BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU junior guard AJ Slaughter has been named the Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday afternoon. It is the first career selection for the Shelbyville, Ky. native and the 43rd for WKU in 26 years of SBC affiliation. Slaughter becomes the first Topper, other than 2008 NBA Draft First-Round selection Courtney Lee, to win the weekly award since Anthony Winchester in 2006.
Slaughter averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds this week in leading the Hilltoppers to a pair of impressive wins over Southern Illinois (79-70) and #3 Louisville (68-54). He shot 52.4 percent from the field including 4-of-8 from three-point range.
In the pre-Thanksgiving victory over Southern Illinois, a perennial Missouri Valley Conference power, Slaughter directed the Toppers to the nine-point win with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
On Sunday, at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tenn., Slaughter shined with a career-best 25 points and nine rebounds against third-ranked Louisville. Slaughter, whose oldest sister played basketball at Louisville and whose younger sister is heading to play for the Cardinals, grew up a U of L fan. With the spotlight on Slaughter and his teammates, WKU knocked off their first top three opponent since 1967.
For their efforts, WKU received five votes in this week's ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, tying for 35th.
WKU has a quick turnaround as the Toppers host Georgia, the defending Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions, tonight at 8:00 PM at Diddle Arena. Live television coverage is being provide by ESPNU.