Men's Basketball

Cosey smoothly navigates move to point, leader for EKU

Eastern Kentucky senior Glenn Cosey scored 14 points with five assists in the Colonels' 75-56 loss at North Carolina State on Nov. 30. EKU plays at unbeaten Wisconsin on Saturday.
Eastern Kentucky senior Glenn Cosey scored 14 points with five assists in the Colonels' 75-56 loss at North Carolina State on Nov. 30. EKU plays at unbeaten Wisconsin on Saturday. AP

Among the questions facing Eastern Kentucky Coach Jeff Neubauer when this basketball season began was how would Glenn Cosey adapt to playing point guard.

Cosey, a 6-foot senior who played shooting guard as a junior-college transfer last year, has taken over at point from the graduated Mike DiNunno.

"I don't think it could have gone any better to this point," Neubauer said Wednesday. "Meaning that he played mostly as a 'two' man last year, where he didn't have the ball in his hands. But he has absolutely embraced the point guard position and he has made himself into a great distributor as well as a scorer."

With the Colonels off to a 7-3 start, Cosey leads EKU with 19.3 points and 4.9 assists a game, and is tied for second with 4.2 rebounds. He's averaging 3.4 three-pointers a game, shooting 42 percent from long distance. Add to that 91.8 percent accuracy at the free-throw line.

"Glenn has done a phenomenal job as a leader this year," Neubauer said. "Not only is he playing at a high level, but his focus has always been on winning. Since he walked through the door here at EKU, he's been focused on winning. He does talk in timeouts. He's communicating to his teammates about being careful as far as fouls; he's just talking about the right things. So he's led our team very well."

Cosey calls his position transition "good so far, better than what I expected."

"My teammates, they help me. We have ball handlers all over the court, so there's not that much pressure on me. ... The main thing is having the ball in my hands. Last year Mike had the ball in his hands and I would just be on the perimeter spotting up, waiting to catch it and shoot."

Cosey has come a long way since being raised in a single-parent family in Flint, Mich.

"It is a rough town. Flint is like top three in crimes every year," Cosey said. "It's easy to get off track and lose focus of what you're trying to do because so much is going on. You've just got to stay focused."

Focus helped Cosey get into junior college at Columbus (Ohio) State Community College.

There, he earned all-conference honors and averaged 17.4 points as a freshman. The next season, he made first-team All-American while averaging 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists.

From Columbus State, Cosey was set to transfer to Tennessee Tech. But the Golden Eagles had a change of heart and pulled a scholarship offer. He was told that some of his junior-college credits did not transfer, although he says that's not so.

Heartbroken, he was set to fly to Western Illinois and sign when Neubauer called.

The head Colonel had seen Cosey in high school during a summer AAU tournament, but had only seen video of his junior-college play.

"He ended up being a very late recruit for us. We had him come visit in August, and he came in and showed up at school a couple weeks later, so we were very fortunate to get Glenn," Neubauer said. "Obviously, he had a great year last year and he's significantly better this year."

Cosey earned all-district and Ohio Valley Conference all-newcomer team recognition last season, leading EKU with 15.2 points a game and second in assists.

He also had the chance to play against Tech.

"We beat them twice last year and I played OK against them," he said. "But I think it was the best decision for me because they're losing and we're winning, so I love this school."

Eastern, which took Virginia Commonwealth to overtime before falling 71-68 last weekend, faces an even bigger challenge Saturday.

The Colonels will visit Wisconsin.

"They're 10-0 (going into Wednesday night's game) and they're ranked fourth in the country, and they guard better than anybody else in the country," Neubauer said. "So we really do need guys who are special offensive talents like Glenn to have special games, just to score. Wisconsin went to Virginia last week and held them to 38 points as a team, so they obviously are very defensive oriented and we are fortunate we've got a couple guys that can score and shoot it, and those guys are going to have to have a special game against Wisconsin."


Eastern Kentucky at No. 4 Wisconsin

When: 1 p.m.