Winners of five of their last seven, the Redhawks are soaring into tournament play, led by an incredibly deadly three-point attack that put up an OVC record 20-threes last week, and followed it up with an impressive 12-19 performance in an upset over Murray State. Head coach Dickie Nutt says his team is playing his best basketball heading into the tournament, and there’s a lot of evidence to support his claim.
Southeast Missouri 16-15 (8-8)
2/28 at Austin Peay (108-81)
3/2 at Murray State (84-68)
12/8 vs Central Arkansas (85-88)
Against The Bracket
#7 Eastern Illinois (1-1)
#3 EKU (0-1)
#2 Murray State (1-1)
#8 UTM (2-0)
#5 Morehead State (0-1)
#4 Tennessee State (0-1)
#1 Belmont (0-1)
- Shooting: Third in the OVC in field goal percentage. (47.6%) First in 3-point shooting percentage (42.3%).
- Interior Defense: Second in blocks per game, (4.6) Two-point shooting defense. (45.9%) Third in field goal percentage defense. (42.9%)
- Perimeter Defense: Eighth in the conference in 3-point percentage defense. (36.6%) Ninth in defensive points per possession. (1.064) Last in turnovers forced per game. (10.8)
- Rebounding?: Tenth is rebounding percentage, (47.1%) but fourth in rebounds per game. (32.1)
Players to Watch
- F Tyler Stone (15.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
- F Nino Johnson (11.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.4 bpg) Three double-doubles in last four games
- G Corey Wilford (14.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.2 apg) 44.4% three-point shooter, one of three Redhawks shooting better than 40%
I don’t think there’s a team in the opening round anyone wants to face the least. Southeast Missouri has had a rough season at times, but they have been dominant in the past week. Their two losses in the last seven games of the year were by a combined five points.
That’s not to say this team doesn’t have a few weaknesses. A good three-point shooting team, like the EKU team they could face in the quarterfinals, could give the Redhawks fits. And despite one of the more solid frontcourts in the OVC, they’re not the best rebounding team.
And they have the disadvantage of going up against the other “hot” team entering the first round, Eastern Illinois.
Long term, here’s the question: Can this team win four games in four days? Being a team that relies so much on jump shooting, will the guards legs hold out into the semi’s and finals if they’re able to make it that far.
Southeast Missouri could very well be the most dangerous team in the first round. They have a very tough draw, but if they continue playing at the high level they have over the past few week, you may be looking at a team that can crash the party later in the tournament.