WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – West Liberty University head men’s basketball coach Ben Howlett has this year’s Hilltoppers off to a flying start with an 8-1 record and Top 10 national ranking but he’s already getting a jump start on the reloading process for next year.
Howlett has confirmed the signing of Luke Denbow, a record-setting All-Ohio point guard from Ohio Division I Ashland High School. Denbow, the younger brother of current Hilltopper sharpshooter Garrett Denbow, will add his talents to the potent West Liberty mix for the 2022-23 season.
“We identified Luke early on the process as an ideal point guard for our system and we’ve been recruiting him for the past two years,” Howlett said. “Not only is he a high level point guard who makes everyone around him better, he’s also an elite scorer and shooter.”
The numbers from Denbow’s junior season certainly bear out that assessment. The sweet-shooting southpaw helped lead the Arrows to an 18-5 season that was capped by a sectional championship and an Ohio Division I District title berth.
Denbow averaged just a tick under 23 points a game, setting a school single-season record with 528 points, but the playmaking point guard checked off multiple boxes on the stat sheet. In addition to his 22.9 ppg. scoring average, Denbow handed out a team-high 6.5 assists per game while grabbing an average of 4.8 rebounds and collecting 3.1 steals on a nightly basis.
A second-team Ohio Division I all-state selection, Denbow was a first-team pick on the All-Northwest Ohio Team and walked away with the Ohio Cardinal Conference and Ohio Division I District 6 Player of the Year Awards.
Coming off an impressive run on the AAU circuit, Denbow and his Ashland squad are looking forward to another strong season.
“We are tremendously excited that Luke has signed to play his college ball at West Liberty,” Howlett said. “We hope he enjoys the heck out of his final high school season and can’t wait to have him join us here on the hilltop.”
Fresh off Wednesday’s impressive 89-78 victory against a Charleston team that was receiving votes in the latest NCAA Division II Top 25 poll, Howlett and his current Hilltoppers are idle this weekend. They return to Mountain East Conference action on Monday with a 6 p.m. game at West Virginia State.