Back to posting on here after an exhaustive week of coverage and everything we thought about the conference was turned upside down. Teams seen lifeless were resuscitated, and others that seemed to have a booked ticket to Nashville were left if their reservations offered full refunds. It was a fun week to say the least, college basketball in general was. With that said, let’s rank’em:
I’ll give the Racers their due, as all you who read this have wanted, but lets look at how they did it. They played defense, which I have harped on being an area that needed improvement, and they worked from the paint out to the arc. The Racers get double doubles from Brandon Garrett and Ed Daniel against TSU and the team as a whole got the line and converted 43 of 56 free ones. They rose to occasion but need to carry over more to maintain this spot. Racers go to Edwardsville and Charleston this week.
The Bruins came up just short in their game at Murray State but they were exposed badly by the Racers, something once again we have been harping on forever. They are not a physical in your face rebounding team and they have struggled against frontcourt teams, Murray and Morehead. That being said they came alive like they normally do in the second half and made up a 15 point deficit on the road. Bruins continue their roadtrip much closer to home however with just one game at Tennessee State.
Lets not focus too much on the game Tuesday, but the news was Mike DiNunno missing the game. Neverless this team hammered Morehead State just like they did on their homefloor Saturday night. The interesting thing for this team is that they seem to be embracing the fact they can’t get paint production and have actually started playing more 4 guard lineups. Will be interesting to see what they settle on. The Colonels return to the McBrayer Arena this week against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.
The Tigers committed fouls like their football team did on Saturday night, lets just say that. It was a tough for the Tiger faithful that got only worse with the injury to M.J. Rhett in the first half against the Racers. They didn’t show their athleticism that we know they have and seemed to just be tired, maybe a carry over from the OT game against Austin Peay. The Tigers look to pickup a key win on Thursday hosting Belmont and try to stay in the battle for the three seed.
I have to put a team at number five and have to punish a team for losing to TTU, so congrats Morehead you get this spot. Needless to say, you still have major issues including how to score the ball. Tempo is a great thing but you have to have athletic guards that can create their own shots in order to take advantage of the tempo. That being said, look at their conference record. Oh boy this will be a fun month. The Eagles stay at home this week hosting the Gamecocks and Golden Eagles.
You have to be pushed down a spot when you lose to a bad team, plus now you don’t have your head coach for the road trip up to Morehead. Sure no coach or team wants to make that trip but you still have to. Nothing much I can say as this team I wish was in the field this year so the bottom four spots wouldn’t be just three spots. The Gamecocks embark on their required Death Valley swing this week with stops at Morehead and Eastern Kentucky, trying to spoil the fun for them.
If you read by tweets this past week, I posed the question who would step up this week in the west. That team was the Redhawks with two big wins versus SIUE and EIU that will be huge come March. The Redhawks got excellent production from players not named Stone or Johnson, it was A.J. Jones and Marland Smith this week as the Redhawks caught fire from deep. The Redhawks have only one game this week and will look to get the tiebreaker over UT Martin Saturday.
The Skyhawks bounced back and are now coming together as a team, not just relying on Myles Taylor to be the only scorer. Mike Liabo and Terrence Smith have woken up and the defensive shifts from man to zone have given this team that much needed boost for steals and easy baskets. They have said over and over they just want a seat at the table, well they are closer especially owning the tiebreaker over SIUE. As mentioned above, the Skyhawks host SEMO in a game they led most of the way in Cape Giradeau.
Now I know all the Panther fans, say hi to me on twitter please, are saying we just swept UT Martin and you have us below them! Yes I do, because they had the better win this week, sorry. That being said you shot 65% on the road and put up 93 points! I can remember at the beginning of the year when I questioned how could they score 50 points. You have proven me wrong Eastern Illinois. Panthers return home to the Lantz Arena as they host Austin Peay and Murray State.
While SEMO took a step forward, this Cougar team went in the opposite direction and are once again looking like last year’s team that fell apart come February. While I don’t see that happening, their schedule is favorable at all. Jerome Jones has been carrying this team which isn’t too surprising. They need to play better defense and need a healthy Mark Yelovich in order to right the ship. The Cougars have their chances this week hosting both Murray State and Austin Peay.
Huge upset win at home against the Gamecocks has the Golden Eagles possibly hinting at getting that final spot in Nashville. Maybe? Possibly? You can look at the schedule yourself, but honestly this team is starting to get some, key word some, production from someone other than Jud Dillard who still posted a double double. Tennessee Tech needs to build from this win in order to crack my single digits. The Golden Eagles pack onto the bus this week making the Death Valley trip with a stop first in Richmond against the Colonels then Morehead State.
First time in Governors history, this team has posted back to back 20 loss seasons. They can push top level teams to overtime, and I don’t know what it is but they just can’t seem to pull it out. It’s safe to say now they are out of the tournament picture. Good news for Govs fans, basetball (who was picked first in OVC) starts Friday. The Govs look to cause some mayhem in the OVC postseason picture with trips to EIU and SIUE this week.