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APSU Men’s Basketball kickoff season at Vanderbilt

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Women's BasketballClarksville, TN – With exhibition play in the rearview mirror, Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team gets the regular season underway with an 8:30pm, Friday, November 10th, 2017 venture to Memorial Gym to face Vanderbilt.

The Govs dispatched Sewanee with ease in exhibition play, but squaring off against a veteran Commodore squad will make for a solid early-season test for Matt Figger‘s first road outing as Governors head coach.

Austin Peay Men's Basketball set to begin first season under the guidance of Governors head coach Matt Figger Friday when they travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Men’s Basketball set to begin first season under the guidance of Governors head coach Matt Figger Friday when they travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. (APSU Sports Information)

The Commodores have been tough to top at Memorial over the years, going 11-5 at home in Bryce Drew’s first season and 207-24 against non-conference opponents at home since 1990.

The Govs look to add one to Vanderbilt’s loss column early in the season, and will rely on a mix of battle-tested veterans and precociously talented newcomers in their attempt to topple the Commodores.

Grambling State transfer Averyl Ugba looks to set the tone on the boards for the Govs—he averaged nearly 10 rebounds per game a year ago and will face a Vanderbilt unit which lost 30 percent of its rebounding from last season with the departures of Luke Kornet and Nolan Cressler.

Scouting the Commodores

Vanderbilt CommodoresSenior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, who averaged 13.9 ppg to lead Vanderbilt last season, returns as a preseason All-SEC second-team choice. He and Riley Lachance combined for 154 three-pointers in 2016-17, 12th-most among a returning duo in the NCAA.

The Commodores are one of three schools (UNLV and Princeton) to have made a three-pointer in each game since the line’s inception in the 1986-87 season; a three against the Govs would mark 1,000 consecutive games with a three-pointer for the Commodores.

Last Time Out Against Vanderbilt

Despite it being the beginning of an Ohio Valley Conference Tounament Championship-winning campaign, the 2015-16 season began auspiciously for Austin Peay, which dropped an 80-41 decision to the Commodores at Memorial Gym to kick off the slate.

Khalil Davis led the way with 10 points that night for the Govs, while Zach Glotta made the start and played 12 minutes as the true freshman point guard.

Keep An Eye On

Youth Will Be Served
With nine newcomers aboard after a program overhaul, the Govs will trot out one of the nation’s freshest rosters under first-year head coach Matt Figger. The Govs rank eighth in fewest returning starts (32), sixth in fewest returning lettermen (four) and fifth in returning minutes played (1,392).

Changes
Figger led a complete program overhaul during the spring, starting with a coaching staff that comprises almost entirely new faces. Rick Cabrera, Dalonte Hill and Sergio Rouco joined the staff as assistants, with Ryan McIntyre slotting into a newly-created Director of Operations position and Anthony Winchester coming aboard as Director of Player Development.

The lone holdover from last season is Hayden McClain, who transitioned from a graduate assistant to special assistant to the Head Coach.

Different Changes
Austin Peay men’s basketball regular-season home-opening contest against Oakland City, originally scheduled for a 7:00pm tip-off, November 16th, has been moved to November 15th at the same time. This is in conjunction with Austin Peay State University volleyball’s regular-season championship secured thanks to Saturday’s win; the Govs will host the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Championships in the Dunn Center, November 16th-18th.

International Men of Mystery
This Austin Peay squad will feature a distinctly international flavor. One of Figger’s first additions was Ivan Cucak, a seven-footer from Toronto who spent last season at Don Bosco (Indiana) Prep. Two Spanish national team fixtures also made the journey to join Figger in Clarksville, with 6-6 Acoydan McCarthy and 6-5 Joan Bernacer both slated to compete for early playing time in the backcourt.

DI Destinations
A pair of Division I transfers will come in and compete right away for the new-look Governors. Ed Stephens, a 1,000-point scorer from South Carolina State, comes over as a graduate transfer who can score the ball and provide leadership in the backcourt.

With Grambling State on probation, the NCAA granted Averyl Ugba a waiver to play immediately for the Governors this season; Ugba, an All-SWAC player last season, will provide huge boost for the Govs inside after averaging 13.0 points and a league-best 9.7 rebounds.

Ticket Information

Season ticket prices for the upcoming 20-date, 32-game home slate will vary depending upon the Governors Club membership level maintained; the higher level of Governors Club membership, the greater the discount that will be applied for season tickets. Included in the season ticket plan are 17 men’s games and 15 women’s contests.

Fans can purchase their season tickets or Govs Club memberships by contact the Governors Athletics Ticket Office at 931.221.PEAY [7329] or by email at tickets@apsu.edu.

Follow APSU Mens Basketball Online

Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay’s Official Athletics Facebook page often for up-to-date news about all Governor athletics, as well as the Governor men’s basketball Twitter page (@AustinPeayMBB).

Live stats will be available during the game at PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on www.ovcdigitalnetwork.com. Postgame video interviews and other videos from around APSU Athletics can be found on our YouTube page (www.youtube.com/letsgopeay).


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