Monday, February 11, 2013

OVC Update

As we've already reported, the two best teams in the OVC -- Belmont and Murray State -- put on a tremendous show on ESPN-U Thursday night, and the Racers pulled out a huge 79-74 win.  But we should remember that Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State are also playing well.  The big question, however, will be whether anyone can actually beat Belmont at the OVC Tournament in Nashville with everything on the line.  Personally, I think Murray can do it -- if the Racers have a good shooting day.  But it won't be easy.

As for Morehead, Sean Woods is trying to play old-style Pitino ball -- the Eagles play a fast tempo, and are 27th in the nation in generating turnovers.  Unfortunately, they are also committing a ton of fouls -- they are 346th in the nation in terms of giving up free throws per field goal attempts.  And they're giving up a lot of easy baskets -- they are 323d in the nation in 2-point defense.  But the biggest problem is that they can't shoot from the outside -- they're 281st in the country in three-point shooting.  Old-style Pitino ball just won't work if you keep missing your shots.  On the other hand, this is only Woods's first year, and it will be interesting to see how he does going forward.

(Morehead's prior coach, Donnie Tyndall, appears to be taking advantage of his new opportunity at Southern Miss.  He is 18-6 so far, and 7-2 in Conference USA.  I thought he did a great job for Morehead.)

Conference games only.  Ken Pomeroy's rankings next to each team:

44.  Belmont:  11-1
114.  E. Kentucky:  8-3
198.  Tennessee St:  8-4
218.  Jacksonville St:  7-5
214.  Morehead St:  5-6
281.  Tennessee Tech:  3-8

104.  Murray St:  9-2
258.  SE Missouri St:  5-7
294.  SIU-Edwardsville:  4-7
283.  E. Illinois:  4-8
332.  UT-Martin:  4-8
309.  Austin Peay:  1-10

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