WKU’s Bassey Named to Lute Olsen Mid-Season Watch List

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Hilltopper Basketball center Charles Bassey continues to be named among the top players in college basketball, earning a spot as one of 30 Division I players on the 2020-21 Lute Olson Award National Player of the Year midseason watch list, College Insider announced Monday.

The midseason nod adds to the junior’s running list of accolades including the Wooden Award Player of the Year Midseason Top 25 Watch List, the Naismith Trophy Watch List, the Kareem Abdul Jabbar Center of the Year Watch List and Lindy’s Preseason Second-Team All-American honors.

Most recently, NCAA’s Andy Katz named Bassey to his top-10 Midseason National Player of the Year candidates. The list of 10 included Luka Garza (Iowa), Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga), Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois), Jared Butler (Baylor), Marcus Carr (Minnesota), Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana) and Cameron Thomas (LSU) in addition to Bassey.

The Lagos, Nigeria, native has racked up six Conference USA Player of the Week awards so far this season, tying Cincinnati legend and former NBA star Kenyon Martin for the league’s record for most Player of the Week awards in a single season. Bassey was also recognized by College Insider as the Lute Olson National Player of the Week on January 18.

As of Monday, Bassey leads the country in rebounds (195), blocks (55), double-doubles (11) and dunks (43). He’s also second nationally in blocks per game (3.4), third in rebounds per game (12.2) and eighth in field goals made (114).

On the season, Bassey is averaging 17.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks through 16 games. He has season highs of 29 points (Dec. 10 vs. Gardner-Webb), 19 rebounds (Jan. 15 vs. Marshall) and seven blocks (Nov. 26 vs. Memphis).

The Lute Olson Award is named in honor of Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who won 776 games in 34 seasons, 24 of which were spent at the University of Arizona. During that stretch he led the Wildcats to 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, 23 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, four Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 1997.

Olson is one of just 25 head coaches in NCAA history to win 700 or more games (all divisions) and ranks ninth on the Division I career victories list. He finished with a winning percentage of .731 and is the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history with 587-190 record (.755). He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times. Olson also guided Arizona to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons.