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Basketball Governors picked third in preseason All-OVC poll

 

apsugovernorsAustin Peay State University has been picked to finish third in a preseason Ohio Valley Conference poll of league coaches and sports information directors. In addition, senior guard Wesley Channels has been voted preseason All-OVC.

That was announced Thursday in a basketball preseason media-day teleconference.

The Governors, who finished tied for second in the OVC a year ago at 13-5 and lost in the league tourney championship game, received 114 points, leaving them behind league co-favorites Morehead State and Murray State, which not only received 10 first-place votes each but finished with 154 points as well.

Austin Peay has had tremendous success in the league over the last decade, including advancing to the OVC Tournament Championship game in six of the last seven seasons. The Governors claimed that crown in 2008 but came up just short in 2007 (1-point loss) and a year ago (2-point loss in double overtime).

APSU head coach Dave Loos enters his 20th season leading the program. The “Dean of OVC Coaches,” Loos has won 314 games at Austin Peay, which ranks as the second-most wins in OVC history. Loos trails Cal Luther (319 wins at Murray State and UT Martin) by just five victories. The 2009-10 Govs return just two seniors, Channels and Ernest Fields, who is expected to be out at least until late December with knee issues. The Govs are one of the nation’s youngest teams, with nine underclassmen on the roster.

“It is nice to be picked in the upper half of the league,” Loos said. “But quite honestly, I wonder to some degree what it is based on. This current team has a lot to prove. Probably the high pick is based on what some other (previous) players have accomplished in the past. It is a statement on some of the tradition here. I hope we are that good; we hope to be. I hope we prove ourselves worthy of what others think of us.”

Eastern Illinois (105 points) was closely behind APSU in fourth place in the preseason poll followed by Eastern Kentucky (93), Jacksonville state (86), Tennessee Tech (76), UT Martin (55), Tennessee State (44) and Southeast Missouri (19).

Channels was a second-team All-OVC choice a year after averaging 16.5 ppg, while connecting on 79 three pointers, and 3.1 apg in helping the goes go 19-14 overall.

“I think it is very deserving,” Loos said. “I think he has proven himself as one of the impact guys in this league. The big thing is what you mean to your team and I think he means so much to this team on both ends of the floor along with being a leader.

“It (preseason All-OVC) is really deserving. I hope he continues his growth–I hope he will have a huge senior year because it will help him and us. We need that from him.”

Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried, the 2009 OVC tourney most valuable player, was named preseason Player of the Year. Joining Faried and Channels on the 10-man preseason all-OVC team were Ivan Aska, Isaac Miles and Danero Thomas, Murray State; Tyler Laser and Romain Martin, Eastern Illinois; Darius Cox, Tennessee State; Maze Stallworth, Morehead State, and Justin Stommes, Eastern Kentucky.

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