RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team held its first official preseason practice on Monday at McBrayer Arena, and it is clear head coach Dan McHale is excited about his 2017-18 Colonels.
“This team has so much balance – from a chemistry standpoint, from an athletic standpoint and from an overall style-of-play standpoint,” McHale said. “I’m finally getting excited to play multiple lineups. We can play big and we can play small. We are going to press. And we’re going to play great defense.”
Junior Nick Mayo (18.5 points / 6.5 rebounds-per-game in 2016-17) was tabbed the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year, while Butler transfer Jackson Davis was named the Preseason Newcomer of the Year last week by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
Mayo, Davis and senior forward Zach Charles (7.0 points / 6.5 rebounds-per-game) are expected to form a formidable frontcourt for the Colonels this season. Sophomore DeAndre Dishman (a team-best 61.5% field goal percentage) should also contribute.
In all, EKU returns five of its top six scorers from last season, including Mayo, Charles, Dishman and guards Asante Gist (15.9 points / 3.9 assists-per-game) and Dillon Avare (62 three-pointers made).
What can the fans expect out of the Colonels this season?
“Hardwork, commitment and passion,” McHale said. “You can’t forge culture. You can only form it over time. And I can really say that, in my third year, we have formed a great culture here. Now, hopefully that culture leads to great results on the court, and I think we’re really close to having that.”
EKU’s practice schedule for the rest of the week looks like this:
Tuesday, October 3: 12:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, October 4: 12:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Thursday, October 5: OFF
Friday, October 6: 12:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, October 7: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. AND 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Colonels will host a Maroon-White Scrimmage on Saturday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m. at McBrayer Arena, while Halloween Hoopfest is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Both events are FREE to all fans.
EKU travels to Houston on Friday, November 10, to open the 2017-18 season at Rice.