NCAA: Dwight Coleby thriving in his new surroundings

Western Kentucky forward Dwight Coleby dunks against Austin Peay during an NCAA college game on December 22, 2017. (AP)

Western Kentucky forward Dwight Coleby dunks against Austin Peay during an NCAA college game on December 22, 2017. (AP)


Tribune Sports Reporter


DWIGHT Coleby has thrived in his new surroundings as a graduate transfer with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Coleby is averaging 12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and has helped the Hilltoppers to an 11-5 record and an undefeated 3-0 record in Conference USA play.

Most recently, he posted 18 points and 14 rebounds in the Hilltoppers' 112-87 win over the Marshall Thundering Herd. He also collected four blocks in 33 minutes. It was his sixth double double of the season and his second of the past three games.

Coleby has emerged as a leader for the team in terms of his production both on and off the floor.

"We're just having fun out there this season. When guys get too serious I tell them to smile one time and have fun. I just try to keep everybody out there encouraged on the court and it just shows in how we play," he said. "I think we had confidence from the beginning of the season and then going to the Bahamas, getting big wins and playing big games. I think we know what we are capable of and what we could do in this conference."

The week prior, Coleby turned in a career high performance with 20 points and seven rebounds in the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers' 82-66 win over Southern Mississippi.

"I think I'm aggressive, looking more to score, to get more involved with the team," Coleby said to Chad Bishop of ABC-13 WBK. "I think it's showing in the numbers."

Coleby scored 41 points for Kansas last year. In his last three games against Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi and Marshall, respectively, Coleby has scored 54. He 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 gruelling rehab process.

"I thought he was gonna be a whole lot better than 1.7 points a game for us. And he has been. I think the more he plays the more comfortable he's getting, the game's slowing down for him. I tease him all the time, he's scored more points in two or three games here than he scored his whole season at Kansas," head coach Rick Stansbury said. "The game is slowing down for him," Stansbury said. "He's become much more consistent working, he's become a terrific rebounder, he rebounds in traffic, he can go get one out his area, and he's a great young man. You couldn't ask to coach a better person than what he is."

In his freshman season with the Ole Miss 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 before he transferred to Kansas.


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