RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division this season in a poll conducted by the league’s head coaches and media relations contacts. The OVC is debuting its divisional format this season.
The OVC announced its preseason poll and preseason all-conference team at its annual media day event on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn.
The Colonels open their 2012-13 season on Nov. 9 at home against Cincinnati Christian. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. EKU will play its first seven games at home, including hosting the Comfort Suites Invitational on Nov. 9, 16-19.
Eastern Kentucky finished the 2011-12 season with a 16-16 record and advanced to the OVC Tournament for the 10th straight season. Eastern is one of only four teams to earn spots in each of the last 10 conference tournaments. Two starters and a total of eight letter winners return for the 2012-13 season.
Newcomer Belmont University was picked to place first in the East Division. The Bruins earned 21 of a possible 22 first-place votes and a total of 131 points. Tennessee State was second with three-first place votes and 109 points.
Tennessee Tech (87) and Morehead State (77) were third and fourth. The Colonels totaled 56 points for fifth. Jacksonville State is also in the East Division, but due to a NCAA APR penalty is not eligible for the OVC and NCAA Tournaments this season and was not included in the preseason voting.
Defending OVC regular season and tournament champion Murray State was picked to win the West Division. The Racers earned all 22 possible first-place votes and a total of 132 points. Southeast Missouri was second with two first-place votes and 108 points. Austin Peay (92) was third and SIU Edwardsville (73) was fourth. Eastern Illinois (49) and Tennessee-Martin (38) were picked fifth and sixth respectively.
Coaches and media relations contacts were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Six points were awarded for a first-place vote, five for a second-place vote and so on.