Eastern Kentucky’s undefeated start is impressive, but there was something notable missing from their November slate: a game on the road. One road game down, and the Colonels are still undefeated after a 63-57 win at North Carolina Central
Now at 8-0, Eastern Kentucky is off to its best start in 66 years, and their best ever start as “Colonels.” The last time EKU started a season with more than five wins was in 1946-47 when the “Maroons” won their first 11 games.
Glenn Cosey has cooled off somewhat after a hot start of the season, but managed 11 points and game high 4 steals, just some of the 22 turnovers the Colonels forced on the night. EKU only turned the ball over 10 times in the win, outscoring NCCU 32-14 off turnovers. Mike DiNunno scored a game-high 21 points for EKU in their eight straight win.
The Colonels managed just two offensive rebounds on the night, losing the battle of the boards 36-17, but the Eagles could only manage a 10-point advantage on 2nd chance points.
My doubts about Eastern Kentucky haven’t completely been erased, but the Colonels look more impressive by the game. They’re forcing turnovers at a rate very similar to what Murray State did during their run last season, and their ball control on offense has been outstanding. They’re offense is clearly improved from last season, and their defense has been playing better as well.
There’s still one very important test for the Colonels to pass before I’m ready to truly believe, and that’s beat a top-200 RPI team. It’s almost unheard of in the Ohio Valley Conference to have not played a tough team eight games into the year. (For reference, heading into tonight Eastern Kentucky’s SOS according to Sagarin rankings was 2nd easiest in the nation.)
Their first one is Illinois on December 16th. Their next is West Virginia on December 30th, their final non-conference game until February.
We might not know exactly how good Eastern Kentucky really is until conference play starts.