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Western Kentucky lands 5-star prospect Charles Bassey

Bassey will reclassify and be eligible immediately.

NCAA Basketball: Conference USA Tournament Final-Marshall vs Western Kentucky Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Western Kentucky has landed five-star center Charles Bassey, a 2019 prospect who plans to reclassify and will be eligible immediately. Jon Rothstein of FRS Sports had it first and also says that Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury has been recruiting Bassey since Stansbury was at Texas A&M.

Bassey was ranked No. 3 overall on ESPN’s top 60 recruits for 2019 and held offers from a bevy of high-majors, including UCLA and Kansas. His scouting report touts him as long and athletic, with the ability to rebound, block shots, and step out for the mid-range jumper.

Take a look at what he can do:

Seriously, look at this:

This is another major recruiting win for Stansbury, who in two-plus seasons at Western Kentucky has out-recruited nearly every mid-major in Division I.

No, Mitchell Robinson never actually played for the Hilltoppers, but Stansbury got his commitment. He also brought in Josh Anderson, a top-100 recruit last season who finally made an impact when he was cleared to play, and three-star Taveion Hollingsworth, who averaged double-figures. This coming season, Bassey will join four-star point guard Dalano Banton as the leaders of another highly touted class. Western Kentucky also has Auburn grad transfer Desean Murray coming in.

Bassey’s commitment makes the Conference USA picture a whole lot more interesting. The Hilltoppers went to the semifinals of the NIT last year and figured to again be a factor in 2018-19, but Old Dominion and Marshall were seen as the top two teams. Now...maybe it’s a three-team race.

Bassey fills an immediate need for Western Kentucky, which will have to replace departed bigs Justin Johnson (the Hilltoppers’ leading scorer) and Dwight Coleby. If he can dominate at the mid-major level from day one, then Western Kentucky is going to be damn good. The Hilltoppers aren’t deep enough, however, to absorb his growing pains unless guys like Marek Nelson and Moustapha Diagne are ready to step into significantly larger roles.