Notebook: Men’s basketball season underway; Eastern last in OVC

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Men's Basketball Reporter

The 2018-19 college basketball season tipped off last week, and Eastern finds itself at the bottom of the Ohio Valley Conference early.

Eastern opened the season with two road matchups, falling to Texas last Tuesday by a score of 71-59 before dropping a game to IUPUI this weekend 71-65.

The roster overhaul for the Panthers undoubtedly contributes to the slow start, as the team features eight new faces for this season.

One of those incoming players has been great for Eastern, though, as transfer junior Rade Kukobat has posted 30 points, four steals and three blocks over the first two contests for the Panthers.

Eastern looks for its first win of the year this Saturday at 7 p.m. against Western Illinois.

The Panthers are not the only winless team in the OVC, as Tennessee State, Jacksonville State, Southern Illinois Edwardsville and Tennessee Tech have all failed to secure a victory this season.

Not all is bad for one of the winless squads, as Tennessee State transfer junior Donte Fitzpatrick Dorsey took home the OVC Newcomer of the Week award after posting a game-high 26 points against Lipscomb last week.

The Tigers’ next matchup comes against Carver Bible College on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, at the top of the conference, two teams remain undefeated.

The 2017-18 OVC Champion Murray State squad won its first contest of the year against Wright State last weekend by a 73-54 tally.

Racer freshman Tevin Brown won OVC Freshman of the Week honors after becoming just the seventh rookie in 19 years to open the season in the starting lineup, contributing 17 points, five boards and two assists.

Murray State faces Spalding University on Friday at 7 p.m.

Alongside the Racers in the standings is the team they faced in the OVC Championship last season—Belmont.

The Bruins tipped off the year with two double-digit victories in a three-day span against Illinois State and Middle Tennessee, respectively.

Junior Dylan Windler showed leadership for Belmont with 54 points and 17 rebounds in the two games combined.

The Bruins face Lipscomb this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in hopes for win number three.

The individual honor in the conference goes to OVC Player of the Week senior Nick Mayo from Eastern Kentucky after posting an average of 33 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and a steal per contest through two games.

The Colonels lost in their season opener 105-77 to Marshall before rebounding with an 81-78 win against Chattanooga.

Eastern Kentucky takes on Kansas State this Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Oscar Rzodkiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]