APSU Govs picked as Co-Champs, Terry Taylor repeats as OVC Preseason Player of the Year
Brentwood, TN – After earning acclaim from the Ohio Valley Conference’s coaches and sports information directors two weeks ago when the league’s official preseason poll and preseason All-OVC teams were released, Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 revealed what the assembled OVC media pundits think of the Govs heading into 2020-21.
Verdict? Austin Peay State University is expected to be pretty good.
The media picked the APSU Govs as co-favorites to win the league, alongside rival Murray State, with both programs earning six first-place votes and 145 total points in the predicted order of finish.
Additionally, Terry Taylor was tabbed as the media’s Preseason Player of the Year for the second year in a row.
This is the seventh year in a row the league’s media members have chosen a preseason poll, and the first one the Governors have been favorites or co-favorites. Belmont picked up the other first-place vote in being picked third (137 points). Eastern Kentucky was picked fourth (115), followed by Eastern Illinois (98), Tennessee State (92), Jacksonville State (80), Tennessee Tech (56), Morehead State (54), UT Martin (46), SIU Edwardsville (29) and Southeast Missouri (17).
Taylor’s achievements are well-documented at this point. The Bowling Green native averaged 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds—the first APSU Gov to average 20 and 10 since Otis Howard in 1977-78—while hitting 55.0 percent from the floor and averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game last season. He was the only player in the OVC to average more than a block and a steal per game last season—he recorded multiple blocks, steals or both in 22 of 33 games—and earned a league-record tying eight OVC Player of the Week honors.
Nationally, Taylor ranked among the Top 10 in total field goals (285, fourth), total minutes (1209:55, seventh), total rebounds (362, seventh), double-doubles (18, seventh), total points (718, eighth), offensive rebounds per game (4.00, eighth) and rebounds per game (11.0, tenth).
Taylor was one of four players in Division I to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game a year ago, and was the only player in the nation to lead his league in both scoring and rebounding. Last year, he became the only player in school history to start his career with three-straight 500-point seasons.
He’s one of four active Division I players with 1,900 career points and 900 career rebounds, a trajectory that would make him just the fifth OVC player with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds early in his senior season. Among active Division I seniors, Taylor leads the way in total rebounds, rebounds per game, total field goals and double-doubles—all categories he also leads active OVC players in.
Pollsters for the 2020-21 OVC Media Poll included: Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Rob Calhoun, Eastern Illinois Radio; Wes Chandler, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; Michael Dann, Harrisburg Daily Register; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio; Brian Rives, Governors Sports Network; Jeremy Rose, Murray State Radio; Harry Schroeder, ValleyHoopsInsider.com; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; and Rich Tiner, Belmont Radio Network.
2020-21 OVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Austin Peay (6 first-place votes) – 145 points
Murray State (6 first-place votes) – 145 points
3. Belmont (1) – 137
4. Eastern Kentucky – 115
5. Eastern Illinois – 98
6. Tennessee State – 92
7. Jacksonville State – 80
8. Tennessee Tech – 56
9. Morehead State – 54
10. UT Martin – 46
11. SIUE – 29
12. Southeast Missouri – 17
2020-21 Preseason Player of the Year: Terry Taylor, Austin Peay