling Green, KY
12/07/2011*
7:00 PM, FCS
at Southern Illinois W 62–55  4–6
SIU Arena (3,012)
Carbondale, IL
12/10/2011*
6:00 PM, FCS
at IUPUI L 76–84  4–7
The Jungle (1,135)
Indianapolis, IN
12/17/2011*
7:00 PM, FCS
Furman
BB&T Classic
L 63–76  4–8
E. A. Diddle Arena (3,192)
Bowling Green, KY
12/23/2011*
6:00 PM, ESPN2
at No. 4 Louisville L 60–70  4–9
KFC Yum! Center (22,150)
Louisville, KY
12/29/2011
7:30 PM, FCS
at Louisiana–Monroe W 76–71 OT 5–9 (1–0)
Fant–Ewing Coliseum (1,319)
Monroe, LA
12/31/2011
1:00 PM, FCS
FIU L 63–81  5–10 (1–1)
E. A. Diddle Arena (2,375)
Bowling Green, KY
01/05/2012
7:00 PM, FCS
Louisiana–Lafayette L 70–72 OT 5–11 (1–2)
E. A. Diddle Arena (2,137)
Bowling Green, KY
01/07/2012
4:00 PM, FCS
Troy L 65–67  5–12 (1–3)
E. A. Diddle Arena (5,172)
Bowling Green, KY
01/12/2012
7:00 PM, WKYU
at North Texas L 67–84  5–13 (1–4)
The Super Pit (3,941)
Denton, TX
01/15/2012
2:00 PM
at Denver L 65–78  5–14 (1–5)
Magness Arena (6,232)
Denver, CO
01/21/2012
1:00 PM, FCS
Arkansas–Little Rock W 65–53  6–14 (2–5)
E. A. Diddle Arena (4,254)
Bowling Green, KY
01/26/2012
6:00 PM, FCS
at Florida Atlantic L 66–67  6–15 (2–6)
FAU Arena (1,554)
Boca Raton, FL
01/28/2012
6:30 PM, FCS
at FIU W 61–51  7–15 (3–6)
U.S. Century Bank Arena (1,171)
Miami, FL
02/04/2012
7:00 PM, FCS
South Alabama W 75–66  8–15 (4–6)
E. A. Diddle Arena (6,407)
Bowling Green, KY
02/09/2012
7:00 PM, ESPN3
at Middle Tennessee L 64–72  8–16 (4–7)
Murphy Center (7,080)
Murfreesboro, TN
02/11/2012
1:00 PM, FCS
at Troy L 77–83  8–17 (4–8)
Trojan Arena (1,472)
Troy, AL
02/16/2012
7:00 PM, FCS
Florida Atlantic W 64–57  9–17 (5–8)
E. A. Diddle Arena (4,588)
Bowling Green, KY
02/18/2012
7:00 PM, FCS
at South Alabama L 61–66  9–18 (5–9)
Mitchell Center (4,126)
Mobile, AL
02/23/2012
7:00 PM, FCS
Arkansas State W 79–76  10–18 (6–9)
E. A. Diddle Arena (4,298)
Bowling Green, KY
02/25/2012
5:00 PM, Sun Belt Network
Middle Tennessee W 73–67  11–18 (7–9)
E. A. Diddle Arena (7,326)
Bowling Green, KY
2012 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament
03/03/2012
8:30 PM
vs. FIU
First Round
W 67–63  12–18
Summit Arena (3,820)
Hot Springs, AR
03/04/2012
8:30 PM
vs. Arkansas–Little Rock
Quarterfinals
W 68–63  13–18
Summit Arena (4,365)
Hot Springs, AR
03/05/2012
8:30 PM, Sun Belt Network
vs. Denver
Semifinals
W 67–73  14–18
Summit Arena (3,708)
Hot Springs, AR
03/06/2012
6:00 PM, ESPN2
vs. North Texas
Championship Game
W 74–70  15–18
Summit Arena (4,216)
Hot Springs, AR
2012 NCAA Tournament
03/13/2012*
5:40 PM, truTV
No. (S 16) vs. (S 16) Mississippi Valley State
First Four
W 59–58  16–18
UD Arena (8,510)
Dayton, OH
03/15/2012*
5:50 PM, TBS
No. (S 16) vs. No. 1 (S 1) Kentucky
South Region Second Round
L 66–81  16–19
KFC Yum! Center (22,131)
Louisville, KY
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time (#) during NCAA Tournament is seed with Region.

References[edit]