Photo by EKU Sports

Coming into the 2016-17 season, second-year coach Dan McHale and the Colonels are fresh-faced and optimistic. After finishing with a less than sub-par record in the OVC (6-10) last year, the Colonels only return two starters and lose four bench players.

The lack of experience may prove to be a good thing however, as the Colonels return OVC Freshman of the Year Nick Mayo and bring in 10 new players in both talented freshmen and transfer students. With a year as head coach under his belt, McHale said he feels his team is ready to take the next step and have a much better season this time around.

Backcourt

  • Senior Isaac McGlone
  • Redshirt-Sr Jaylen Babb-Harrison

The Colonels’ backcourt is a complete mix of experience and youth. Isaac McGlone will be the steady hand that guides the Colonels throughout the season, as he comes off a year where he shot 40 percent from 3 and had a 5.7 assist to turnover ratio.

McGlone will be joined by Jaylen Babb-Harrison, who led the OVC in 3 point percentage (45.3). His role will likely increase this season.

Dujuanta Weaver, who played in 16 games before a season ending injury, and freshman Asante Gist, who led his high school to a 32-0 season will also help the backcourt.

Frontcourt

  • Sophomore Nick Mayo

Nick Mayo is the only returning big man from a year ago, and will lead off a young front court for the Colonels. He was voted OVC Freshman of the Year and selected as an All-OVC First Team player last season, in addition to being picked as a preseason All-OVC Player again this year.

Bench

  • To Be Determined

The offense will run through the young and talented big man, but finding him help will be McHale’s top priority. Junior forward Jackson Davis is one of many big men the Colonels brought in this season, but cannot play this year due to transfer rules. Jackson has played his last two seasons at Butler and was a Mr. Basketball finalist in the state of Kentucky two years ago.

With most of the roster being new, it is tough to tell how deep the Colonels can be. Transfer guard from Louisville Dillon Avare and freshman forward Marlon Adams got most of the bench minutes, each playing around 15 minutes a piece. Finding depth will be important if this team has a chance of going further in the OVC.

The Colonels the season against Auburn University for the Cancun Challenge, and after Auburn and Texas Tech, the team will travel to Mexico for a chance to win the championship.