As part of our Ridiculously Early 2013-14 previews, we look at how much production each team is losing, and how challenging it will be to replace.
Let’s put it bluntly: UT Martin should easily make the OVC Tournament in 2013-14.
Key word: easily.
UT Martin was one of the, if not the youngest team in the OVC this year. They had only one senior who wasn’t one of their top two leading scorers. Almost the entire team, including an all-OVC selection, is back next year from a team that made it to the OVC Tournament this year.
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Myles Taylor is a junior, and has to be considered a favorite for OVC preseason player of the year honors. Mike Liabo was solid down the stretch, and returns for his senior year. Depth could still be a issue, but in a year in which most teams will be dealing with massive turnover, UT Martin isn’t.
UT Martin hasn’t had a winning season since they won the OVC in 2008-09, but there has to be a feeling that could change this year.
Could those expectations hold them back? I’d be surprised. They’re still not going to be picked to win the conference, or the division, so there won’t be a lot of external pressure. But for fans that have suffered through two 4-win seasons in the past four years, this could be the year they’re rewarded.
At least, it should be the year they’re rewarded. Because it appears all the pieces are in place.