Preview: Austin Peay Governors
Governors should rise out of OVC basement with influx of new talent
2013-14 Ohio Valley Projected Standings1. Eastern Kentucky | 2. Belmont | 3. Southeast Missouri State | 4. Murray State | 5. Tennessee State | 6. Morehead State | 7. Eastern Illinois | 8. Austin Peay | 9. Tennessee Tech | 10. Jacksonville State | 11. Tennessee-Martin | 12. SIU-Edwardsville
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2012-13: 8-23 (4-12)
In-conference offense: 1.02 points per possession (9th)
In-conference defense: 1.10 points per possession (11th)
Up until last season, Austin Peay coach Dave Loos had not led the team to a below-.500 finish in conference play since 1992-93. Under Loos, the program has been remarkably consistent and always a winner, which is why the Governor faithful are hoping last season was an outlier for a usually stable outfit.
The team will get a major boost this season with the addition of Zavion Williams, a 5-foot-10 point guard who transferred from Lipscomb. Williams averaged 9.1 points and 2.6 assists per game as a freshman with the Bison, and has another year of development under his belt as he redshirted in 2012-13. The Governors desperately need a steadying hand at point guard, and with the infusion of Williams and several junior college guards, they should make progress at that position.
While the new guards will surely help Austin Peay, any team that won just eight total games needs improvement across the board. A lot of progress can be made if the Governors improve on basic fundamentals. Last season they were a poor free throw shooting team, careless with the basketball on offense and their rebounding was below average on both sides of the ball. The one sure thing on defense is sophomore Chris Horton. The 6-8 center posted a defensive rebound rate of 20 percent and a block rate of 13 percent as a true freshman. He will return to protect the paint for APSU this season as one of the most exciting young players in the league.
Coach Loos will need one of his four junior college transfers to bring some production and leadership this season to pair with returning seniors Will Triggs and Travis Betran. It is unlikely they will all gel to form a team in the mold of the great Governor teams of the past, but the infusion of new talent and rising players like Horton should keep them out of the OVC gutter in 2013-14.
Projected 2013-14 conference finish: 8th
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2013-14 Insider College Hoops Preview
In the lead-up to the 2013-14 college basketball season, Insider is providing preview articles on every Division I team, as well as essays from Insider's analysts and experts.