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Men's basketball picked fifth by OVC Media; Women picked ninth

Men’s basketball picked fifth by OVC Media; Women picked ninth

Posted on 20 October 2017 by admin

For the fourth year in a row, the Ohio Valley Conference has conducted a Preseason Men’s and Women’s Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 12 voters from around the league cast a ballot on whom they thought would be the 2017-18 basketball favorites and preseason players of the year.

The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Tuesday, October 24 during the league’s annual Media Day in Evansville.

The media panel picked the Belmont men’s and women’s teams as the preseason favorites. Murray State senior guard Jonathan Stark was tabbed the OVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while Murray State senior forward Ke’Shunan James was named OVC Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year.

In the men’s voting, defending regular season champion Belmont picked up eight of the 13 first-place votes and 148 total points in being picked the preseason favorite. Murray State picked up one first-place vote and 138 points to be picked second while defending OVC Tournament champion Jacksonville State received two first-place votes and 132 points in being tabbed third. Tennessee State (95 points) and Eastern Kentucky (91) also picked up first-place votes in being selected fourth and fifth. The poll was rounded out by UT Martin (82), Tennessee Tech (80), Eastern Illinois (79), Morehead State (59), Austin Peay (48), Southeast Missouri (36) and SIUE (26).

In women’s voting, it was two-time defending OVC Tournament champion Belmont who picked up 12 of the 13 first-place votes and 155 points in being tabbed an overwhelming favorite. UT Martin picked up the other first-place vote and 125 points in being picked second while Morehead State was third (119) and SIUE fourth (109). The poll was rounded out by Murray State (96), Austin Peay (91), Tennessee Tech (71), Southeast Missouri (66), Eastern Kentucky (57), Jacksonville State (55), Tennessee State (40) and Eastern Illinois (30).

Pollsters for the 2017-18 OVC Media Poll included: Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Rob Calhoun, Eastern Illinois Radio; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Justin Rust, Journal Gazette/Times-Courier; Harry Schroeder, ValleyHoopsInsider.com; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network.

2017-18 Media OVC Preseason Men’s Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (8 first-place votes) – 148 points
2. Murray State (1) – 138
3. Jacksonville State (2) – 132
4. Tennessee State (1) – 95
5. Eastern Kentucky (1) – 91
6. UT Martin – 82
7. Tennessee Tech – 80
8. Eastern Illinois – 79
9. Morehead State – 59
10. Austin Peay – 48
11. Southeast Missouri – 36
12. SIUE – 26

Preseason Player of the Year: Jonathan Stark, Murray State

2017-18 Media OVC Preseason Women’s Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (12 first-place votes) – 155 points
2. UT Martin (1) – 125
3. Morehead State – 119
4. SIUE – 109
5. Murray State – 96
6. Austin Peay – 91
7. Tennessee Tech – 71
8. Southeast Missouri – 66
9. Eastern Kentucky – 57
10. Jacksonville State – 55
11. Tennessee State – 40
12. Eastern Illinois – 30

Preseason Player of the Year: Ke’Shunan James, Murray State

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Mayo One of 20 Players Named to Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Watch List

Mayo One of 20 Players Named to Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Watch List

Posted on 19 October 2017 by admin

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Eastern Kentucky University junior Nick Mayo was one of 20 players named to the 2018 Karl Malone Award Watch List on Thursday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award is given annually to the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball.

Mayo is the only Ohio Valley Conference player and one of only five mid-major players on the list.

He is surrounded by high-profile names such as Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Wendell Carter, Jr. (Duke), PJ Washington (Kentucky) and Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame).

Mayo was voted first team All-OVC for the second straight year in 2016-17 after finishing the regular season ranked among the OVC’s leaders in scoring (fifth / 18.5 points-per-game), rebounding (12th / 6.5 rebounds-per-game), assists (15th / 2.8 assists-per-game), blocks (third / 1.4 blocks-per-game), field goal percentage (12th / 50.4%), three-point field goal percentage (12th / 39.0%) and free throw percentage (14th / 77.4%).

The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine is on pace to be EKU’s all-time leading scorer after he became the first Colonel ever to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore.

The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook tabbed Mayo the Preseason OVC Player of the Year in late September.

A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the 20 candidates for the Karl Malone Award Watch List.

The award’s namesake, Karl Malone, attended Louisiana Tech University due to its close proximity to his hometown of Summerfield, Louisiana. He led the Bulldogs to a Sweet 16 appearance and earned All-Southland honors in his three seasons while averaging 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Malone achieved great success during his 19 seasons in the NBA as a 14-time NBA All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02), 11-time All-NBA First Team player (1989-99) and a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996).

“With this award, we have been able to recognize some extraordinarily talented student-athletes in college basketball over the past three seasons,” said Karl Malone, a 2010 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “It is an honor to be associated with such an award and I hope the young men named to this watch list feel a sense of pride in being recognized for their efforts.”

By mid-February, the Watch List will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Malone and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, California on Friday, April 6.

Previous winners of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award include Johnathan Motley, Baylor (2017), Georges Niang, Iowa State (2016) and Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (2015). For more information on the 2018 Karl Malone Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.

2018 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award Candidates
Nana Foulland Bucknell
Gary Clark Jr. Cincinnati
Marvin Bagley III Duke
Wendell Carter Jr. Duke
Nick Mayo Eastern Kentucky
Yante Maten Georgia
Rokas Gustys Hofstra
PJ Washington Kentucky
Moritz Wagner Michigan
Jordan Murphy Minnesota
Alize Johnson Missouri St.
Bonzie Colson Notre Dame
Mike Daum South Dakota St.
Reid Travis Stanford
Obi Enechionyia Temple
Dylan Osetkowski Texas
Robert Williams Texas A&M
Zach Smith Texas Tech
William Lee UAB
Bennie Boatwright USC

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*

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2018 OVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship to be Held at Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana

2018 OVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship to be Held at Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana

Posted on 16 February 2017 by admin

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents have awarded the 2018 OVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship to the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

The date of the 2018 OVC Basketball Championship is February 28 – March 3, 2018.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take our flagship championship to another region of the OVC footprint,” said OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche. “We look forward to the opportunity to partner with the City of Evansville and the Evansville Sports Corporation to provide an outstanding experience for our student-athletes and fans.

“I additionally want to thank the OVC Board of Presidents for their time and thoughtful approach in reaching this decision,” DeBauche added.

“I look forward to the OVC Championship being played in Evansville and at the Ford Center,” said Murray State President Dr. Robert O. Davies, who is the chair of the OVC Board of Presidents. “This facility is the ideal place to showcase our Conference and will be a memorable experience for our student-athletes. I also look forward to the emerging partnership with community of Evansville and know this will be an exciting event for the participants and spectators.”

The Ford Center, which opened in 2011, is a 10,000-seat arena located in the core of Evansville’s downtown district. The 290,000-square foot facility serves as home of the University of Evansville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the Evansville Thunderbolts of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Ford Center has serves as host to numerous sporting events and concerts on an annual basis.

“Evansville is a basketball town and we could not be more excited to partner with the Ohio Valley Conference to deliver a championship atmosphere for OVC student-athletes and fans alike,” said Jason Sands, Executive Director of the Evansville Sports Corporation.

Evansville is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana with a population of nearly 120,000 in the city limit and 300,000 people in the metropolitan area.

“Our city has demonstrated on multiple occasions the ability to host great sporting events at every level,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “We gladly welcome the Ohio Valley Conference and look forward to showing their student-athletes the best experience possible,” he continued.

The OVC Basketball Tournament is the fourth-oldest Division I Championship in the country; it will be held for the 54th time overall on March 1-4, 2017 at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. That will mark the 23rd time in the past 24 years the event has taken place in Nashville. The last OVC Basketball Tournament held outside of Nashville took place in Louisville, Kentucky in 2002. The OVC will also partner with the Nashville Sports Council to serve as hosts of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds at Bridgestone Arena in 2018 (March 16-18).

During the 2017-18 academic year, the OVC Board of Presidents will consider future tournament site locations.

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Gist Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Sixth Time

Gist Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Sixth Time

Posted on 08 February 2017 by admin


BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University guard Asante Gist has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for men’s basketball, the league office announced on Monday.

It is the sixth time this season Gist has earned OVC Freshman of the Week honors. No other freshman has won the award more than three times.

Gist averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 assists-per-game last week for the Colonels.

On Wednesday, the native of East Orange, New Jersey connected on a career-best six three-pointers against Austin Peay. He finished with 24 points and five assists against the Governors.

Three nights later, Gist contributed 13 points and five more assists at UT Martin.

Gist leads all freshmen in the league in scoring (15.2 points-per-game) and assists (3.8 assists-per-game). He also ranks 12th in the OVC in three-pointers/game (2.2) and 13th in assists/turnover ratio (1.1).

Gist and the Colonels return to action on Saturday when they host in-state rival Morehead State at McBrayer Arena at 7:00 p.m.

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Gist Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Fourth Time

Gist Voted OVC Freshman of the Week for Fourth Time

Posted on 09 January 2017 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Asante Gist has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season, the league office announced on Monday.

Gist averaged 22.5 points-per-game and 4.5 assists-per-game last week.

The point guard from East Orange, New Jersey exploded for a career-high 25 points in the Colonels’ 78-61 win over SIUE on Thursday night at McBrayer Arena. He also matched a career-high with six assists, to go along with two rebounds and a steal. Gist shot 13-of-14 from the free throw line in the win over the Cougars.

On Saturday, Gist poured in a game-high 20 points against Eastern Illinois, shooting 4-of-7 from behind the arc. He added three assists and one steal.

For the week, Gist shot 52 percent (14-of-27) from the floor.

He currently ranks 10th in the conference in scoring (14.8 points-per-game) and eighth in assists (4.0 assists-per-game). He leads all freshmen in the league in both categories.

Gist and the Colonels return to action on Thursday night when they host Tennessee State at 7:00 p.m.

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Ryan Whalen Joins Colonel basketball Coaching Staff

Ryan Whalen Joins Colonel basketball Coaching Staff

Posted on 09 September 2016 by admin

ryan_whalen_web

RICHMOND, Ky. – Ryan Whalen has joined the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Dan McHale announced on Monday.

Whalen comes to EKU following six seasons on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall. He was the Director of Basketball Operations in 2015-16 when the Pirates won the Big East Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ryan and his family to our EKU basketball family,” McHale said. “I have worked with Ryan for four years at Seton Hall and Iona, and he is as passionate about mentoring student-athletes and coaching basketball as anyone I have ever been around. We are lucky to have him and he will bring immediate credibility to our staff and program. Having won a Big East championship and been groomed under reigning Big East Coach of the Year Kevin Willard, Ryan is a rising star in this business. Our family got better today.”

Whalen was promoted to Seton Hall’s Director of Basketball Operations during the 2014-15 season, previously serving as the Pirates’ Director of Player Development and Coordinator of Basketball Operations. He primarily aided in the development of scouting reports for opponents, film breakdown and exchange, and managing the program’s extensive recruiting database.

Whalen served as the Pirates’ video coordinator during the 2010-11 campaign, while also assisting with the program’s day-to-day operations. Over the summers, Whalen organized and served as a lead administrator for the Kevin Willard Basketball Camp.

He worked in the same capacity under Willard at Iona in 2009-10.

A 2008 graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Whalen played two years of junior varsity basketball for the Hawks before being named a student assistant coach by head coach Phil Martelli.

Whalen first landed a spot as an administrative assistant and video coordinator at Towson University under head coach Pat Kennedy in 2008-09. He was responsible for coordinating game tape exchange and managing the Tigers’ student managers.

Having developed a broad basketball background, Whalen has also had stints with the Hoop Group and the Philadelphia 76ers. He served as a part of the staff for a number of Hoop Group events before being named the Assistant Director of Elite Camps in 2009. In this role, Whalen helped recruit campers, organize and run a camp that included 70 high school teams. As an intern for the 76ers in the summer of 2007, he assisted coaches, players and team executives with day-to-day operations and during the NBA draft process.

Whalen’s camp experience includes time as a counselor at the Duke University, Saint Joseph’s University and Bob Hurley basketball camps. He has also worked closely with his father, Joe Whalen, a long time area high school coach in running his own camp.
Whalen is a graduate of Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, N.J. where he lettered in basketball (shooting guard) and football (wide receiver and defensive back). He also was a member of a Jersey City Boys Club AAU basketball team that won five straight New Jersey state titles.

Ryan and his wife, the former Amy Iuliano, were married in 2012 and have two sons, Colin Joseph, born in May of 2014, and Christopher Ryan, born in May of 2016.

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Mayo picks up fifth OVC Freshman of the Week award

Mayo picks up fifth OVC Freshman of the Week award

Posted on 11 January 2016 by admin

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball player Nick Mayo has been voted the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Freshman of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.

It is the fifth time this season Mayo has been named the OVC Freshman of the Week. He shares this week’s honor with SIUE’s Carlos Anderson.

Mayo averaged 12.5 points-per-game, 6.5 rebounds-per-game and 1.0 assists-per-game last week.

The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine scored 15 points and matched career highs with seven rebounds and three blocks in EKU’s 88-69 victory over Southeast Missouri on Saturday at McBrayer Arena. He also had two assists and a steal in the win.

Mayo scored 10 points and pulled down six boards versus UT Martin on Thursday.

Mayo shot 58 percent (10-of-17) from the field during the week and now ranks sixth in the OVC in field goal percentage (58.2).

He is the first Colonel to be named the OVC Freshman of the Week five times in a season since Matt Witt in 2002-03.

Mayo and the Colonels travel to Eastern Illinois on Thursday, January 14, to face the Panthers at 9:00 p.m. The game will air live on CBS Sports Network.

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First-Half Run Keys EKU to 88-69 Victory Over SEMO

First-Half Run Keys EKU to 88-69 Victory Over SEMO

Posted on 09 January 2016 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team took the lead with a 16-0 run in the first half and never looked back on its way to an 88-69 win over visiting Southeast Missouri on Saturday afternoon at McBrayer arena.

The Colonels (11-7, 2-1 OVC) never surrendered the lead after holding the Redhawks scoreless for 4:32 early in the first half. The 16-0 run started with the Colonels trailing 10-6. Sophomore Paul Jackson nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to two. Junior Isaac McGlone followed with a three-pointer that gave EKU the lead for good. Senior Jarelle Reischel scored the next seven points for EKU, including a driving baseline dunk and a three from the left wing.

Junior JaVontae Hawkins chimed in with a lay-up, and freshman Nick Mayo finished off the run off with a lay-up that made it 22-10 at the 12:48 mark of the first half.

A jumper at the buzzer by Hawkins sent the Colonels into the locker room at halftime up by 10, 43-33.

Defense played a role throughout the game for the Colonels. In addition to the scoreless streak in the first half, EKU held SEMO scoreless on two different three-minute stretches in the second half.

After the Redhawks (2-14, 0-4 OVC) cut the lead to six twice in the second half, the Colonels put the game out of reach with a 13-3 run, culminating with a Jaylen Babb-Harrison layup that made it 68-52 with 8:28 remaining in the game. Eastern’s second half run included a 3:05 stretch without scoring by Southeast.

Babb-Harrison exploded for 16 points in the second half and, at one point, scored 11 points in a span of two minutes to spark the Colonels’ decisive second-half spurt. The junior from Ontario finished with a season-high 18 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep.

Reischel scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds. The senior transfer from Rhode Island extended his double-digit points streak to 13 straight games. He has only failed to reach double-digits one time this season, when he finished with nine points against Ball State.

In total, four Colonels hit the double-digit mark in the game. Mayo tallied 15 points to go along with a team-best seven rebounds and three blocks, while Hawkins scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists.

Jackson returned to the lineup and orchestrated the offense effectively, handing out a game-high nine assists.

Isiah Jones scored a team-best 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds for the Redhawks. Joel Angus III had 12 points and eight boards.

EKU shot 50 percent from the field for the game, going 33-of-66. SEMO shot 38.6 percent, going 22-of-57.

The Colonels return to action Thursday night on the road against Eastern Illinois. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

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Reischel Named OVC Player of the Week

Reischel Named OVC Player of the Week

Posted on 05 January 2016 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University senior Jarelle Reischel has been named the Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.

Reischel averaged 21.5 points-per-game, 8.0 rebounds-per-game and 5.0 assists-per-game in a pair of EKU wins last week. He poured in 26 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a 76-64 win over Manhattan on Tuesday. He then scored 17 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists in a 79-70 win over Austin Peay in the Colonels’ OVC opener on Saturday night

Reischel went 16-of-18 from the free throw line in the two games and hit four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds at Austin Peay to seal the victory.

The native of Frankfurt, Germany ranks in the top-10 in the OVC in almost every major category: scoring (1st / 20.0 points-per-game), rebounding (5th / 7.9 rebounds-per-game), assists (5th / 3.9 assists-per-game), steals (2nd / 2.1 steals-per-game), field goal percentage (10th / 53.1), three-point field goal percentage (3rd / 47.9) and free throw percentage (5th / 84.3).

He is the only player in the country with 300+ points, 100+ rebounds and 50+ assists.

Reischel and the Colonels continue OVC play this week by hosting UT Martin on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. and Southeast Missouri on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

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EKU Rolls Past Manhattan at Home, 76-64

EKU Rolls Past Manhattan at Home, 76-64

Posted on 30 December 2015 by admin

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RICHMOND, Ky. — Hot shooting and a stifling defensive effort helped the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball team jump out to an 18-0 lead in the opening minutes on its way to a convincing 76-64 win over Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon at McBrayer Arena.

With the wire-to-wire win, EKU (9-6) closes out the non-conference season 8-0 at home.

Senior Jarelle Reischel – who missed EKU’s game with a back injury at No. 19 West Virginia on December 21 – led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Junior JaVontae Hawkins contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Colonels delivered one of their best defensive efforts of the season in the victory, forcing Manhattan (3-8) into 16 turnovers and converting those turnovers into 26 points. EKU held the Jaspers to 24 percent (6-of-25) shooting from the field and 23 percent (3-of-13) shooting from deep in the first half to build a comfortable lead.

Eastern’s defense coerced the Jaspers into eight turnovers on their first 12 possessions. The Colonels generated 14 points off Manhattan’s early miscues, as an alley-oop dunk by Hawkins gave EKU an 18-0 lead with 14:42 remaining in the first half.

Manhattan did not score a bucket until the 14:29 mark of the first half, when Rashawn Stores got the Jaspers on the board with a three-pointer. Stores’ long ball sparked a 10-0 run over the next 2:18 for Manhattan, closing the Eastern lead to eight, 18-10.

The Colonels, however, outscored the Jaspers 27-11 over the remainder of the first half, and a jumper from freshman Anthony Pratt Jr. gave EKU a 45-21 advantage at halftime.

Manhattan pulled to within 13 points when Shane Richards knocked down a triple from the top of the key to make it 51-38 with 13:14 remaining in the second half; however, Eastern responded with a 13-3 run and pushed its lead back to 23, 64-41, when sophomore Paul Jackson converted a free throw with 7:07 on the clock.

EKU received solid bench performances from Pratt Jr. (eight points, two rebounds), sophomore Greg King (five points, four rebounds, one block) and junior Jaylen Babb-Harrison (nine points, four rebounds, two assists) in the win.

Eastern Kentucky opens OVC play Saturday on the road in Clarksville, Tennessee, when the Colonels take on Austin Peay at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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