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After a 1-7 start to OVC play, the Skyhawks went .500 in their last eight games of the season, squeaking into the 8th spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. But even during their closing stretch, the Skyhawks were as up and down as anyone, beating the two and three seeds in the tournament, but also with some blowout losses to lower teams.

UT Martin 9-20 (5-11)

Good Wins

1/31 vs Eastern Kentucky (72-65)
2/28 at Murray State (69-68)

Headscratcher Losses

2/7 vs Eastern Illinois (65-93)
3/2 at Austin Peay (58-91)

Against The Bracket

#7 Morehead State (0-1)
#4 Tennessee State (0-1)
#1 Belmont (0-1)

#6 SEMO (0-2)
#7 EIU (0-2)
#3 EKU (1-0)
#2 Murray State (1-0)

 

Strengths

  • Rebounding (5th in the conference with 31.2 rebounds per game in OVC play. 4th in rebounding percentage at 52.0%)

Weaknesses

  • Shooting: Last in the OVC in field goal percentage, (38.6%) points per possession. (0.917) 10th in 3-point shooting percentage. (31.1%)
  • Defense: Last in the OVC in field goal percentage defense, (48.3%) defensive points per possession. (1.106) Ninth in 3-point shooting percentage defense (37.2%). Tenth in forced turnovers per game, (12.7) fouls per game (21.3)

 

Players to Watch

  • F Myles Taylor (16.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
  • G Mike Liabo (13.1 ppg, 2.2 apg, 3.2 rpg) Nine straight double-digit scoring games heading into the tournament

 

Outlook

The number one concern is the health of Myles Taylor. The sophomore forward left the Austin Peay game with an apparent injury. I think it’s likely he plays on Wednesday, but it’s a question of how well he can play.

During Monday morning’s conference call, head coach Jason James took a sensible approach to his team in the tournament, saying they’re only worrying about Wednesday, and they’ll worry about the next day if they pick up a win.

It’s not that UT Martin can’t string together wins, it’s that they haven’t done it. Twice this year they’ve followed big wins with horrible losses, and they haven’t won a game against a team in their half of the bracket. Their longest winning streak of the season? Two games. They’re in the field, which is a good accomplishment given where they finished a  year ago, everything else at this point is just topping on the cake for the Skyhawks.


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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

EAST

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

WEST

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


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