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Normally, we reserve The Morning After for game days, but I’m making an exception for the NBA Draft.

It’s midnight, and I’m trying my hardest to enjoy relaxing on my couch, with an Xbox controller in my hand and play video games until bed time. Only I’m not focused, because the same thing keeps going through my head:

What the hell just happened?

We knew going into today Isaiah Canaan could slip into the second round. We knew that a second OVC player hearing his named called was likely a long shot. So I should have been prepared for when that happened.

I wasn’t. At least, not the way it happened.

Maybe, like the fans, I bought into the late hype. NBA TV’s mock draft calling Canaan one of the most underrated players. Sports Illustrated calling Ian Clark the best shooter in the draft, (a link they RT’d on their twitter account within 30 minutes of the end of the draft) seeing Robert Covington‘s names on late mock drafts.

I thought one bad thing could happen. Maybe Canaan goes in the first, but he’s the only to go. Or maybe he slips into the second round, and Clark or Covington or Ed Daniel joins him there.

This was truly the worst case scenario.

In my mind, it was March all over again, and Belmont was just thumped in their opening NCAA Tournament game following one of the most impressive seasons the OVC has had a whole in modern times. A disappointing end, as much for the hype surrounding the event as the result.

I went searching for, something, anything that could help make sense of it all. And I think I found it.

Canaan’s second round selection makes the third straight year the OVC has had a player drafted. So I looked back over those years: How many other conferences outside the Big 6 could say they’ve done the same over this period of time?

Turns out, not that many. Here’s a look at the teams outside the major conferences with draft picks since 2011:

2011 Draft

  • BYU – WCC
  • San Diego State – Mountain West
  • Cleveland State – Horizon
  • Richmond –  Atlantic 10
  • Butler – Atlantic 10
  • Hofstra – CAA
  • College Of Charleston – Southern
  • Oakland – Summit
  • Temple – Atlantic 10
  • Morehead State – OVC

2012 Draft

  • Weber State – Big Sky
  • St. Bonaventure – Atlantic 10
  • UC Santa Barbara – Big West
  • Norfolk State – MEAC
  • Gonzaga – WCC
  • Tennessee Tech – OVC

2013 Draft

  • UNLV – Mountain West
  • Gonzaga – WCC
  • Lehigh – Patriot
  • New Mexico – Mountain West
  • South Dakota State – Summit
  • North Texas – Sun Belt
  • San Diego State – Mountain West
  • Bucknell – Patriot
  • Long Beach State – Big West
  • Colorado State  – Mountain West
  • Murray State – OVC

So, in the past three years, exactly two non-power conferences has had a player drafted each  year: The West Coast Conference, and the Ohio Valley Conference. That’s it.

Of course, the Mountain West did have four drafted just this year. And the Atlantic 10 had three in 2011. Whie the OVC can’t claim complete superiority, it’s an impressive feat showing they’re not just another small conference.

Honestly, last night was a great day for the conference. Could it have been better? Yes. But we shouldn’t look at what could have been take away from what was.

Now I just need the NBA schedule to come out so I can buy tickets the first time Houston travels to Memphis. Who’s up for a road trip?


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  1. Jonathan Scott:
    So what happens with the other 3? Can they still try out for the d-league?
    • ovcball:
      They're NBA Free Agents as of today. A team can pick them up for D-League rosters. If that doesn't happen, it's possible they could play overseas.
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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