James D. Horne is the RTC correspondent for the Ohio Valley Conference. He covers Austin Peay for The Leaf-Chronicle and co-hosts The Afternoon Blitz from 4-6 p.m. on AM 540 in Clarksville, TN. Click here for all of our 2009-10 Season Preview materials.
Predicted Order of Finish:
- Morehead State (13-5)
- Murray State (13-5)
- Austin Peay (12-6)
- Eastern Kentucky (10-8)
- Eastern Illinois (9-9)
- Jacksonville State (9-9)
- Tennessee Tech (8-10)
- UT Martin (6-12)
- Tennessee State (4-14)
- Southeast Missouri State (2-16)
- Wes Channels (G), Austin Peay, 6’3, 210, Sr, 16.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.2 apg, 71 3-pts
- Romain Martin (G), Eastern Illinois, 6’3, 185, Sr, 15.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 74 3-pointers
- Maze Stallworth (F), Morehead State, 6’4, 215, Sr, 12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 38.0 3-pt%
- Danero Thomas (F), Murray State, 6’4, 190, Sr, 12.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.6 spg, 41.8 FG%
- Kenneth Faried (C), Morehead State, 6’8 215 Jr, 13.5 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 56.0 FG%
6th Man. Anthony Campbell (F), Austin Peay, 6’6, 185, So, 7.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 50.0 FG%
Breakout Player. Ivan Aska (F), Murray State, 6’7, 230, So, 10.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 51.6 FG%
Coach of the Year. Donnie Tyndall, Morehead State
Player of the Year. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
What You Need to Know:
- The OVC loves its basketball as much as the ACC, Big 12 and Big East do; they just play on a much smaller scale.
- The OVC is the eighth-oldest NCAA Division I conference and expanded in 2008 with the addition of SIU-Edwardsville.
- This year the most dominant player in the league will be Morehead State junior center Kenneth Faried, a big man who could play in any league, and whose coach, Donnie Tyndall, is building a power on the footsteps of the Appalachian Mountains.
- Murray State and Austin Peay just may have the fiercest rivalry in all of college basketball, at least those not in a power conference, and have been at the top of the league for over a decade. Senior guard Wes Channels will lead the Govs and senior forward Danero Thomas leads the Racers.
Predicted Champion. Murray State (NCAA Seed: #16). The Racers have been on the verge of returning to their perch in the OVC and this should be the year they get back. But if they don’t in Billy Kennedy’s fourth season a change could be made.