Eastern Kentucky 2010 CBI Tournament Preview
Eastern Kentucky Colonels - Ohio Valley Conference (20-12, 11-7)
Big Wins: 12/29 vs Morgan State (76-62), 1/4 Austin Peay (76-71), 2/20 Winthrop (77-57)
Bad Losses: 12/30 at Chattanooga (54-68), 1/7 at Jacksonville State (65-68), 2/13 at Eastern Illinois (54-77)
Coach: Jeff Neubauer
Probable Eastern Kentucky Starters:
Papa Oppong, Senior, Guard, 11.0 ppg, 1.4 apg
Joshua Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 2.5 apg
Justin Stommes, Junior, Guard, 14.2 ppg, 3.6 apg
Josh Taylor, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Spencer Perrin, Junior, Forward, 7.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Key Eastern Kentucky Roleplayers:
Willie Cruz, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 1.2 apg
Josh Daniel, Junior, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Dayvon Ellis, Senior, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
Why The Colonels Can Surprise:
There are two things Eastern Kentucky does very well…shoot the ball and avoid turnovers. On a good night, that little recipe can lead to some big wins. Justin Stommes is the star of the team and hits 41.8 percent of his attempts from long range. But the 6-7 wing does a lot more than simply shoot. He leads the team with 14.2 points and 3.6 assists per game and adds 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Stommes will carry this team and can help out in every way imaginable.
The group on the perimeter has a couple more shooters in Papa Oppong and Joshua Jones. Oppong connects on an impressive 44.3 percent of his shots from long range and can mix it up occasionally by getting inside the arc. Jones, despite his 6-4 size, takes most of his shots from long range. But nobody can complain about that since he hits 42.5 percent of his shots from out there and does a great job handling the ball.
Why The Colonels Can Disappoint:
Josh Taylor is listed as a forward, but he is really just another 6-6 wing. In fact, Taylor is the team’s most prolific three-point shooter and knocks down 2.3 per game. While Taylor does do a decent job on the glass for a player who spends a lot of time on the perimeter, the Colonels are an awful rebounding team. Spencer Perrin, who is only 6-5, is the only player on the roster who even pretends to be an interior player and even he is not opposed to stepping outside and trying his luck with an outside shot. On the year Eastern Kentucky gets outrebounded by an average of 8.6 boards. They have to keep their turnovers down to neutralize that number and at least do their best to try and avoid giving up easy buckets off of offensive rebounds.
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Who To Watch for Eastern Kentucky:
Perring was even benched for a time giving Willie Cruz the start. Cruz is a decent rebounder for a 6-4 guard, but not good enough to make much of a difference in the rebounding margin. While this is a team that has some size on the perimeter, there is nothing that can be done to help out the frontcourt on the glass. Cruz can provide some quality minutes off the bench, but the other reserves, Dayvon Ellis and Josh Daniel, are shooters. Eastern Kentucky will live by the three and die by three. If they happen to be hitting the long ball they can hang around with anybody, but the lack of size and strength in the frontcourt will catch up with them.
Eastern Kentucky By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (120th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.4 (129, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (38, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.2 (305, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.9 (2, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (16, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (56, 2)
Rebound Margin: -6.9 (324, 10)
Assists Per Game: 15.6 (27, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.5 (3, 1)