The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers suffered a serious loss in their win over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. The team announced that star center Charles Bassey suffered a tibial plateau fracture and will miss the remaining portion of the season. The 6’11” sophomore was a five-star big man coming out of high school.
Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey will have season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday, per release. Suffered the injury in Saturday’s win over Arkansas.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) December 9, 2019
The Western Kentucky center declared for the 2019 NBA Draft but withdrew his name after going through some of the draft processes. His freshman year saw him win Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year last year in Conference USA. The big man also had several preseason awards lined up for him before the start of his sophomore season. This has major implications for the Hilltoppers and the 2020 NBA Draft.
So what exactly happened when Arkansas came to Diddle?
Full highlights of WKU’s 86-79 win??? pic.twitter.com/S3l0kNyv4v
— Red Towel Radio (@redtowelradio) December 8, 2019
Charles Bassey was having a really good sophomore season and was likely improving his draft stock with his play. He was averaging 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in his sophomore season. It is unclear what the next step for Bassey will be after he has surgery and fully recovers. He could go ahead and jump to the NBA or stay for a third year at Western Kentucky.
These options have high risks and high rewards. The situation is a terrible one for the player and his team. Western Kentucky had NCAA Tournament hopes, while Bassey had that and NBA first-round hopes as well.