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Expect a much longer story on the Racers tomorrow morning, but here are some thoughts on tonight.

  • Does anyone remember the start of the game. The Racers opened with an 11-2 run well before the first media TO. You can’t open up a game on the road against a ranked opponent any better.
  • Or can you? Murray State went 4-10 from 3-point range in the first half, but many of those misses were great looks.
  • Ivan Aska, who finished with 12 points, was almost silent on the offensive end in the first half. His first made shot was a 3-pointer late in the half.
  • Memphis coach Josh Pastner said after the game that one of their goals to the game was “we couldn’t let their role players beat us.” Isaiah Canaan had a below average game in the scoring column (yes, 15 points is technically below average) but also dished out 7 assists to those “role players.”  (By the way, their role tonight. Just about anything you wanted it to be)
  • Donte Poole finished the game 6-8 from three point range. Can’t add anything to that.
  • Memphis run to end the first half was big, but so was the Racers response. If Murray State went into the locker room behind, I think it would have been a much different game. Lead was as small as 2, but Murray State led by 5 at the half.
  • Did no one notice the camera behind the backboard before the first half? Really? This is an NBA arena, with NBA level staff. Well, maybe.
  • 8-0 run to start the second half for Memphis had me worried. Wasn’t sure how the Racers would respond to losing the lead. Knew it would eventually happen, though.
  • That being said, the Racers responded blow for blow. Often times, when you see these “mid-major” versus “elite” team matchups, once the “elite” team makes a run, the “mid-major” team doesn’t respond. At no point in the first 38 minutes did I ever get the feeling that Memphis was an elite team, and that Murray was “lucky” to be in it. Murray State absolutely played like they expected to win, and they did.
  • What did trouble me some was Murray State’s early fouls in the second. They were on the plus side of the foul column throughout the entire first, and if there’s one half where you want to keep teams off the line, it’s usually the latter.
  • The last 2 minutes, I feel the refs were letting the teams play instead of calling it tight, which I usually like. The refs shouldn’t determine who wins and loses, and they didn’t. The problem is that while Memphis responded to that, Murray really didn’t. I got the feeling they were expecting fouls to be called, and not pushing the ball up the court as well as they should have. That being said, the refs were excellent tonight. They called the game the same way on both ends.
  • Here are words that Jeff Bidwell will love. The crowd was disappointing, but I think a lot of that credit goes to Murray. When Memphis made that run at the end, they were loud. The rest of the game? They made some noise when Memphis made their first mini-run to get the game to within 4 or 5, but after Murray responded, nothing. Except to yell at the refs some.
  • On the flip side, I could hear the Murray fans in the second half chanting when they made the run to put themselves up 10. Seriously. That’s how silent it was.
  • On the top 25 bit, there are still I believe 10 undefeated teams. Do you put all 10 into the top 25? If Murray is only one of 3 or 4, they’re top 25 no question. But saying Memphis isn’t a quality win in the Fed Ex Forum? Give us a better explanation than that, Seth Davis. That being said, putting Murray in the top 25 is a hard sell, because no one has seen them. Alaska games weren’t televised, heck even this game was on CSS. No one is watching the Racers, so how can they be expected to put the Racers in the top 25? Are they a top 25 team? Probably. But you can’t be surprised if they’re not in the Top 25 tomorrow. Seriously.
  • And a short rant: If I hear the word perfect season come out of anyone’s mouth, I’m going to throw something at you. They still have to go to Clarksville to play the Govs, who beat Tennessee Saturday and have John Fraley back in the lineup. Lipscomb, who the Racers play next,  just took Tennessee Tech to overtime at Tech’s place. If they get to 20 wins, then this is a discussion worth having. But 10? Give me a break.
  • But I will gladly have a discussion on whether this is the best win in Racers history. Vanderbilt gets the slight edge in my book because it was the tourney. But on the road, against a ranked Memphis in the Fed Ex Forum. #2 on my list, and #1 in the regular season.
  • Memphis is legit from an athletic standpoint, but their players make some of the worst decisions I’ve seen from a basketball team. According to the guy from the Commercial Appeal who sat next to me, that’s a fairly common problem for the Tigers.

Alright, that’s all I got for now. Check back tomorrow for more.

  1. Jonathan:
    The Alaskan shoot out games were on national tv. Although they were late at night and on fox college sports network. Anyone who is a voter should get that channel though. All that said, good to see an OVC team making some noise. Keep it up.
  2. Greg:
    Big win...but not bigger than beating NC State in NCAA tourney.
  3. Dan Thompson:
    How about a win over Western Kentucky when they were ranked in the top ten and finished the season in 3rd place in the NCAA tournament?
OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24