Advertisement

Posts tagged with Austin Peay

Getting to know 16 seed Austin Peay

Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos watches over the Governors' practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday.

Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos watches over the Governors' practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday. by Nick Krug

A No. 16 seed from the Ohio Valley Conference, Austin Peay hasn’t played in the NCAA Tournament since 2008.

The No. 1 overall seed in the field, Kansas hasn’t won the national championship since 2008.

Some meaning to that postseason eight years ago is one of the few things the two programs have in common heading into a first-round meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday (3 p.m. tip-off, TNT).

The Governors (18-17) took the OVC Tournament as the No. 8 seed, and had to win on the final day of the regular season to get in. KU (30-4) has won 12 straight Big 12 titles in a row.

It is going to take some March magic for APSU to have a chance at making history and becoming the first 16 seed in tournament history to defeat a No. 1.

So, according to sophomore guard Josh Robinson, playing with passion and just enjoying the moment will be as important to the Govs’ upset bid as X’s and O’s drawn up by head coach Dave Loos.

“I think it makes the game more fun when you play with passion,” said Robinson, a 6-foot-2 guard from St. Louis. “That’s what people like to see. When you score you say a little something to somebody. It just makes the game more fun.”

Robinson and his teammates have enjoyed themselves of late, winning six games in a row to get to The Big Dance.

“I think we feel real loose after the past six games,” Robinson said. “We’re playing really good together. We know what each other do and what we can do.”

The Govs haven’t played since March 6 but find themselves riding the program’s longest winning streak since the 2010-11 season. They shot 61% from the field in the second halves of their four OVC Tournament victories. In the title game, an 83-73 win over Tennessee Martin, APSU nailed a program-record 16 3-pointers on 31 attempts.

One of the team’s biggest offensive strengths this season has been the ability to get to the free-throw line. APSU has taken 899 from the charity stripe this year (25.7 attempts a game), ranking fourth in the nation.

However, the Govs enter the NCAAs shooting just 67% as a team on freebies. Robinson (83.2%) and freshman guard Jared Savage (81.8%) are the team’s best at the foul line, while double-double machine Chris Horton only shoots 62.6% (on team-high 281 tries).

Defensively, APSU ranks 40th in the nation in steals (6.9 a game). Senior big Horton (47 steals), junior guard Khalil Davis (41) and Robinson (35) are the ball-hawking Governors the Jayhawks should watch out for.

As for the individual talents of Austin Peay’s players, Robinson kindly offered up his take on the strengths of each member of the starting lineup, providing insight on the skills and intangibles the Governors hope to display with the college basketball nation watching.

Get to know the Govs, with the help of Robinson and some key numbers.

AUSTIN PEAY STARTERS

No. 5 — F/C Chris Horton | 6-8, 220, sr.

Austin Peay center Chris Horton (5) pulls back for a dunk during the Governors' practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors, Thursday.

Austin Peay center Chris Horton (5) pulls back for a dunk during the Governors' practice on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors, Thursday. by Nick Krug

  • Stats: 18.9 points, 12.0 rebounds (4.9 offensive), 1.8 blocks, 60.4% FGs, 62.6% FTs

  • hoop-math.com nuggets: 59 put-backs on offensive glass this season; 72.7% on FGs taken at the rim, 39.5% on 2-point jumpers

  • Scored 30 points and ripped down 16 rebounds in the OVC semifinals, as APSU took out top-seeded Belmont.

Robinson’s breakdown:

  • “Whenever we miss, I always expect him to get the rebound. He just works really hard on the glass. He got good moves. He’s a good teammate. I like playing with him. I think he’s gonna be really good at the next level.”

  • Horton’s defense: “That’s the biggest thing. If we get beat, I know he’s always gonna be there to try to block it. Sometimes I feel bad if I get beat and he gets a foul and he’s got to sit out. He’s always there to help out the team on defense.”

No. 4 — G Josh Robinson | 6-2, 185, so.

Austin Peay's Josh Robinson (4) is defended by Indiana's Yogi Ferrell (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Austin Peay's Josh Robinson (4) is defended by Indiana's Yogi Ferrell (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Stats: 16.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 40% FGs, 33.8% 3s, 83.2% FTs

  • hoop-math.com nugget: Almost half — 45.6% — of his shot attempts come from 3-point range

Robinson’s breakdown:

  • “I play with a lot of confidence and passion. I think you’ll see when I score I always like celebrate. I just play with a lot of passion.”

  • “I can pass really good. I think that’s an underrated thing about my game.”

No. 11 — G/F Khalil Davis | 6-5, 170, sr.

Austin Peay guard Khalil Davis (11) smiles as he and hist teammates get warmed up on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday.

Austin Peay guard Khalil Davis (11) smiles as he and hist teammates get warmed up on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The Jayhawks will take on the Governors Thursday. by Nick Krug

  • Stats: 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 42.8% FGs, 29.1% 3s, 66.9% FTs

  • hoop-math.com nuggets: Shoots 66.3% at the rim, but just 25% (16 of 64) on all other 2-point shots

Robinson’s description:

  • “Got a nice pull-up shot. Sometimes I think he plays too passive. But when he plays his game he’s a hard player to guard, too.”

  • Davis’ unselfishness: “When he gets in the lane, he’ll have an open shot and instead he’ll pass. That’s good sometimes, but sometimes he needs to shoot it.”

No. 42 — F Kenny Jones | 6-6, 180, jr.

None by OVCHoops-com

  • Stats: 7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 52.9% FGs, 4 of 11 on 3s, 41.8% FTs

  • hoop-math.com nuggets: Like Horton, most of his shots (56.5%) come at the rim; Jones converts 64.8% of the time inside

Robinson’s description:

  • “He’s an energy player… If I miss a shot, he’s always there telling me just, ‘Keep shooting. Keep playing.’”

No. 2 — G/F Jared Savage | 6-5, 195, fr.

None by Autumn Allison

  • Stats: 6.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 43% FGs, 40.6% 3s, 81.8% FTs

  • hoop-math.com nuggets: Almost never goes inside (8.7% of his shots are at the rim); basically lives outside the 3-point line (78.3% of his attempts come from deep)

Robinson’s description:

  • “He’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever seen — besides myself. He can shoot really good. He rebounds. He can do it all.”

AUSTIN PEAY BENCH

No. 32 — G/F John Murry

  • 5.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 44.9% FGs, 32.4% 3s, 74% FTs, in 11.5 minutes off bench

No. 3 — G/F Chris Porter-Bunton

  • 4.2 points, 1.9 rebounds, 51.5% FGs, 50% 3s (13 of 26), 70% FTs, in 12.4 minutes off bench
Reply