What WKU knows after Hysteria – Part 1


Another Hilltopper Hysteria has come and gone, and both squads yet again provided a very entertaining evening. Focusing on the men’s side of the night, I can confidently say this season will be a fun one to be apart of. The Tops look to have experience, yet enough youth to provide a depth Ray Harper has yet to see during his tenure on the Hill.

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The first man on the roster for this campaign wearing “0” on his jersey is

Ayinde Sprewell

. Ayinde is a JUCO junior signee this season and is the nephew of four time NBA All-Star

Latrell Sprewell

. Ayinde will bring a swagger of athleticism, as he provides experience and an arsenal of skill sets to make the play when it counts. Sprewell displayed a few of his skills, winning this years annual Hysteria Dunk Contest as he completed his dunk over fellow teammate

Brandon Price

. After Hysteria, Ayinde commented on how the team had to bond together throughout the summer months, as himself and the crop of incoming freshman were molded by the squad’s seniors.

Next man up on the roster is one of those seniors, wearing number “1”; Kevin Kaspar. Kaspar is the guy who will be a prominent off the bench role player. We all know Kaspar can make a play when it counts, but I think his main role this year is to facilitate the ball and truly “lead” the team when he is on the court. I like to compare Kevin to Ray Allen, someone who may not be the best guy on the roster, but he is the respected teammate, and a guy you can listen to when it comes down to crunch time.

The freshman wearing number “2” this year is a kid I am personally excited to see grow in the coming months and as the season progresses in DJ Clayton, all the way from the west coast. Clayton is a 6-6 guard, which I think is what makes him so dynamic. His ball handling skills need to be improved on, but his shot is one that has the potential to place a lot of points on the scoreboard for WKU in his tenure on the Hill.

Number “3” this year is Trency Jackson; we all saw how effective Trency could be once him and Chris Harrison-Docks became available last December for play. Trency is a guy who can drop any given number of points on any given night, and can truly contribute to the team more than just points on the board. He is a fun player to watch, and I think he will once again play another crucial role this season, whether he starts or comes off the bench, he is a guy who will contribute a lot to this team.

Sophomore Brandon Price will wear “5”, and I hate it for the guy, but I don’t see him stepping on the court as much as he would like to. Price has a nice set of ball handling skills, but despite his efficiency controlling the ball, his name looks to be near the end of the list of guards who can have more of an impact.

Next up is a guy who I could see a night and day difference in from last season to Hysteria Saturday night. That being number “14,” Big Ben Lawson. Ben was a guy last year who was tall, had potential, but it just wasn’t seen. Therefore, he didn’t see the court that often. Fast forward to this past summer, Ben had the opportunity to participate with the British National team in the European U-20 Championships, and based on what he displayed for us at Hysteria, I’m thinking the extra playing time over seas helped him just a bit. As far as stats go from the scrimmage at Hysteria, Lawson totaled 19 points on nine field goals, unofficially. But folks, it wasn’t the points that intrigued me with his play; it was his ability to get to the rim, to crash the boards, his post move skills…I could go on for paragraphs about him. He also put on some extra weight to add to his post presence to go along with his 7-1 height listing. Ben is another guy I can’t wait to see grow as the season progresses, he adds a whole new dynamic to the Hilltoppers, and to be honest, you should be excited.

Number “15” Avery Patterson is one of the freshman newcomers, and he did impress me somewhat on Saturday night. Patterson has an athletic build of 6-0 and he has great ball handling skills. Both in practice and at Hysteria he has displayed his control skills and the ability to drive to the basket. I think that his skill set is adequate for the college level, however I just don’t know if his maturity level has followed suit. Now, I mean nothing bad by this at all. However, his actions on court and his attitude from my perception looks as if he may need to evolve to more of a team player. Of course, being a freshman on a team that has its roster filled with upperclassmen may bring a sense of intimidation, which could very well contribute to the attitude that I have seen displayed, but time will tell. As far as basketball skills, I really like what Patterson can bring to the table for Ray Harper and company.

Be sure to check back here, same time same place, for part two of my Hysteria recap, as we’ll get to more veterans and more young guys an in-depth look after the intersquad scrimmage.