I’ll give Ohio Valley Conference teams this through two nights of the season: they’re competing. They’ve been in close games into the second half — which was the case with both games yesterday.
They’re just not coming out on top — and there seems to be a theme developing: there’s not enough scoring.
We know where SEMO’s firepower is — back in Cape Girardeau nursing a thigh injury. And Austin Peay graduated their sharpshooter last year, and are working to find their identity.
It’s not hard to find positives through the first two night of the OVC season. Sure, the OVC is 4-9 through the first two days — and just one of those wins were against a Division I team. (Congrats, Eastern Kentucky) But there’s been a lot of solid performances, that just fell flat before he finish line.
Teams need to find their offensive identity — and that might turn some of these losses into victories.
0-1 (0-0 OVC)
1-0 (0-0 CUSA)
In now my fourth full season covering the OVC, I’ve spent quite a large portion of my time trying to get fans to chill out on the refs a bit — it’s a hard, thankless job. That being said, I would have loved nothing more than if the refs in Bowling Green yesterday would have swallowed their whistles. It wasn’t even an overly physical game — but the two teams combined for 65 free-throw attempts.
Every time Austin Peay made a run, WKU had a response, and often it was T.J. Price. I loved the Governors’ aggressiveness, though — they were attacking the basket, and using the inside game to set up Zavion Williams and Josh Robinson on the perimeter. What I didn’t love — they were far too soft on perimeter defense. Price went 4-4 from three-point range, and I’m fairly certain there wasn’t a hand in, or anywhere near his face on any of those shots.
0-2 (0-0 OVC)
1-1 (0-0 WCC)
It’s hard to get much of a read on the Redhawks through two games. The don’t turnover the ball against LMU, they can’t stop turning it over against USD. One thing we did learn: they need Jarekious Bradley healthy. They don’t have a real offensive spark right now, which is a strange thing to say about SEMO. They get a non-DI next, before they make a much shorter trip to Central Arkansas.