#88 Eastern Kentucky Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Eastern Kentucky Colonels
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #88
Conference Rank: #1 ASUN
 Eastern Kentucky Logo
Eastern Kentucky finished their time in the Ohio Valley Conference with a very good 22-win season. Now the Colonels are off to the ASUN. The team’s top two scorers are moving on too, with Wendell Green going to Auburn and Tre King headed to Georgetown. That may not sound great, and it isn’t, but Coach A.W. Hamilton has brought in plenty of his own talented transfers to help this team make a big splash in their new conference.
2020-21 Record: 22-7, 15-5
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: A.W. Hamilton
Coach Record: 51-42 at Eastern Kentucky, 299-64 overall
Key Departed Players:
Wendell Green Jr, Guard, 15.8 ppg
Tre King, Forward, 14.9 ppg
Cheikh Faye, Forward, 5.4 ppg
Jacquess Guard, Hobbs, 3.1 ppg
Peyton Broughton, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jomaru Brown, Junior, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Curt Lewis, RS Freshman, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Michael Moreno, Sophomore, Forward, 10.2 ppg
Cooper Robb, Junior, Guard, 7.1 ppg
Devontae Blanton, Freshman, Forward, 6.0 ppg
Russhard Cruickshank, Senior, Guard, 4.5 ppg
Tariq Balogun, Sophomore, Forward, 3.5 ppg
Isaiah Minter, Sophomore, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key New Players:
Iran Bennett, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Marshall
Braxton Beverly, Senior, Guard, Transfer from NC State
DaShawn Jackson, Freshman, Guard
Wade Pelfrey, Freshman, Guard
Trevin Wade, Junior, Guard, WeTransfer from Wichita State
Michael Wardy, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Jannson Williams, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Marshall
Getting Jomaru Brown back from injury will make a big difference. He played in just four games in 2020-2021 and averaged 18.4, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists back in 2019-2020. In Brown’s absence last year, Curt Lewis and Cooper Robb were thrust into action and performed quite well. Lewis tallied 11.1 points per game and ranked second on the team with 5.1 rebounds. Michael Moreno had a sensational sophomore season. The 6-7 forward hit 45.7 percent of his 140 attempts from beyond the arc. He also added 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Braxton Beverly returns to his home state after a great career at NC State where he left as the program’s fourth all-time leading three-point shooter. Trevin Wade never made much of an impact during his lone season at Wichita State, but he is a talented point guard who had a great season at the junior college level in 2019-2020. The frontcourt will look very familiar to some fans. Jannson Williams and Iran Bennett both come from Marshall. Williams, a 6-9 senior, averaged 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last year. Bennett missed most of last season, but the year prior he teamed up with Williams in the starting Marshall frontcourt and tallied 9.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. With all those additions, Eastern Kentucky has plenty of depth and more proven talent than any of their conference foes.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.8 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.7 (261, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (121, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.4 (215, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.6 (19, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.9 (74, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (183, 4)
Rebound Margin: -3.8 (288, 10)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (29, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (145, 2)