Rick Stansbury has stated multiple times since his hiring at WKU that he didn't come to the school to rebuild His intentions were instead to restock and grow a program. The Hilltopper program is one steeped in tradition. It's one that rank eighth nationally in all-time winning percentage and is among the top 20 in all-time wins.
While bruised in recent year, expectations always remain high for the Hilltopper faithful and Stansbury came to The Hill with similar aspirations and delivered quickly. His first commitment for the class of 2017 created headlines across the country and has helped spike interest among some of the nation's top recruits.
6-foot-11 Mitchell Robinson, a five-star prospect that checks in at No. 6 nationally committed to WKU in late June. Rated as the nation's No. 4 center prospect, Robinson commitment provides Stansbury will an impact performer and has Hilltopper program once again ranking among the nation's elite.
The updated Scout.com team recruiting rankings were released this week and have WKU sitting in the top 10 at No. 6. The current top five are Auburn, Washington, Illinois, UCLA and Louisville.
"When Rick Stansbury got hired at Western Kentucky there was no doubt he was going to get players. That said, most didn’t expect that he’d be able to land a top 10 player in the nation, which is exactly what he did."
Thomas is a proven outside shooter, connecting on 43 percent of his attempts last season. He averaged 18.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game for Hartford last season.
A Baton Rouge, La., native, Thomas is also expected to visit Boise State, San Diego State and Temple. He's eligible to contribute immediately.
Russell is a three-star prospect that ranks among the top 35 point guards nationally. At 5-foot-11, Russell uses his quickness to give the edge on the floor.
"Daron may be a tad small, but he's quick, fearless, aggressive and is a very good threat from long-range," Scout National Recruiting Analyst Evan Daniels told WKU Insider. "There's value in him as a guard that can make shots and run a team."
Other schools among Russell's current favorites are: Grand Canyon, LaSalle, Rhode Island, Seton Hall and SMU.
Scout top 50 forward Rayshaun Hammonds recently released his list of favorites.
The list includes WKU, along with Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Miami, and Texas.
The 6-foot-7 Hammonds is rated as the nation's No. 9 small forward.
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