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Morehead St. faces rebuilding

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — Morehead State, last year’s Ohio Valley Conference tournament champs, must learn to live without Kenneth Faried.

The two-time OVC Player of the Year averaged 17.5 points a game as a senior and set an NCAA modern-era record for career rebounds. Taken 22nd overall by the Denver Nuggets, Faried led the Eagles to a 62-61 upset of Louisville in the NCAA tournament and was the first ever NBA first-round pick for the school.

“We understand at this level Kenneth Faried is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime type player,” coach Donnie Tyndall said.

Seniors Terrance Hill and Ty Proffitt are joined by sophomore Drew Kelly as returning starters and will need to share their NCAA experience with 10 newcomers to the program. Senior guard Lamont Austin and sophomore forward Dionte Ferguson are returning letterwinners.

The Eagles got off to a rocky start, dropping their first exhibition to NAIA opponent Mountain State 84-69. Junior Milton Chavis scored 15 in his debut.

They open the season with a stiff test at North Carolina State on Nov. 13 and follow up two days later at College of Charleston with an 8 a.m. game as part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Another early non-conference trial comes Nov. 22 against West Virginia in Charleston.

“Our schedule is very, very challenging,” Tyndall said. “Possibly the most challenging schedule in my six years.”

Morehead State is picked fifth in the OVC preseason poll after finishing 25-10 last season.