It’s hasn’t been the season, or the finish that Racer fans hoped for. But Murray State is the two seed, and two wins away from heading back to the NCAA Tournament. Those two wins likely won’t come easy for the squad that finished the year 2-4.

Murray State 20-9 (10-6)

Good Wins

11/16 vs St. John’s (72-67)
2/7 vs Belmont (79-74)
2/23 vs South Dakota State (73-62)

Headscratcher Losses

2/14 at SIU Edwardsville (60-65)
2/16 at Eastern Illinois (70-79)
2/28 vs UT Martin (68-69)

Against The Bracket

#6 SEMO (1-1)
#3 EKU (0-1)

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

 

Strengths

  • Defense: First in the OVC in field goal percentage defense. (42.4%) Second in the OVC in defensive points per possession. (0.97)
  • Rebounding: Third in rebounds per game, (32.2) rebounding percentage (52.2%)

Weaknesses

  • Shooting: 10th in conference play in field goal percentage. (42.9%) 11th in 3-point percentage. (31.7%)
  • Slow Starts: Racers have trailed at halftime 14 times this season.

 

Players to Watch

  • G Isaiah Canaan (21.6 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.3 rpg, 1.5 spg) OVC Co-player of the Year
  • Ed Daniel (13.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg) 15 double-doubles on the season

 

Outlook

Head coach Steve Prohm says he thinks people have counted his team out. I doubt any coaches here have. But this team has been an absolute mystery the entire season. We kept assuming they would figure it out. And then they just…didn’t.

We’ve talked a lot about how much teams have improved throughout the season, but it don’t feel the same with Murray State. I’m not saying they’ve haven’t improved, because they have, but it’s not making a huge impact on the court. We figured as the younger guys got experience it would take pressure off of Isaiah Canaan, but he along with Ed Daniel have been forced to carry this team down the stretch. They’re simply not consistently getting help from the rest of the lineup.

And the key word is consistency. Players have good games, but then struggle for the next three, or more. Canaan will get his 20, Daniel 10-15, but that’s just 35 points, and not going to win many games.

But there still is that feeling that if the Racers can flip that proverbial switch, they’re as good as anyone here. They’ve beaten TSU, they’ve beaten Belmont. The question: Can they turn it on for two nights. If they can, they may go dancing again. If not, it will be a disappointing end to a season that could have never met the expectations set after last year’s magical run.

Filed under: Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference

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OVC Ball
Three Weeks After Nashville: Racers continue to grow, but opportunity remains for more

2014-15 Standings

OVCOverall
WEST
UT Martin0-07-3
Murray State0-08-4
SEMO0-05-6
Eastern Illinois0-05-6
Austin Peay0-04-7
SIU Edwardsville0-02-7
EAST
Belmont0-08-4
Eastern Kentucky0-06-4
Jacksonville State0-07-5
Tennessee Tech0-06-5
Morehead State0-04-10
Tennessee State0-02-9