WKU defeats Arkansas 86-79

Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey dunks during WKU’s 86-79 win in overtime over Arkansas last season at E A. Diddle Arena.

It’s been a while since Charles Bassey stepped on the basketball court for a game, but national pundits haven’t forgotten what he can do.

Western Kentucky’s junior center has been named a Preseason Second-Team All-American by Lindy’s Sports Magazine.

Bassey – a 6-foot-11, 235-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria – was named a First-Team Preseason All-American as a sophomore in 2019-20 by both Lindy’s and Street & Smith’s Basketball Yearbook.

He averaged 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 blocks in 10 games last season before suffering a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg against Arkansas on Dec. 7.

Bassey had season-ending surgery in Houston on Dec. 10, began rehab immediately and was cleared to resume full contact activities earlier this month.

Last season, Bassey was also selected to the preseason watch lists for the Naismith Trophy, the John R. Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the most prestigious National Player of the Year honors in the country.

Lindy’s ranks Bassey No. 11 on its list of the best college basketball players in America. His teammate, WKU senior guard Taveion Hollingsworth, ranks No. 148 nationally.

As a freshman, Bassey averaged 14.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks while shooting 62.7% from the field.

He was named a Freshman All-American and was one of five national finalists – including the only freshman – for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Bassey became the second player in Conference USA history to win both C-USA Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, and he was also named to the All-C-USA First Team, All-Freshman Team and All-Defensive Team.

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