Western Kentucky head coach Rick Stansbury made the biggest recruiting splash of the year when he received a commitment from 2017 five-star center Mitchell Robinson.
A few months later, he followed it up with a commitment from Top-50 prospect Josh Anderson.
Now, Stansbury is setting his sights even higher.
Scout’s Evan Daniels reported Friday morning that 2018 five-star forward Zion Williamson planned on taking an unofficial visit to WKU for Friday evening’s Hilltopper Hysteria. It was later revealed that Williamson’s plans changed, but Daniels reported that Williamson plans on rescheduling his visit to WKU.
Zion Williamson’s trip that was scheduled for this weekend to Western Kentucky has been put on hold. Was told he plans to reschedule.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 14, 2016
Although Williamson did not visit WKU this weekend, the Hilltoppers are still very much in play for the 6-6, 225-pound forward from Spartanburg Day (South Carolina). In a recent interview with Jody Demling of WKU Insider, Williamson said not to “count them out” when asked about his offer from WKU.
“I like them because they are trying to build up their program,” Williamson said of WKU. “They’re trying to build a come up and I like what they are trying to do. I don’t push a school like that to the side.
“I wasn’t ranked one time and now that I am people are starting to show me publicity. I look at them as like they are almost the same as me. They’re trying to really build something, so I’m not pushing them to the side.”
Since taking over as head coach, Stansbury has attempted to sell WKU to top recruits as a place of opportunity–a place where they can come and play through mistakes, without splitting time and publicity with other players like they would at a big-name program.
In other words, instead of talking about WKU’s lack of exposure as a downfall, he’s putting a positive spin on it and using it as an advantage. After all, if a player is good enough, he will get noticed no matter where he plays.
So far, Stansbury’s pitches have worked on two Top-50 recruits. Only time will tell if it will work on Williamson, but it is obvious that he is at least intrigued at the prospect of playing for the Hilltoppers.
If Williamson was to commit to WKU, it goes without saying that he would be the biggest commitment in the program’s history. He is ranked the No. 6 overall recruit in the 2018 247Sports Composite Rankings, and No. 1 in the Top247. He’s No. 2 in Scout’s rankings.
Of course, the Hilltoppers will face stiff competition for Williamson’s services. He also holds offers from Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, Arizona and UCLA–and that’s not even the entire list.
But still, it’s fun to play the what-if game. What if Williamson actually chooses to sign with WKU over multiple blue-blood programs? What if Stansbury lands a Top-10 recruit in back-to-back seasons? Could you imagine the frenzy that would cause in college basketball?
That is why Williamson committing to WKU, no matter how unlikely it may sound, is worth talking about. At the very least, it’s worth keeping an eye on.