RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year if you ask Eastern Kentucky head men’s basketball coach A.W. Hamilton. Yes, the holidays just passed and the new year is in the early stages, but January signifies the beginning of conference play.

The Colonels (8-6) are set to play in their first conference game as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-SUN) on Tuesday night.

“We had a great run, it was an exciting time, but it’s a new time,” Hamilton told Fox 56 Sports on Monday. “We’re excited about the new league and the new challenges, we’re excited for our fans they’re going to see a whole crop of new teams.”

With a new league brings new rivalries, and on Saturday, an in-state tilt between EKU and Bellarmine will be a talker. “The best part of it, conference play begins. That’s the most exciting thing about college basketball and then you look towards March.”

Tip-off against Central Arkansas is set for 7 p.m. at McBrayer Arena.