- Cory Artensen
3.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.4 spg, 0.7 apg
- Travis Betran
15.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.7 spg, 2.3 apg
- Will Triggs
12.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.3 apg
This is always a difficult scenario to predict: How does a team that doesn’t perform all that well do when they lose two of their top scorers? Were those players the main reason they did as well as the did? Or were they holding the team back from doing even better? In this case, it could go either way.
Starting with Betran, who really struggled until conference play, there’s one stat that’s not going to be missed: turnovers. Betran’s assist-to-turnover ratio for the season is under one, which isn’t good for any player in the backcourt. It was barely over one in conference games alone. (41 assists, 40 turnovers) As a guard, that number has to be better. Of course, when you take the most shots on the team by 100, there are going to be fewer opportunities to get assists.
The one thing that will likely be missed is his three point shooting. Betran shot 35.4% on the year, (37.5% in conference play) which was just slightly above the team’s average, but took 46% of Austin Peay’s three-point attempts. The only player to shoot a higher percentage from outside the arc: Ed Dyson, who took just 59 three’s compared to Betran’s 212. That will be a key hole to fill for next season.
Triggs was one of the best shooters from the floor this season, hitting 57% for the year, and 62% in conference play. His scoring was a bit below Chris Horton‘s numbers from last season, but his production will be missed inside. For a 6’6 player, Triggs’ rebounding was slightly below what you would expect for a player his size, although it was well in line with his junior numbers. At 66% from the charity stripe, he was one of the better bigs at the charity stripe for Austin Peay (which isn’t really saying much)
Artesan averaged about 10 minutes a contest, so it’s not wholly surprising he’s leaving in hopes of playing more minutes someplace else. (Although I’d be somewhat surprised if it was in Division I)
After last season, the backcourt was considered the biggest need for the Governors, so they went out and got guys like Demarius Smith, and Lipscomb transfer Zavion Wiliams became eligible. Smith missed a good chunk of February due to injury, and while both had good moments, you don’t get the feeling they’re guys that can take over a basketball game.
While both Smith and Williams had positive assist-to-turnover ratios, neither were among the top 12 in the league, which you need on your team. With Betran, the only true deep threat, leaving, the backcourt is a serious issue of concern for the year ahead once again.
The frontcourt is less of a concern. Horton easily has the skill to be an all-conference caliber player, and while undersized to play the four, Ed Dyson had a great conference campaign, scoring in double figures in eight straight games.
My biggest concern about this team, though, is the lack of freshman. There was just one this year, a walk-on who ended up being redshirted. You can’t build a program on JUCO players alone, and while there was a definite need to get better faster, all the Governors got in return was a missed OVC tournament and no new talent to develop.
They will have at least one freshman next season, having signed a guard from the St. Louis area in Josh Robinson.