Clarksville, TN – It’s been awhile, but Austin Peay State University men’s basketball team will shake off months of rust and uncertainty to take on Omaha in the opening contest of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, FL, to kick off a stay in the Sunshine State.
The Govs are guaranteed three games, beginning November 25th (1:00pm CT) against the Mavericks; the victor would have taken on the winner between Indiana State and East Carolina, November 26th (7:00pm CT), while the losers of those two contests would have squared off in the 1:00pm contest that day.
However, three of the teams scheduled to compete have dropped out, including the Sycamores, Pirates and Akron.
The schedule remains fluid, with times and opponents subject to change.
Every game at the event is scheduled to take place at Hertz Arena. All games will be streamed live and available on-demand at FloHoops.com.
About the Omaha Mavericks
The Mavericks went 16-16 a year ago, falling to Oral Roberts in the Summit League Tournament quarterfinals. Derrin Hansen, in his 16th season as head coach, returns 2020 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Matt Pile and Summit League Sixth Man of the Year Marlon Ruffin from last season’s squad; both were preseason all-league picks for the Mavericks heading into 2020-21.
Pile and fellow big Wanjang Tut patrol the paint for the Summit League darkhorse, and the Mavericks have an impetus on getting them touches early and often. Right away, the influx of post talent the Govs added to supplement Terry Taylor will be challenged on both ends of the court.
Last Time Against Omaha
This is Austin Peay’s first meeting with the Mavericks. The Govs are 5-9 all-time against Summit League opponents, with their most recent contest a win against Purdue Fort Wayne at home in 2018.
It will be the first meeting between the Govs and a Summit opponent on a neutral court; Western Illinois was a Division II opponent in a 1963 meeting and Oral Roberts was still two years away from joining the Midwestern City Conference (the precursor to the Horizon League) in a December 1977 neutral-site battle in Oklahoma during Lake Kelly’s first season.
Keep An Eye On…
Taylor stands among the elite in Division I in both scoring and rebounding; he’s the only returning Division I player who was among the nation’s Top 25 in scoring (21.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.0 rpg) a year ago.
A win would improve Austin Peay State University to 106-102 all-time at neutral sites; a loss would be Austin Peay State University’s first in a season-opening neutral site contest since 1989.
Taylor is the only Division I player in the nation to lead his league in scoring and rebounding, at 21.8 points and 11.0 boards, respectively, a year ago. He was one of four qualified Division I players averaging better than 20 points and 10 rebounds per contest last season.
Milestone Watch—Career: Taylor needs seven field goals to pass Drake Reed for third all-time program history. He needs 27 rebounds to take sole possession of third all-time from Austin Peay State University great Otis Howard, and he needs two steals to become just the fifth player in program history with 100 blocks and 100 steals in his career.
APSU Govs in the time of COVID-19
For the 2020-21 season, Austin Peay State University athletics will allow approximately 35 percent capacity in the Dunn Center for home basketball events. There will be no lower bowl seating for fans during the season. The lower level will be limited to players, coaches, and game-day support staff only.
Seats will be assigned to create a buffer between groups to ensure social distancing is maintained. Student seating will be located in sections AA-BB for both men’s and women’s games. Masks or facial coverings are required to enter the Dunn Center. They must remain in place at all times unless eating or drinking.
Austin Peay State University Govs Online
Check back at LetsGoPeay.com and on Austin Peay State University’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 PeayStats.com, and all home games and Ohio Valley Conference games can be viewed on the ESPN+ app; this week, FloHoops.TV will provide the coverage at a cost.