Hilltoppers get a glimpse of Dwight Coleby


Tribune Sports Reporter


The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers’ coaching staff and fanbase got a glimpse of the impact graduate transfer Dwight Coleby expects to have on the programme this fall as he concludes his collegiate career.

Coleby played limited minutes in the Hilltoppers’ three game exhibition series in Costa Rica due to a sprained heel but said he will be ready to be a major contributor once the season starts.

“Look at the (2016-17) stats, you don’t really think of much,” Coleby told the Daily News, “But you have to understand I was coming off an injury and wasn’t healthy at all basically the whole year. I’ll have a chance to prove myself this year. People are going to see what I can really do.”

He posted seven points and seven rebounds in just eight minutes of the first quarter against Laurentian University from Ontario, Canada. Coleby went through pregame warmups against the Costa Rican national team and the second game against Laurentian.

“Dwight’s come in here and I like him a bunch,” Hilltoppers head coach Rick Stansbury said, “I know he averaged 1.7 points last year for Kansas. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t beat that. He has great energy. I think he can score that ball multiple ways. He’s big and strong and he’s a great kid – great attitude, great work ethic.”

Per NCAA rules, programmes are allowed to take a foreign tour once every four years, although this is the first such trip for WKU since the Hilltoppers traveled to Spain prior to the 2005-06 season.

“The value of this is the 10 days in practice, and that’s really valuable with this brand-new team – every person,” Stansbury said. “Nowadays, these college guys go into their own world so much with social media. So have the ability to spend some time away from all that, do some things away from basketball, I think that’s good. I think that’ll help bring some togetherness.”

Coleby announced his intention to leave the Kansas Jayhawks following his graduation from the institution in Lawrence, Kansas in May.

Stansbury was previously linked to Coleby after he originally recruited him during his tenure at Mississippi State while Coleby attended the Piney Woods School in Mississippi.

Western Kentucky finished last season with a 15-17 record and lost in the second round of the Conference-USA tournament.

Last season as a junior, Coleby averaged 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in his first season in a Jayhawks uniform.

He was already set to spend the 2015-16 season on the sidelines as a transfer but he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a light team workout in October 2015 and had to undergo a grueling rehab process.

Following a standout high school career, Coleby signed with the Ole Miss Rebels out of the Piney Woods School in Mississippi.

He entered Ole Miss as a highly touted recruit following his senior season at Piney Woods High School. He was the first commitment for the Rebels and was the top recruit on the team’s recruiting list for the 2013 season. He was listed as a three-star recruit by Scout.com and ranked number 23 amongst centres.

ESPN.com also listed him as a three star recruit, with a grade of 78 overall, ranked 36th in the Southeast region, 15th nationally at his position, and second at his position within the state of Mississippi.

In his freshman season with the Rebels, Coleby played in 28 games with four starts and averaged 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in 10.4 minutes. He shot 47 per cent from the floor and finished with 18 blocked shots, fifth on the team.

As a sophomore, he averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds and was also named an SEC Academic Honour Roll selection in two seasons with the Rebels.

Following his sophomore campaign, he announced his intention to transfer to the Jayhawks.


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