Austin Peay Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – After nearly a month of practicing and playing against itself, a new-look Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team finally will play someone else, 6:00pm, Saturday, when the Govs battle Webster College in an exhibition contest in Dave Aaron Arena.
The Governors will combine seven returnees, including preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference selection Chris Horton (13.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg), 92 blocks) with six newcomers Saturday and Dave Loos, heading into his 25th APSU season, is anxious to see how his club begins to mesh.
“I think we are ready to play,” Loos said. “We are not playing as well as we will be but we are anxious to play. We have about worn each other out.”
“I want to see us under game conditions, with the lights on and the fans there. It will be a little different stage. Our practices have been at 7:00am in the morning so playing in the evening certainly will be one change and it will be interesting to see how they respond.”
“The question often asked is how we are going to replace Betran and Triggs,” Loos said. “I think it is really important people try not to do too much. As I have said many times (in the preseason) is we need to improve our defense, take care of the basketball and limit our turnovers and shoot better from the free-throw line. The offense will take care of itself and our defense will help create some of the points we will need to make up.”
In addition to Horton, arguably the OVC’s most improved player a year ago, the Govs also return wing Ed Dyson (9.9 ppg). The 6-4 senior emerged the latter half of OVC play, becoming a reliable perimeter performer, shooting 47 percent from three-point territory in league play.
Two newcomers also are expected to crack the lineup—6-4 junior guard Khalil Davis, the Alabama Junior College Player of the Year in 2012-14, and 6-8 sophomore forward Assane Diop, who joined fellow Senegal native Serigne Mboup as a Governor. Diop could be APSU’s best perimeter-shooting since Mike Head in the late 1990s. In addition, 6-6 senior Chris Freeman and the 6-8 Mboup—both returnees—will provide depth up front.
Davis and Dyson are expected to gain support from freshmen Josh Robinson, who averaged nearly 36 points per game as a St. Louis prep star a year ago, and Domas Budrys, a Lithuanian sharp-shooting perimeter specialist.
The Govs largest question is at point guard with Damarious Smith suspended for the season’s first half. That situation became even more complicated when potential starter Jeremy Purvis sprained an ankle earlier this week As a result, Zavion Williams, who opened 2013-14 as the point guard starter, will get the nod with freshman Tre’ Ivory getting his feet wet from the outset.
“One of our coaches described it as the ‘want-to factor,'” Loos said. “This team has that. They have been every enthusiastic in practice and coachable. They effort has been pretty good. They want to do it and now it is a matter of ironing out the details.”
And that first opportunity to do so will take place Saturday night.