First Look at Eastern Kentucky-Maryland

Crowdsourcing: that's my type of thing. Reader jellisjenius already gave a quick preview of Eastern Kentucky, so if you want it short and sweet, I'd suggest you check that out.

To rehash some of his points, Eastern Kentucky does one thing well, and they do it extremely well: shoot the ball. One of the best teams from 3 in the nation, EKU has plenty of shooters: four of their starters shoot above 40% from beyond the arc. They're seventh in the entire country in eFG%, and shoot above 40% from 3 as a team.

They're also a slow-down team, with one of the slowest tempos in the country. As a mid-major, that makes sense: time and the 3-pointer are both talent equalizers. Make the game shorter and make your baskets worth more, and you have a chance.

They're yet to get down an impressive win and lost to both Pittsburgh and Murray State, but their shooting makes them a dangerous team. They tend to take care of the ball, too, and their offensive efficiency would be good for a high-major, let alone a mid-major. Offensively, they could be dangerous.

Maryland will probably go man-to-man or use an extended zone to bother EKU's shooters. Unlike Villanova, however, the zone probably won't kill Maryland in rebounding: EKU's 314th in the nation in offensive rebounding %, and even worse defensively. Much of that can be attributed to their size, or lack thereof - they have big guards but very small forwards, and most everyone falls into a 6-4 to 6-7 range. Jordan Williams may feast.

Aside from terrible rebounding on both ends, they're at best average defensively. As long as they don't make all their ridiculous shots - which would be plenty surprising - Maryland should be able to win comfortably.

I do, however, have an interesting tidbit about Eastern Kentucky's mascot: they're the Colonels. As in, Colonel Sanders. The logo bears a striking resemblance to Harland himself, and when the name was instituted - 1963 - KFC was at the top of its game. If there's an Eastern Kentuckian that would set us straight here, I'd really appreciate it, because I'm pretty sure that EKU named their university's mascot after this guy.

Or, of course, it could be a more general reference to the "Kentucky Colonel" title, but then why make him look like Sanders?

Regardless, if I were forced to make a wager, I'd bet three wings that Maryland wins by at least double-digits and Jordan Williams earns his second double-double on the year.

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