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Conference: Ohio Valley
Coach: Jeff Neubauer
Record: 24-9 (13-5)
Rankings and Ratings:
– Kenpom: 141
– RPI: 113
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding?: 14 or 15.
Names you need to know: G Glenn Cosey (18.7 ppg, 4.2 apg, 3.3 rpg), G Corey Walden (13.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.8 apg)
Stats you need to know: The Colonels rank 13th nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 48.9% from the field, and eighth in offensive efficiency (116.4). Offensively this is a very good basketball team, with Marcus Lewis (10.1 ppg) joining Cosey and Walden as double-digit scorers and three other players averaging between 8.5 and 9.8 points per game. If there’s a concern it’s the defense, with opponents shooting 48.3% from the field and nearly 36% from three.
Tendencies: Six players average at least 20 minutes per game, with Cosey rarely leaving the floor (36.1 mpg) and Walden playing just over 31 minutes per game. Those two lead the way, with Marcus Lewis being a quality supplementary option and forward Eric Stutz ranking third on the team in assist rate.
Big wins, bad losses: EKU managed to beat Belmont twice, and they also beat Murray State in the OVC semis. As for bad losses, the Colonels dropped conference games to both SIU-Edwardsville and Tennessee Tech.
How’d they get here?: The Colonels raced out to a 12-0 lead over Belmont in the OVC title game, then went on a 12-2 second-half run after the Bruins tied the game at 52. EKU, led by Walden (29 points) and Cosey (23 points), would go on to win 79-73.
Outlook: The backcourt of Cosey and Walden has the skill and experience needed to lead this team in tight games. But the defense may be an issue when considering the caliber of opponent they’ll likely face.
How do I know you?: Marcus Lewis may end up being one of the most explosive dunkers in the NCAA tournament field. Here’s an example of his jumping ability. The fun starts at the 23-second mark of that video.