Right off the bat, the starting lineup, which was used by Ray Harper in both of WKU's exhibition games (again, which I wasn't able to attend). I'm interested as to why Chris Harrison-Docks - one of the few returning Hilltoppers - isn't there, but hey you can't argue with a 20 point win.
#WKU's first possession of the game is a bad pass leading to a turnover.— Tyler Mansfield (@TMansfieldWKU) November 15, 2015
So, that's a banner way to start the year. BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER.
#WKU starts the game with a turnover. Had 19 last time out in exhibition against Kentucky Wesleyan.— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
Oh great. But, it was okay, because WKU scored first, and the first points of the year belong to...
Fred Edmond with his first career regular season points as a Hilltopper. WKU leads 2-0— WKU Rivals (@WKU_Rivals) November 15, 2015
That's Fredrick Edmonson, for those wondering. They later refer to him just as "Fred Ed," which honestly I don't hate.
#WKU brought in mass subs at the first timeout. Snipes, Lawson, Harrison-Docks and Hunter all in with Edmond.— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
LINE CHANGE! Again, the plethora of changes worked for Harper, and it isn't that big a deal in the opening game with a relatively new roster. Everyone getting an early feel for regular season action. Nothing to dislike here.
Alight, a ton of text here. What is this, Zork!? Lets see a highlight.
Justin Johnson putback pic.twitter.com/avsl7S4CU5— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
Ohhhhhhh. Ahhhhhhhh. From the twitterverse, both of these things seemed to be a trend - Nigel Snipes had a career day in points and Justin Johnson had a career day on the glass.
Edmond, Snipes both with 10 points. Johnson has 8 points and 5 rebounds. Snipes playing with all kinds of confidence right now.— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
These are good numbers, and came with about 5:30 left to play in the first half.
Ben Lawson dunks are my favorite. Oh, they're yours too? CUE THE CLIP!
Missed Cosby 3 becomes Lawson dunk after Edmond offensive rebound pic.twitter.com/dyObaaRE2F— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
Purdy. And a great rebound by Edmonson, too, going all the way to the top of the key to grab it. Obligatory halftime stat tweet.
Halftime stats: pic.twitter.com/3XRS9izHIh— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
Did I mention Justin Johnson had himself a day? Because Justin Johnson had himself a day.
In all seriousness, Justin Johnson is a freak show right now. He has 14 points and 10 rebounds with 17 min left. Six offensive boards.— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
But, that isn't even the best part. This may be the stat of the day. Give it to us, WKU Basketball.
Justin's double-double tonight is the first by a Hilltopper OTHER than George Fant or T.J. Price since Brandon Harris had two in 2012-13!— WKU Basketball (@WKUBasketball) November 15, 2015
That is awesome. I also gave my two cents with a bit of a zinger.
AREN'T I SO FUNNY?! (its okay, I know I'm not). Anyway - that was basically it. The Tops took control late in the second half to pull away, but this is a key observation from Mr. Greenwell.
Fredrick Edmond with a monstrous dunk right down the lane. He's got some abilities #WKU has been lacking.— Zach Greenwell (@zach_greenwell) November 15, 2015
And, you know what, lets throw some final stats at you.
Even though I didn't see the game actually play out, I do have a few thoughts/feelings on the events that transpired to open the year:
- Welcome to the Hill, Fredrick Edmond. In the first year without George Fant and T.J. Price, Edmond is very quickly going to have to become "the guy," and I think he's ready to be "the guy," after his roundabout way of getting to WKU.
- Snipes leading all scorers for WKU is a pleasant surprise. I've never thought he was bad, but he was very much so hidden by the Fant/Price cloud. I'm glad he'll have one more year to help be an elder statesmen and show what he can do. (Plus, he and I are both from Atlanta so ATL represent.)
- Ben Lawson and Justin Johnson debuting like they did tonight is awesome. All last year I was hearing scuttle bud that JJ was rivaling Fant in practice but we didn't ever really see that translate into the game. Well, he seems to be ready to take over. As for Big Ben, his main problem really has been beefing up. He seems beefed enough to make a difference.
- I'm not as scared for Belmont on Wednesday. Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily have a happy feeling about the game, but still I think WKU will compete.
- I was scared WKU would do what Georgia and Wisconsin and NC State and a few others did last night and lose to a team they had no business losing to. That wasn't the case, and the Hilltoppers are 1-0. Things are alright.