Brentwood, TN – Nate James‘ first year as head men’s basketball coach at Austin Peay State University (APSU) has a goal following Tuesday’s release of the Ohio Valley Conference’s Preseason Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason All-OVC Team. – prove the prognosticators wrong.
The Governors return just one regular starter – guard Carlos Paez – and six letterwinners from last season’s team that posted a 14-13 record and went 10-10 in OVC play. Among those six returnees, five started a game last season, and four saw action in at least 25 of the 27 contests.
In addition, James went right to work constructing a roster for the 2021-22 season, adding nine newcomers to the group of six Governors returnees. That group of newcomers includes four Division I transfers, a four-year college transfer, two junior college transfers, and two freshmen.
The preseason poll picked Belmont to repeat as league champion with 17 of the 20 possible first-place votes and 161 points. Morehead State, which claimed the tournament title last season, was picked second with the three remaining first-place votes and 141 points. Those two teams will be led by the league’s Preseason Co-Players of the Year in Belmont guard Grayson Murphy and Morehead State forward Johni Broome.
Following the Bruins and Eagles in the polling were Murray State (136 points), Southeast Missouri (101), Tennessee State (84), and Austin Peay (76). Trailing the Governors were SIU Edwardsville (65), Tennessee Tech (62), Eastern Illinois (43), and UT Martin (34).
Fans will have a chance to get their first look at James and the Governors during Govs Madness – an open practice and more that fans are invited to attend, free of charge, in support of the upcoming basketball season – 7:00pm, Wednesday in the Winfield Dunn Center.
Doors to the Dunn Center will open at 6:00pm, with giveaways for the fans that arrive early to support the Govs. Once the event begins, members of the Austin Peay men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in three-point and dunk contests. To wrap up Govs Madness, both teams will play a live scrimmage. Fans are encouraged to sit in the arena’s lower bowl for a close-up view of all the action.
James’ debut season will begin with a 7:00pm, November 4th exhibition against Life University – coached by Governors’ alumnus Kevin Easley (1997-01) – in the Dunn Center. Austin Peay kicks off the regular season at home with a 7:00pm, November 9th contest against UT Southern (formerly Martin Methodist).
For news and updates on everything Governors men’s basketball, follow along on Twitter or Instagram (@GovsMBB) or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.