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Rick Stansbury is already turning Western Kentucky into a powerhouse

Rick Stansbury

Rick Stansbury, left, speaks at a news conference where he was announced as the new men’s NCAA college basketball coach at Western Kentucky on Monday, March 28, 2016, in Bowling Green, Ky. (AP Photo/Michael Noble Jr.)


Western Kentucky is going to be the best mid-major in the country in 2017-18.

At the very least they’re going to be close to it.

On Tuesday, the Hilltoppers landed a commitment from Buffalo transfer Lamonte Bearden, a former four-star recruit that averaged 13.7 points and 4.2 assists as a sophomore with the Bulls. It was the second straight season that he was the point guard for a team that reached the NCAA tournament out of the MAC. was the first to report the news.

Bearden will get eligible at the same time that Mitchell Robinson, a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, joins the program. Head coach Rick Stansbury already has Willie Carmichael, who started 19 games as a freshman at Tennessee in 2014-15, on the roster as well as Justin Johnson, who averaged 14.9 points and 7.9 boards as a sophomore last season.

(UPDATE: Hours after this story posted, Western Kentucky added a commitment from Moustapha Diagne, a former top 50 recruit and Syracuse commit. He’ll be eligible in 2017-18 as well.)

And that’s assuming they’re done adding pieces, which would be silly. Stansbury has already landed those two in addition to a pair of grad transfers -- Providence’s Junior Lomomba and Washington State’s Que Johnson -- this offseason.

Is anyone surprised Stansbury got Western Kentucky rolling quickly? You shouldn’t be.