Eastern Kentucky University junior forward Nick Mayo has been tabbed the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.
Junior forward Jackson Davis has been named the OVC Preseason Newcomer of the Year by the same publication.
EKU is picked to finish fourth out of 12 teams in the OVC this season by Blue Ribbon, known affectionately as the “bible” of college basketball.
Mayo was voted first team All-OVC for the second straight year in 2016-17 after finishing the regular season ranked among the OVC’s leaders in scoring (fifth / 18.5 points-per-game), rebounding (12th / 6.5 rebounds-per-game), assists (15th / 2.8 assists-per-game), blocks (third / 1.4 blocks-per-game), field goal percentage (12th / 50.4%), three-point field goal percentage (12th / 39.0%) and free throw percentage (14th / 77.4%).
The 6-9 forward from Oakland, Maine is on pace to be EKU’s all-time leading scorer after he became the first Colonel ever to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore.
Davis transferred to EKU from Butler in the spring of 2016 and had to sit out all of last season.
The 6-8 forward was a highly sought-after recruit at Lafayette High School in Lexington. He was one of seven finalists for Kentucky’s 2014 “Mr. Basketball” honor after averaging 24.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks-per-game as a senior.
Mayo, Davis and senior forward Zach Charles (7.0 points / 6.5 rebounds-per-game in 2016-17) are expected to form a formidable frontcourt for the Colonels this season. Sophomore DeAndre Dishman (a team-best 61.5% field goal percentage in 2016-17) should also contribute.
In all, EKU returns five of its top six scorers from last season, including Mayo, Charles, Dishman and guards Asante Gist (15.9 points / 3.9 assists-per-game) and Dillon Avare (62 three-pointers made).
The Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is one of the most respected and trusted sources of college basketball information in the country. According to its website, “television commentators from ESPN, CBS and other networks rely on Blue Ribbon for their preparation, as do radio play-by-play announcers and print media. And NBA scouts use the book as a tool to help them find the next generation of talent.”
EKU travels to Houston on Friday, November 10 to open the 2017-18 season at Rice.
OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE BLUE RIBBON FORECAST
2. Jacksonville State
3. Murray State
4. Eastern Kentucky
5. Eastern Illinois
6. Tennessee Tech
7. UT Martin
8. Tennessee State
9. Southeast Missouri
10. Austin Peay
12. Morehead State
F-Nick Mayo, Jr., Eastern Kentucky
F-Terrell Miller, Sr., Murray State
F-Amanze Egekeke, Sr., Belmont
G-Jonathan Stark, Sr., Murray State
G-Austin Luke, Sr., Belmont
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nick Mayo, Jr., Eastern Kentucky
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Jackson Davis, Jr., Eastern Kentucky
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications