Two fairly predicable results yesterday leaves the OVC 2 games under .500 against Division I competition. If you’ve missed my earlier posts on the subject, this is actually much better than last year, when the OVC was more than 25 games under .500.
If you include all the non Division-I opponents, the conference appears to be doing even better, 44-34 on the young season with one day to go in November.
Just some perspective for you as we bring November to a close after today.
Three Point Shot
- SEMO forced 11 turnovers against a team coughing it up 20 times a game. Turned it over 18 times themselves. And won by 16. And of their 6 steals on the night, 5 came from their starting forwards. The guards know they’re supposed to defend too, right?
- Bobby Jones points scored against non Division I teams: 26, 13. Combined shooting 15-22. Against Division I teams: 5, 5, 8, 3, 3. Combined shooting 6-34. It’s not that he’s not getting minutes, he got 27 in last night’s loss. Either it’s bad shot selection, or he can’t shoot over defenders.
- How about a positive...Tyler Stone put up his 4th double-double of the season yesterday. He’s averaging over 9 rebounds a game, putting two OVC players (he and Murray State’s Ed Daniel) in the top 40 in the nation.
SEMO 83, New Orleans 67
If you didn’t read yesterday’s First Word, you should. Because I hit this one out of the park. In fact, let me just quote myself:
“SEMO hasn’t taken advantage of any turnover-friendly team this season”
As mentioned above, 11 turnovers against a team that coughs up 20 a game.
“New Orleans defense on the interior has been a weak point all season, something Tyler Stone and Nino Johnson should be able to take advantage of.”
Both finished with double-doubles.
In fact, the game went almost too according to plan. The Redhawks shot 53% on the night, held New Orleans to 38% on their home floor, as SEMO cruised to their 5th victory of the year. SEMO also nearly doubled up the Privateers on the boards.
You may also remember how I noted Corey Blake was 0-13 behind the arc this year? Add another 2 misses.
UT Martin 65, Memphis 93
I’ve been told I’ve been harsh on the Skyhawks this year, so let me start with some of the good things that happened tonight:
The Skyhawks pulled down 14 offensive rebounds against a bigger Memphis squad. Mike Liabo and Justin Childs had good games, finishing with 21 and 17 points respectively. Liabo’s number was the game-high. Myles Taylor added 16.
That leaves 11 points for the other 8 players on the floor for UT Martin. Oh, I guess I’m done with the list of good things.
I’ll admit, I have been harsh on the Skyhawks this year, but they’re far from the only team I’m harsh about. For example, see what I’ve written about…nearly every other team at some point this season. Part of it is just who I am, and part of it is that simply much of any critical writing of OVC teams doesn’t exist.
Sometimes, we need to point out the negatives. I’ve said at least three times now, and this will make four, that I do believe this year’s Skyhawks squad is better than last years. And I have to give them credit for a very tough November slate. (Not Tennessee State tough, but still pretty challenging) But outside of the Double OT loss to Arkansas State, UT Martin has four losses by double digits, and 0 wins against their own NCAA division.
On another positive note, though, UT Martin has a great chance to pick up their first Division I win of the season Saturday against Kennessaw State.