Hamilton voted coach of the year, Brown first-team all-district by NABC

KANSAS CITY – Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball head coach A.W. Hamilton has been voted the 2019-20 District 18 Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Sophomore guard Jomaru Brown, meanwhile, was voted to the NABC All-District 18 First Team.

In his second season in Richmond, Hamilton led Eastern to an impressive turnaround. After going 6-12 in the OVC in 2018-19, the Colonels went 12-6 this year, earning a No. 4 seed and reaching the semifinals of the OVC Tournament.

EKU’s 12 conference wins this season are tied for the second-most in program history. The 2019-20 Colonels are one of only four EKU teams ever to win 12 or more OVC games, joining the 1964-65 (13), 2006-07 (13) and 2012-13 (12) squads.

Following a tough non-conference slate, Hamilton rallied EKU to a 9-2 conference start. It was the Colonels’ best OVC start in 41 years.

Hamilton has installed a fast-paced offense and pressure defense that saw the Colonels rank fifth nationally in forced turnovers (18.27/game), seventh in steals (9.3/game) and 10th in turnover margin (+4.3) this season.

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Brown was voted first team All-OVC after ranking fourth in the OVC in scoring at 18.4 points-per-game. He also ranked third in the league in steals-per-game (1.9) and 12th in free throw percentage (75.1%).

He poured in a career-high 41 points versus in-state rival Western Kentucky on November 15. That was the most points scored by an OVC player in a game this season. It is tied for the fourth-most points ever scored by a Colonel in a game.

Brown stepped up his game during OVC play. The 6-2 guard averaged 20.2 points-per-game against conference competition, tied for second-highest in the league. He ranked second in steals-per-game (2.2), 14th in assists-per-game (3.2) and 14th in three-point field goal percentage (38.2%) during the OVC schedule.

The native of Raleigh, North Carolina posted 37 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Colonels to a key road win at Tennessee State on January 18. He was 18-of-19 from the free throw line in that victory. His 18 free throws are the most by an OVC player in a game this season.

A week later, Brown connected on a career-high six three-pointers and finished with 31 points in a road win at Tennessee Tech. He went for 19 points and a career-high nine assists in a road victory at rival Morehead State on February 13.

Brown scored his 1,000th career point in the regular season finale versus Morehead State, an 80-76 victory at home.

District 18
First Team
Terry Taylor, Austin Peay
Tevin Brown, Murray State
Jomaru Brown, Eastern Kentucky
Nick Muszynski, Belmont
Quintin Dove, UT Martin

Second Team
Grayson Murphy, Belmont
Adan Kunkel, Belmont
Jordyn Adams, Austin Peay
Josiah Wallace, Eastern Illinois
Parker Stewart, UT Martin

Coach of the Year: A.W. Hamilton, Eastern Kentucky