Michael McCammon

Coaches projection is highest for Tops since joining the league

Junior forward Justin Johnson selected to pre-season All-Conference Team

Prepping to begin its first season under the direction of head coach Rick Stansbury, Western Kentucky received its highest preseason projection by league coaches since joining Conference USA.

The Hilltoppers were picked to finish third in league play this coming the league office announced on Thursday. UAB, last season's regular season winner, and Middle Tennessee, the reigning C-USA tournament champion, are ahead of WKU in the coaches voting.

The league coaches selected WKU junior forward Justin Johnson to the the preseason All-Conference Team.  Johnson started 26 outings, appearing in 32, last season and led the team in both scoring (14.9) and rebounds (7.9).

The Hilltoppers will open the 2016-17 season on Nov. 12 against Alabama State at E.A. Diddle Arena.

2016-17 Preseason All-C-USA Team

Erik McCree, Charlotte, senior forward

Jon Elmore, Marshall, junior guard

Ryan Taylor, Marshall, senior forward

Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee, junior guard

Reggie Upshaw Jr., Middle Tennessee, senior forward

Jeremy Combs, North Texas, junior forward

Marcus Evans, Rice, sophomore guard

Chris Cokley, UAB, junior forward

William Lee, UAB, junior forward

Justin Johnson, WKU, junior forward


2016-17 Preseason C-USA Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)

1.      UAB (10)

2.      Middle Tennessee (4)

3.      WKU

4.      Marshall

5.      Old Dominion

6.      UTEP

7.      Louisiana Tech

8.      Charlotte

9.      Rice

10.    North Texas

11.    FIU

12.    Florida Atlantic

13.    Southern Miss

14.    UTSA

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