Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s men’s basketball team may have seen its season come to an end on March 21st, on a last-second shot by Illinois-Chicago, but first-year head coach Matt Figger and his staff have shown that the groundwork for a bright future has already been laid.
The Govs, who were picked to finish 11th out of 12 teams in the Ohio Valley Conference pre-season poll, finished the season 19-15 overall and 12-6 in OVC play – good enough for a third-place finish – the most wins and best finish in OVC play since the 2010-11 season.
Austin Peay Basketball looks to be set for a great 2018-2019 season. (APSU Sports Information)
The season also saw four games in the postseason, two in the OVC tournament and two in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament – the most games in a postseason since the Govs ran the table in the OVC Tournament two years ago and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
And all of this happened with a new coach, just four returning lettermen with 32 total starts and 1392 total minutes played all ranking in the bottom eight in the NCAA.
But while the number of returnees was low, the four returnees made the most of the season with forward Chris Porter-Bunton and guard Tre’ Ivory starting all 34 games this season while juniors Steve Harris and Zach Glotta seeing action in all 34 games. Out of the four, only Ivory was a senior, so the other three will be back for the 2018-19 season.
Joining the four lettermen were seven fresh faces, including five freshmen, led by Terry Taylor – who finished second in scoring for the Govs (15.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (8.6 rpg).
Those numbers would earn Taylor All-OVC First-Team and All-OVC Newcomer Team honors.
But Taylor would not be the only freshman to show what is to come for the Governors, with Dayton Gumm (28 starts, 10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and Richard Henderson (32 games, 3.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg) playing key minutes all season long.
Rounding out the freshman class were Ivan Cucak and Acoydan McCarthy, who both saw key minutes during the season, averaging between five and six minutes per appearance.
Unlike this year, that means that the Govs will be returning eight lettermen in 2018-19 accounting for 72 percent of the teams scoring.
There’s your foundation that puts the Govs ahead of what they came into this year with, now add a full year for coach Figger and his staff to add more talent to next year’s squad and the sky is the limit – not just for next year but for years to come.
About Chris Austin
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University.
Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS.
Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA.
Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
SectionsAssociations, Austin Peay State University, Basketball (Men), Colleges, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Schools, Sports
TopicsAcoydan McCarthy, APSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Chris Porter-Bunton, Clarksville TN, Collegeinsider.com Tournament, Dayton Gumm, Governors, Govs, Illinois Chicago, Ivan Cucak, Matt Figger, NCAA Tournament, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Tournament, Richard Henderson, Steve Harris, Terry Taylor, Tre Ivory, Zach Glotta