We now know the final undefeated team in the nation isn’t coming from the OVC this year, as Eastern Kentucky suffered their first loss of the season on the road at No. 10 Illinois.
If you want to know how important your non-conference schedule is, consider this: Belmont got thumped this weekend by No. 9 Kansas, and was handed their third loss of the season. Murray State got a win against a top-100 RPI rated team in Western Kentucky. As of this morning, the Bruins are still 23rd in RPI rating, according to BB State. The Bruins, who have played the 11th toughest schedule this year? 23rd, despite having two more losses.
Eastern Kentucky, now with their first loss? 87th. The schedule matters.
Tennessee Tech 69, Milwaukee 58
Belmont 60, Kansas 89
UT Martin 51, St. Louis 73
Eastern Kentucky 53, Illinois 66
Western Kentucky 70, Murray State 75
LeMoyne-Owen 39, Tennessee State 79
Three Point Shot
- On Friday, if you asked me who was the best team in the OVC, I would have said Belmont. But now? Belmont has lived off the three all season, and I’m not sure if they have enough of an inside game to compensate if Ian Clark and company go dry from downtown. Of course, the OVC doesn’t have frontcourts as formidable as Kansas, but I was somewhat shocked to see just how bad they lost on the road.
- Austin Peay committed 28 turnovers. Again. For the second straight game. It’s a bit more understandable against Memphis than say…Arkansas State. The Governors are now averaging 18.5 turnovers a game, 336th in the nation. I asked the question on twitter this weekend if the Governors are any good. If they can’t hold onto the ball, the question has been answered.
- Game in and game out, it becomes more apparent how much the Racers need Latreze Mushatt healthy. After hearing that Mushatt could be ready possibly later this month, Racers head coach Steve Prohm indicated after a win at Western Kentucky that the senior forward might not be ready until late January, or even February. Maybe he’s just throwing us off the scent, so to speak, but I’m not sure how much longer the depleted frontcourt of the Racers will last. That being said, Brandon Garrett continues to improve game after game.
Player of the Weekend in a win: Brian Williams, Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks three point shooting woes have been well documented by me this season, and for good reason. Heading into the weekend, Williams was 8-35 behind the arc. He finished 6-10 against Presbyterian, finishing with a game high 25 points.
Player of the Weekend in a loss: Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels may have lost this weekend, but Walden was the spark for the Colonels when they cut a double-digit Illini lead to four in the second half. The Stetson transfer finished with 21 points on 9-13 shooting.
Unsung Hero of the Weekend: Chris Freeman, Austin Peay. Why did I pick a guy with 0 points, one assist and one block in 16 minutes of play? Simple: he’s the only Governor who didn’t have a turnover.
Not your best night: Anthony Campbell, Austin Peay. Campbell had 14 points on 5-8 shooting, which is good, but the senior forward also accounted for 6 turnovers, and pulled down just three rebounds on the night. The scoring is good, as were the 4 assists. But you need him on the glass, and you can’t have that many turnovers.
Team Trending Upwards: No one? No team really impressed this weekend. Murray State got the best win by far, but it was a struggle against a team missing their best player, and their second best player missed most of the 2nd half due to injury. Tennessee Tech’s win over Milwaukee was expected, and Jacksonville State downright struggled against a not great Presbyterian. So, yeah. No one.
Team Trending Downwards: Austin Peay. 56 turnovers in two games is awful. Four games with 20+ turnovers this season is bad. A good chance to right the ship Tuesday hosting Lispcomb, though.