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Austin Peay State University Governors Basketball has six newcomers attempting to blend with returning players

 

APSU Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Governors - APSUClarksville, TN – It’s been a few years since Austin Peay State University men’s basketball game added as many scholarship players to its roster as it did for the 2014-15 season.

Back in 2010-11 the Govs actually brought in seven, including Will Triggs, TyShwan Edmondson and Josh Terry.

Austin Peay junior guard Khalil Davis drives on fellow newcomer, Josh Robinson, during practice. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay junior guard Khalil Davis drives on fellow newcomer, Josh Robinson, during practice. (APSU Sports Information)

Before that, turn the clock back to the 1999-2000 season when such players as Joe Williams, Theanthony Haymon and Josh Lewis—just to name three—were among a six-man recruiting class.

This season head coach Dave Loos and staff will attempt to blend six newcomers—two junior college transfers and four freshmen—with seven returnees this fall.

Those junior college transfers, 6-4 guard Khalil Davis and 6-8 forward Assane Diop, are expected contribute immediately. Davis was the Alabama Junior College Player of the Year and along with earning juco All-American honors. He was a player Loos targeted during last season’s recruiting process to help elevate the Governors.

“Khalil, first and foremost, when I walk through that door every day I am excited to be around him,” Loos said. “He is just an outstanding young man and pleasure to coach. But it takes more than that.

“Fortunately he is a very good basketball player. He has a great feel on how to play this game…on both ends of the court. He knows when to cut, receive a pass, find an open man who has made a cut or who has spotted up. He is terrific offensive rebounder. To look at him physically, that might be surprising.

“Offensively, he is slasher—he is a mid-range guy.”

After arriving in Kansas in 2012-13 but redshirting, Diop could have played another year at Cloud Community College (Concordia, Kan.). But he chose to push forward with his college career at the Division I level. Former teammate Ed Dyson was a Gov as was fellow Dakar, Senegal native Serigne Mboup. That contributed greatly to the lanky frontcourter ending up a Gov. Loos has been impressed with his offensive abilities, although he has been slowed by some nagging injuries.

“Assane is the first genuine stretch-four (forward) that we have had in a while,” Loos said. “When I say that he is a guy who can stretch an opponent’s defense with his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter. He runs well, he is aggressive and Assane is competitive.

“But he also will need to do is show he also can play the physical game Will Triggs played for us.”

The rest of the signees are freshmen and all are potential backcourt contributors. The 6-2 Josh Robinson led the St. Louis area in scoring last year, averaging 35.8 ppg for St. Mary’s.

“Robinson can score the basketball,” Loos said. “He has that knack of being able to shoot the ball in traffic…from spots and on off the dribble. He is especially good from midrange. He is a guy who can create and finish…but he still has a lot to learn on the other end.”

Chris Porter-Bunton, like Davis, stands 6-4 but weighs physical 195 pounds. He also was heavily recruited mid-major wide receiver and brings that football mentality to the basketball floor. Unfortunately, he is battling a lower leg injury that is expected to sideline him for a while.

“Porter-Bunton is just so competitive and athletic,” Loos said. “He can do a lot of things. He is a face-up guy who can shoot the basketball and runs the floor well. But he might be our best perimeter defender.”

Budrys was a player who fell through the cracks last year after moving from his home country Lithuania. He ended up in Nebraska but never was granted his eligibility by the state athletic association. After shaking off some rust from not playing competitively last year, the 6-4 Budrys is expected to a weapon from three-point range.

“Budrys can make a (perimeter) shot,” Loos said. “He is much better now than when he first got here…his head was swimming early on. He is a pretty good athlete and plays hard. He is a guy who can spot up but he also can make a shot off the dribble.”

The 5-10 Ivory is expected to help fill a void at point guard with senior Damarius Smith out the season’s first half. The son of former Gov forward Willie Ivory, the younger Ivory brings a hard-nosed approach and some future leadership qualities after being the floor general for a Louisville Trinity team that played for the Kentucky state championship last spring.

“Tre’ has played in a system, which is important to us,” Loos said. “He was extremely well coached in high school. He played in a really good system, one where possessions were valued. He has that toughness about him, he has that mentality you are not going to get the ball away from him.”

Those newcomers along with the seven returnees will be on display at the Peay Preview, 6:30pm, Thursday, October 16th.


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