Heading into the season, we knew that the Ohio Valley was going to be one of the tougher conferences in the country.
You may have missed it in all the other realignment news, but Belmont, one of the nation’s strongest mid-major programs, jumped from the Atlantic Sun to the OVC. That league already included Tennessee State and NBA prospect Robert Covington, Morehead State, and, obviously, Murray State.
But as we round out the second week of conference play, the team at the top of the OVC standings and with the best record in the conference is … Eastern Kentucky?
Who saw that coming?
I know Murray State didn’t, because the Racers found themselves on the wrong side of a beatdown on Wednesday night. EKU used a 24-0 first half run to take a 31-11 lead in Murray. They would eventually push that lead to 22 points in the second half before Murray State finally made things interesting, trimming the deficit to five in the final minute.
The Colonels play small ball because they have to. They don’t have anyone in the roster over 6-foot-8, and the big guys they do have aren’t exactly Ed Daniel. They force a ton of turnovers and shoot a ton of threes, but they can’t rebound to save their life — they allow opponents to grab 40.8% of the available offensive rebounds, good for 344th in the country — and struggle to prevent opponents from getting good looks.
But they are winning, and that’s what is important.
Maybe the OVC is going to be more fun than we thought.
(Image via EKU athletics)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.