2022 Record: 23-14 (12-6)

Coach: A.W. Hamilton (87-74 Career Record)

Eastern Kentucky is in a prime position to win the ASun conference this season and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament. They return 85% of their production last season and brought in 2 solid transfers via the portal. Coach A.W. Hamilton has things rolling and the Colonials could be a surprise team not only on the mid major scope, they could raise a few eyebrows on the nationals scope as well.

Lineup Prediction:

PG: Tayshawn Comer (8.0 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 3.6 Ast)

SG: Devontae Blanton (16.9 Pts, 6.1 Reb, 2.8 Ast)

SF: Pierce Thomas (Butler 2.2 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 0.7 Ast)

PF: Michael Moreno (11.1 Pts, 6.5 Reb, 1.9 Ast)

C: Isaiah Cozart (9.9 Pts, 7.5 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

6: PG Leland Walker (9.4 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 2.7 Ast)

7: SG Colin Cooper (Central Arkansas 10.2 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 1.5 Ast)

8: SF John Ukomadu (5.0 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

9: C Dardan Kapiti (4.4 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

10: PG Turner Buttry (3.1 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.6 Ast)

11: SG DaShawn Jackson (2.6 Pts, 1.0 Reb, 0.7 Ast)

12: SG Jackson Holt (2.1 Pts, 0.7 Reb, 0.5 Ast)

13: C David Onanina (RS)

Eastern Kentucky returns their top 5 scorers from a team that went 23-14 placing top 3 in the ASun conference and Top 150 in Kenpom. Eastern Kentucky returns the most production from any team in the conference and also added 2 transfers via the portal in Central Arkansas guard Colin Cooper, a double digit scorer in the ASun. The Colonels also added Pierce Thomas from Butler, a former 3 star guard that showed solid flashes in his RS Freshman year at Butler.

The Colonels are headlined this year by returning leading scorer from last seasons team Devontae Blanton. He is a proven 3 level scorer entering his senior season and averaged 17ppg last year on 37% from beyond the arc. Also returning are big man duo Michael Moreno and Isaiah Cozart. Moreno is more of the stretch 4 type of player that has the range and shot 39% from 3 last year on nearly 7 attempts per game. Cozart is the true interior presence for EKU, at 6-7 240 lbs he hasn’t attempted a single 3 in his college career but he excels at grabbing the boards.

Some of the other notable returners include freshman guard duo Leland Walker and Tayshawn Comer both are true point guards with the ability to control the game and get their teammates involved. Both should improve on their numbers last year and either one could be in line for a breakout season this year.

I would expect Eastern Kentucky to win the ASun this season. Although it won’t be a walk in the park with other teams such as FGCU, Lipscomb, and Kennesaw State. Eastern Kentucky is the deepest team in the conference, returns the most production in the conference, and is also most equipped to have a successful 2023-24 season. I could see the Colonels snagging a 13 seed in March Madness and giving a 4 seed a run for their money.