APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team travel to Dayton to face the 2016 Atlantic 10 regular season champion Dayton Flyers, 6:00pm, Friday, at UD Arena getting the Govs regular season underway at last.
The Govs handled Thomas More and Sewanee with relative ease during exhibition play, but the Flyers are a different caliber club altogether and have been especially tough to beat in home openers at UD Arena, owning a 43-4 mark that includes a 5-0 record under head coach Archie Miller on opening day in Dayton.
Dave Loos‘ charges will look to change all that, with Josh Robinson leading the way. A preseason All-OVC pick, Robinson’s move to the point was the catalyst for Austin Peay’s late-season success in 2015-16 and allowed wings Jared Savage and John Murry to blossom into reliable threats.
The Governors, who scored 80 points or more in five of seven games with Robinson as the point man last winter, will need to keep pace with a potent Dayton attack; the Flyers were 10-0 when scoring 80 or more last season.
Scouting the Flyers
With three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2014, the Flyers have become an A-10 power during Miller’s tenure—Dayton is 115-55 under Miller as he begins his sixth season at the helm.
Charles Cooke (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg last season) spearheads the attack; earlier this week, he was named to the Lute Olson Award Preseason Watch List. Scoochie Smith (11.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) and Kendall Pollard (10.3 ppg) are also back to help Cooke bear some of the offensive burden.
Last Time Out Against Dayton
In the 2006-07 season opener, the Govs dropped a 78-62 contest to the Flyers despite 16 points and nine boards from Fernandez Lockett. This will be Austin Peay’s fourth contest against the Flyers in a series dating back to 1991.
Keep An Eye On
- Robinson’s House
Robinson, firmly entrenched as point guard, will steer the ship in 2016-17 for the Govs; Austin Peay’s scoring average with Robinson at the point over the final seven games was 84.0 ppg, far outstripping its rate before he took command (74.2 ppg).
- Horton Gone
Unfortunately, there’s no manual for how to replace a legend who averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds last season, so Austin Peay will have to get by without the departed Horton, who was drafted by Grand Rapids of the NBA Development League, Sunday. Senior Kenny Jones (7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg) will be heavily relied upon, as will a cavalcade of faces old (Assane Diop, Chris Porter-Bunton) and new (Dre’Kalo Clayton).
- Firing Range
The Govs will have the green light in 2016-17; five returners attempted at least 25 three-pointers last season and Clayton was a 39-percent shooter from deep at Northwest Mississippi Junior College. The Govs nailed 13 three-pointers in the exhibition opener, highlighted by Glotta, who hit four from deep, with Robinson and Clayton hitting three apiece.
- Milestone Watch
Robinson needs 96 points for 1,000 in his career, while head coach Dave Loos is nine wins away from 500 as a collegiate head coach.
- Beat the Streak
The Govs look to snap a five-game losing streak in road openers and seek their first win in a regular-season opener since the 2013-14 season. Diving deeper, Austin Peay has not won a road opener in the year after winning a conference title—regular season or tournament—since 1997.
APSU Govs 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 www.LetsGoPeay.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/CultureofExcellence).