APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team will participate in the 14th annual Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, set to be held, November 27th-28th, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
The Governors will face Brown, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Thursday, November 27th in a 1:00pm, CT tip, The other semifinal will feature Stephen F. Austin vs. Prairie View A&M. The Govs will play one of those two teams, Friday, November 28th, at either 1:30pm or 4:00pm CT.Each team will play four games in the Invitational – the first two at on-campus sites and the final two at the Orleans Arena.
Hosting more than 200 events each year, the Orleans Arena is located just west of the Las Vegas strip and was recently named the No. 1 mid-size arena in the USA by Venues Today magazine.
As part of the trip the Governors first will travel to Illinois, Friday, November 21st, before heading east to face Indiana State, Monday, November 24th.
“We are excited about being involved in this,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “We are going to be able to accomplish a couple of goals in this event. One, is financial and the second providing us tough competition that is important in getting our team ready for conference play.”
APSU is coming off a 12-18 season and return 6-8 center Chris Horton, who averaged 13.2 ppg along with 9.5 rpg and 3.1 bpg. Also back is guard/forward Ed Dyson, who averaged 9.9 ppg but scored in double digits in nine of his last 10 outings. Also returning are guards DeeDee Smith (8.0 ppg) and Zavion Williams (8.3 ppg).
Illinois returns all five starters from last year’s club that won 20 games and advanced to the NIT Second Round. Highlighting the returnees are seniors Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams and Nnanna Egwu. Rice was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick after leading the Illini in scoring (15.9 ppg) and steals (1.7 spg) while ranking second in rebounding (6.0 rpg). Point guard Tracy Abrams was second on the Illini in scoring (10.7 ppg) and led the team in assists (3.2 apg), while center Nnanna Egwu was the team’s top rebounder (6.0 rpg) and totaled the program’s second-most single-season blocked shots (73).
Indiana State is coming off an outstanding campaign in 2013-14, finishing with a 23-11 overall record and a second-place Missouri Valley Conference finish. The Sycamores made their second consecutive trip to the NIT. Junior Khristian Smith (10.5 ppg) heads a group of eight returning letter winners. Justin Gant returns for his senior season after averaging a career-best 10.2 ppg last season.
Stephen F. Austin is coming off a historic 32-3 season that saw it go a perfect 18-0 in the Southland Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament third round. Lady by Southland Conference coach of the Year Brad Underwood, the Lumberjacks will return 6-6 senior forward Jacob Parker, who averaged 14.2 ppg as a junior and was Southland Player of the Year along with being selected a Lou Henson All-American. Also back is 6-4 senior guard Thomas Walkup, who averaged 13.1 ppg, along with junior point guard Trey Pinckney, who averaged 3.5 assists per game last season. The trio started all 35 games a year ago.
Prairie View is coming off back-to-back Southwest Athletic Conference championship game appearances and returns its top three leading scorers. Junior guard Montrael Scott is expected to lead the way after averaging 14.9 ppg in 2013-14 followed by guard John Brisco (12.2 ppg) and forward Demondre Chapman (11.6 ppg). In fact, the Panthers return has a roster full of returnees, including 169 of 170 starts from the 2013-14 season.
“There are quality teams on our side of the bracket,” Loos said. “Indiana State and Illinois are both outstanding and we have both on the road. And then when we get to Vegas we are looking at Brown and either Stephen F. Austin or Prairie View. They are quality teams who had good years last year and bring back quite a bit of talent.”
This is the second tournament the Governors have played in Vegas under head coach Dave Loos. APSU opened the 2001-02 season in the Las Vegas Tournament.
The remainder of the 2014-15 Governors schedule will be announced at a later date.