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Austin Peay (0-0) vs. #18/#20 Vanderbilt (0-0)
Friday, November 13th, 2015 | 7:00pm
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team faces a tall order literally and figuratively when it plays Vanderbilt, 7:00pm, Friday, in Memorial Gym to open the 2015-16 season.
The contest represents the first game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Vanderbilt eventually will end up in Maui for its final three games while APSU, after playing at Indiana, Monday, heads to Greeley, CO, to play its final two games.Not only will the Governors be facing the nation’s No. 18 preseason ranked team in the Commodores, they will be play a team whose roster boasts five players who stand taller than 6-8.
APSU will take just one player—senior center Chris Horton—that stands 6-8 or taller.
In fact, the Commodores are led by 7-0, 250-pounder All-SEC center Damian Jones (14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg) while 7-1 Frank Kornet (8.7 ppg) flanks him up front.
“They are big, no question, and they make shots,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “They have a number of good shooters on their basketball team…and not just guys we normally view as guards. They have some bigs who can make shots.
“Their size—Damian Jones is just an outstanding player who can beat you with his athleticism—and ability to put the ball in the basketball is the big challenge. They have excellent guards who can shoot the basketball.”
Vanderbilt is coming off a 21-14 season that saw the then-young Commordores finish 10-4 down the stretch. Returning seven of their top eight players from that team has vaulted them into national consideration.
The sophomore tandem of Williams Baldwin IV (9.3 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Riley LaChance (12.3 ppg) were members of the SEC All-Freshmen team a year ago and provides Vandy one of the top young backcourts in the south, if not the country.
The Govs faced Jones and Kornet, in particular, two years ago in APSU’s narrow 58-56 road loss. Both have evolved in their respective roles. The new rules, emphasizing eliminating some of the physical play in the post, has Loos concerned entering the contest since the Govs are so few in numbers inside.
“College basketball could be off to a rough start this year until people figure out what the expectations are going to be and how you are going to have to play,” said Loos, now in his 30th head-coaching season. “We have to be really concerned. It’s imperative we keep the right people on the floor. We cannot have Chris Horton in foul trouble. But with our few number of people with size it is going to be very important we keep those people out of foul trouble.”
“We are anxious to play,” Loos said. “For us it is about effort and attitude and going out there playing hard. The effort and attitude to this point has been encouraging. We have had our moments. We have not executed as well as we would have liked and we also had a few times where I thought the effort could be better.”
Keep An Eye On
Inside the Vanderbilt Series
The Series: Austin Peay trails the series, 2-14
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TV • SECN+
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TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Basketball, APSU Men's Basketball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Chris Horton, Clarksville TN, Commodores, Damian Jones, Dave Loos, David Loos, Governors, Governors Sports Network, Govs, Indiana, Jared Savage, Josh Robinson, Kevin Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers, Maui Jim Maui Invitational, Memorial Gym, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Riley LaChance, Scott Chase, SEC, Sewanee, Southeastern Conference, Vanderbilt, Zach Glotta
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