New men’s basketball season awaits

Sophomore guard, Jomaru Brown, shoots over Murray State’s guard, Ja Morant, during a game last season in Richmond.

Jomaru Brown, sophomore guard from Raleigh, N.C., is coming off a solid freshman season where he ranked seventh in the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring during conference play with 16.9 points-per-game, leading all the freshman in the league and ranked second in the conference in steals during the regular season with 60, setting a new EKU freshman record.

Brown was voted to the OVC All-Newcomer Team at the end of the season and on Oct. 22, he was named as one of the 11 members of the preseason All-OVC Team by league coaches and information directors.

“It’s a blessing honestly,” Brown said. “I didn’t really expect it. Coach [A.W. Hamilton] had told me and I saw it on Twitter and I was like ‘wow, it’s a blessing.’ Last year as a freshman and getting the achievements I got was a blessing.”

Brown emerged on the scene his freshman season with a 21-point performance in the win over Kennesaw State at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam on Nov. 19. A week later, he went for 14 points, six rebounds, a career-high six steals and three assists at then No. 6 Tennessee.

Brown credits graduate Nick Mayo for being a leader and helping him in his freshman season.

“Our leader Nick [Mayo] just told me to come in everyday and just work as hard as I can and he saw something in me and that I had a gift when it comes to scoring,” Brown said. “He would just say go get buckets and play your game.”

Brown believes he has improved over the off season and learned a lot over his first season.

“I’m going to try to get more assists and be a way better defender this season,” Brown said.

Head coach A.W. Hamilton said Brown has worked hard over the summer and gained 20 pounds.

“I’m proud of him and proud of all the guys,” Hamilton said. “We’re expecting to make a bigger jump this year.”

There are some changes coming to the court this season including new teammates and a new three point line.

“We got a new three point line, they moved back a little bit so I’ve been working on my three point and really just my all- around game,” Brown said.

Brown will be a scoring threat again this season for the Colonels, especially coming off last season when he averaged 14.4 points per game and closed out the season with a career-high 31-points versus rival, Morehead State, on March 2.

Brown is excited for the season and is ready to hit the hardwood on Oct. 31 against Berea College in an exhibition match up.

“We’re going to be the most conditioned team,” Brown said. “We’re going to get a lot of wins.”

The 2019-20 schedule includes every Division I school in the state and a couple Associated Press top 25 teams including the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

Brown is ready for the challenge ahead against the top opponents in the state.

“We got two AP top 25 teams on that big platform,” Brown said. “For the guys it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The Colonels tip off the regular season on Nov. 5 against the University of Tennessee Chattanooga at home. Tip off it set for 7 p.m.

As a team, EKU was picked sixth in the OVC preseason coaches poll.

Hamilton hopes to continue the fast- paced, press-for-40-minutes style he implemented last year in his first season. EKU ranked 13th in the country in scoring and second in both steals-per-game and turnovers forced-per-game in 2018-19.

Brown will be the center of a lot of the offensive attack, but Hamilton hopes to get other players involved in the scoring action.

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