Greg Miller of WPSD Local 6 is the RTC correspondent for the MAC and Ohio Valley Conferences.
(ed. note – this post was originally scheduled for publication on Friday 11/28, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to delay publication until today. Please accept our apologies.)
Hard to believe, but OVC conference play begins next Thursday. That’s right, less than a month into the season, we’ve already got conference play!
Not a lot of time to get a handle on how this league is shaping up, but here are some quick hits from the first few weeks:
Tennessee State (advanced to OVC Finals last year) lost their opener to Cumberland University, an NAIA school. Not the start Cy Alexander was hoping for. If there was a bright spot, sophomore Gerald Robinson, Jr. (one of league’s best young players) tallied 31 points. He’s leading the league at 25.0 points per game so far. Good news, TSU rebounded to win their last two over Northern Illinois (last-second layup) and Miles (Robinson scored 36 in that win.) The Tigers will get Belmont on Monday before opening league play next weekend. Coming up in mid-December is a brutal four-game stretch where they face Alabama, Kentucky, Marshall and Georgia Tech, all on the road, in 13 days. Yikes!
UT Martin is off to an auspicious start. The Skyhawks torched Maryville, lost to Tennessee, beat Elon and then lost to Arkansas State. This is supposed to be a team that will challenge for the league title, mainly thanks to the play of All-American Lester Hudson and All-OVC guard Marquis Weddle. Hudson is averaging just about 25 points per game, but in the two losses he and Weddle have been dreadful with their shooting. Against Tennessee and Arkansas State, the two are a combined 26-85. That’s barely 30%. They rest of the team is 17-53 in those two losses. It’s obvious that how Hudson and Weddle go, so go the Skyhawks. UTM better hope these two are on a lot more than they are off or they better find another source of offense. UTM will be tested at USC Friday night before opening league play with a trip to Death Valley (Morehead State and EKU).