NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team was picked to finish seventh out of 11 teams in the 2011-12 preseason Ohio Valley Conference poll as announced Tuesday at OVC media day in Nashville. The poll was conducted by a vote of OVC head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.
Only one out of the 14 players on the EKU roster is a fourth year player – senior guard Joshua Jones. He was a double-figure scorer for Eastern one year ago and will be counted upon for leadership on both ends of the court. Jones, who has started 83 games in his EKU career, is the team’s top returning scorer at 10.7 points per game. Also returning for seventh year head coach Jeff Neubauer is sophomore forward Jeff Johnson, who started 24 of 30 games as a freshman while averaging 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Last season, Eastern Kentucky finished 9-9 in conference play and earned the No. 6 seed in the OVC tournament, marking the eighth consecutive season the team has been .500 or better in league play.
Austin Peay was awarded the preseason favorite in a close vote over Tennessee Tech. Austin Peay returns nine players and four starters from last year’s team that tied for second in the league. This marks the first time since the 2007-08 season that the Governors have been picked as the preseason favorite. That team went on to win the OVC championship.
For the second consecutive year, all OVC tournament games will be played in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium (Feb. 29 to March 3). Only the top eight teams qualify for the tournament while the top two seeds will automatically be placed in the semifinals.
Two opportunities are available to catch a glimpse of the Colonels before they play their home opener in December. EKU will host Halloween Hoopfest this Thursday, Oct. 27 and an exhibition game against Urbana on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Those two events are open to the public and free to all fans.