Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Osborne Excited for 2015-16 Season at Kentucky Wesleyan

Head coach Happy Osborne is excited for the 2015-16 season at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Osborne has reeled in a solid recruiting class that should have the Panthers in position to play for a G-MAC league title.

Here is more on KWC's new faces:

With a few new faces set to join the Kentucky Wesleyan men's basketball team next season, third-year coach Happy Osborne is optimistic about the group he'll have at his disposal in 2015-16.

The Panthers, who went 22-8 last year with a runner-up finish in the G-MAC Tournament title game, added two physical post players and a pair of perimeter play-makers — areas of concern that Osborne said he wanted to shore up heading into the summer recruitment period.

"We're really excited about the guys we have," Osborne said. "I think they'll all fit in, and everyone has to have an impact for us."

Expected to provide a boost down low is 6-foot-7 Justin Miller, a former Owensboro High School standout who was named the state tournament's Most Valuable Player after leading the Red Devils to their first KHSAA title since 1980.

"Obviously, Justin was a person we've recruited for a long time. I'm really proud of the weight loss and maturity he's shown," Osborne said, adding that Miller has slimmed down to 258 pounds. "I'll take 15 more, but that's 32 less (than it was). He's doing a lot of things the right way, and I'm proud of him."

Joining Miller in the post will be Marcus Fuggins, a 6-9, 255-pounder who transferred from Morehead State for his final year of eligibility. He averaged 1.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 8.2 minutes in 25 games as a junior, shooting 41 percent and finishing with 14 blocks.

"He has experience, and he's a guy we'll count on heavily," Osborne said of Fuggins. "He'll be one of the biggest players in the league."

Osborne said the duo will "more than take care of our inside game," and he's also confident in the flexibility that Jordan Jacks (6-5, 195 pounds) and Tamron Manning (6-4, 210) can bring to the Panthers' perimeter game.

Jacks will join the Panthers for his final two years of eligibility after averaging 16.1 points and nine rebounds per game last year for Division II Shorter. Manning, who averaged 3.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 16.2 minutes per game, is a former Scott County standout that transferred to KWC from Marshall for his final year of eligibility.

"I'm excited about having two back-to-the-basket post players that can score, and I'm excited about having guys who can play in different spots," Osborne said. "I don't think you have to be glued in to any one spot, but it will be nice to have some guys who can score down low."

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