It’s been just over a week since we last looked at RPI, so here’s where the OVC stands as of this morning, and how it compared to eight days ago:
- Belmont (72nd) +19
- UT Martin (127th) -16 — blame strength of schedule
- Eastern Kentucky (136th) +20
- Murray State (151st) +26
- Eastern Illinois (246th) +40
- Jacksonville State (261st) -41
- Tennessee Tech (273rd) +7
- Morehead State (275th) -92 — wow
- Austin Peay (307th) -3
- Southeast Missouri (315th) -6
- SIUE (327th) -5
- Tennessee State (341st) +1 — out of 349
These are according to the official NCAA numbers, and for the most part, the reasons for changes are understandable. UT Martin has won four road games, but those teams they beat keep losing, which isn’t wholly helping. EKU gets a boost from playing the No. 2 team in RPI (UK) and the No. 101 (Valpo). Murray State beat WKU this weekend, and EIU got a road win.
And then there’s Jacksonville State and Morehead State. JSU lost to Alabama State at home, but the Aggies are a top-200 RPI team, so that’s not awful. (and RPI doesn’t take into account how bad the loss was) Similarly to the Skyhawks, JSU’s opponents seem to keep losing, and I don’t think there’s a lot of separation in the middle…evidenced by Morehead State’s free-fall. The Eagles have lost three games since I last posted RPI numbers, at home against ETSU, (131st) at UAB, (319th!) and at home against Oakland. (253rd) Again, RPI doesn’t care about injuries, it’s doesn’t care about margin — it cares whether you win or lose.
Oh, Denzel Richardson. I haven’t written much since EKU’s drubbing at the hands of Kentucky, or I would have gotten to this much earlier.
Richardson had a really good game against the Wildcats. He was 8-11 from the field, a perfect 3-3 from three-point range, and tied the game-high with 19 points. His team still lost by 33, EKU shot 26% from the field, and was held to 14 first-half points.
So what did Richardson have to say about UK’s defense?
Glad you asked.
“They really weren’t that good of defenders, to me,” Richardson said.
His head coach’s response? Just head to the 1:40 mark of the video above.
I’ve been singing JSU forward Jeremy Watson‘s praises for a few weeks now, and yesterday the Anniston Star wrote a great profile on how Watson got to Jacksonville State. If you’re a JSU fan, or just a OVC basketball fan, it’s a good read.
My favorite quote is about how he chose Jacksonville State:
“I heard Jacksonville State had one of the top-notch business schools, and my major is accounting, so I really liked that,” Watson told the newspaper. “Then I heard Coach (James) Green was a real tough coach, and I like playing for tough coaches who will challenge me and push me forward.”
Love it. Absolutely — guys like Watson is what’s so great about college basketball.