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You could make the case that Eastern Kentucky was the best surprise of the year. Behind a talented backcourt, the Colonels have gone from a team on the backburner, to a true contender for the conference title crown. And they’ve got a chip on their shoulder, as the team with the second best OVC record is relegated to the three-seed, and only a single-bye

Eastern Kentucky 23-8 (12-4)

Good Wins

1/9 at Murray State (77-65)
1/24 vs Tennessee State (76-67)

Headscratcher Losses

1/31 at UT Martin (65-72)

Against The Bracket

#6 SEMO (1-0)
#7 EIU (1-0)
#2 Murray State (0-1)

#8 UT Martin (0-1)
#5 Morehead State (2-0)
#4 Tennessee State (1-1)
#1 Belmont (0-2)

 

Strengths

  • Scoring: Second in the OVC in field goal percentage, (47.8%) offensive points per possession (1.126). First in free throw percentage. (82.3%)
  • Turnovers: First in turnovers per game. (11.0) Second in forced turnovers per game. (15.9%)

Weaknesses

  • Rebounding: 11th in rebounds per game, (24.2) rebounding percentage. (45%)

 

Players to Watch

  • Mike DiNunno (15.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 spg)
  • G Glenn Cosey (15.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.1 apg)

 

Outlook

Eastern Kentucky was in the hunt for conference title all season long, but just couldn’t get over the hump when it came to beating Belmont. But the Colonels aren’t lacking in confidence, not from their senior guard, or from their coach who infamously declared he had the only team that could take down the Bruins in Nashville.

But the Colonels will likely be tested before a potential third match-up. Their quarterfinal opponent, regardless of who wins the 6-7 matchup, will be a team that’s streaking at the right time. And if the Colonels get past the first test, it’s the defending tournament champions standing in their way of the tournament finals.

Only one three seed in the past twelve years has won the tournament, but EKU could be built to be the second. They have a backcourt to rival most of the conference, but they’ve struggled in the frontcourt against just about everyone. Thankfully for them, the two real heavyweights in this departments are on the other side of the bracket.

Eastern Kentucky is a contender, and they know it. But they’ll have to expel a few demons to hoist the trophy in Nashville.


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OVC Ball
Predicting the OVC race…in mid-December

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVCOverall

EAST

Belmont8-014-4
Morehead State6-310-12
Tennessee Tech5-39-14
Jacksonville State5-413-11
Tennessee State4-413-8
Eastern Kentucky2-69-14

WEST

UT Martin5-315-8
Murray State5-311-11
SEMO5-310-13
Austin Peay3-57-15
Eastern Illinois1-79-12
SIUE0-85-17
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