Eastern Kentucky opens the season hosting Savannah State Friday. Here’s a look at some of the important numbers:
18.3The big question with so many seniors leaving after last season is who would step up. Based on a summer trip to Australia, that answer is fairly simple: Corey Walden. The guard averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 4.0 steals during the Colonels four game summer swing. It wasn’t Division-I level competition, but his 20 points against Urbana in EKU’s exhibition game is another positive sign for the Colonels as the season kicks off.
91.3%Eastern Kentucky hit 21 of 23 free-throw attempts in their exhibition win against Urbana, including 8-8 for Walden, and 5-6 for Eric Stutz. Competition doesn’t matter at the line.
9Savannah State lost nine seniors from last year’s team, including their three leading scorers. The makeup of the returners? Two seniors, five sophomores.
11thBased on last year’s RPI, EKU has the 11th strongest schedule in the OVC…out of 12 teams. Savannah State is one of five Division I non-conference opponents that had an RPI outside the top-250 last season.
-8Eastern Kentucky was outrebounded by NAIA Urbana in their exhibition win…by eight. EKU struggled on the boards last year, and this is not a positive sign. Urbana did shoot worse from the field, and had a few more opportunities on the offensive glass, but allowing 16 offensive rebounds on 33 misses (a 48.8% oREB% for Urbana) is simply dreadful.