Austin Peay Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Austin Peay Governors
Ohio Valley (18-17, 7-9)
With a few weeks left in the regular season it looked like Austin Peay was not even going to make the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament and the NCAA Tournament was a pipe dream. But the Governors picked up a couple key road wins in early February to give themselves a shot. But then they dropped their next two at home, leaving themselves in basically a must win position in the final two regular season games. And they won those last two games and then followed with their amazing four game run in four days, knocking off the best the OVC had to offer along the way. Coach Dave Loos has taken this team to the postseason on a somewhat regular basis, but it had been five years since Austin Peay was in the CBI. This is their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008.
Big Wins: 3/2 vs Tennessee Tech (92-72), 3/3 vs Tennessee State (74-72), 3/4 vs Belmont (97-96)
Bad Losses: 11/21 vs Cal Poly (64-73), 1/23 Eastern Illinois (86-87), 2/13 Tennessee-Martin (84-85)
Coach: Dave Loos
Why They Can Surprise:
Chris Horton is a beast in the paint and leads the team with 18.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. The big senior center has been a force in the OVC for four years and this is a perfect way for him to culminate his collegiate career. From OVC Freshman of the Year back in 2012-2013 to finally getting to the NCAA Tournament as a senior, Horton is ready to make the most of the opportunity. He can battle in the paint with just about anybody and will have to prove that now. But Horton is not the only scorer on the team and finding a few others is what has driven Austin Peay to the NCAA Tournament. Josh Robinson and Khalil Davis are both double digit scorers. Both will drive to the basket and get to the line, but it is Robinson who is more dangerous because of his outside shooting ability. The late emergence of freshman wing Jared Savage actually gives the Governors another dangerous scorer on the perimeter. Savage spent most of the year coming in off of the bench and only reached double digits in the scoring column four times prior to Austin Peay’s six game winning streak to close out the season. In that stretch he reached double figures four times, including 21 versus Belmont in the semifinals and 24 against Tennessee-Martin in the final. While the rest of the team attacks the basket, Savage now has the confidence to knock down three-pointers. He is pretty good on the glass too and that helps out Horton and fellow forward Kenny Jones.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Turnovers can be a big problem for this team. And perimeter defense is an issue too. The first half of the Belmont semifinal proved that. This team is lacking a true point guard since Terrell Thompson went out in late January. Ironically, that is when Savage eventually got into the starting lineup and the team started winning. But Davis and Robinson have picked up the responsibility of taking care of the ball and that has not always gone particularly well. Those two can also have a tough time defending quick point guards. If this team wants to continue their magical run, they cannot afford turnovers. Coming back from deficits in the OVC is one thing, but it will be very different in the NCAA Tournament and the perimeter defense cannot let the opposition get to the bucket and hope that Horton or Jones can block a shot. It is the Governors who need to force the turnovers and get those easy buckets if they want to hang around with a more talented team in the NCAA Tournament.
Probable Starters:
Khalil Davis, Senior, Guard, 11.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.0 rpg
Josh Robinson, Sophomore, Guard, 16.7 ppg, 2.6 apg
Jared Savage, Freshman, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Kenny Jones, Junior, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Chris Horton, Senior, Center, 18.9 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Zach Glotta, Freshman, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 1.2 apg
John Murry, Junior, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Chris Porter-Bunton, Freshman, Guard, 4.2 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.0 (108th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 75.9 (273, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (66, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.7 (291, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (246, 8)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (163, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.0 (274, 10)
Rebound Margin:  2.7 (96, 3)
Assists Per Game:  13.5 (162, 7)
Turnovers Per Game:  14.0 (292, 10)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2011    CBI      First Round loss to Boise State
2009    CIT      First Round loss to Bradley
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Texas  
2004    NIT      Opening Round win over Belmont
2004    NIT      First Round loss to George Mason
2003    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Louisville
1996    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Georgia Tech
*all team stats through 3/6