BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division in a preseason Media Poll released on Friday.
The Colonels went 21-12 (11-5 OVC) and reached the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament last season.
First-year head coach Dan McHale gets a pair of starters back from last year’s squad in senior guard Ja’Mill Powell (8.2 points-per-game) and junior guard Isaac McGlone (5.5 points-per-game, 86 assists).
EKU picked up 59 points to finish third in the poll. Belmont – last year’s OVC Tournament champion – was picked to win the East Division, receiving 14 first-place votes for a total of 89 points. Morehead State was picked second in the poll. The Eagles received one first-place vote and a total of 68 points.
Tennessee Tech (45 points), Jacksonville State (32 points) and Tennessee State (22 points) rounded out the East Division.
Murray State was picked to win the West Division, receiving 11 first-place votes for a total of 85 points. UT Martin earned four first-place votes and 76 points to finish second. Eastern Illinois (58 points), Southeast Missouri (44 points), SIUE (28 points) and Austin Peay (24 points) rounded out the West Division.
Belmont was picked as the overall conference champion. The Bruins’ senior guard Craig Bradshaw was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year.
This is the second consecutive year the OVC has conducted a preseason Media Poll. In total, 15 media members from around the league cast a ballot.
The annual OVC Coaches Poll will be released at Media Day on Tuesday in Nashville.
EKU opens the 2015-16 campaign with Coppin State at home on Friday, November 13.
2015-16 Media OVC Preseason Men’s Predicted Order of Finish
Overall Champion: Belmont (14 first-place votes)
1. Belmont (14 first-place votes) – 89 points
2. Morehead State (1) – 68
3. Eastern Kentucky – 59
4. Tennessee Tech – 45
5. Jacksonville State – 32
6. Tennessee State – 22
1. Murray State (11 first-place votes) – 85 points
2. UT Martin (4) – 76
3. Eastern Illinois – 58
4. Southeast Missouri – 44
5. SIUE – 28
6. Austin Peay – 24
Preseason Player of the Year: Craig Bradshaw, Belmont