Matt Figger’s squad was so close to making the NCAA Tournament and winning the Ohio Valley Conference this season, but Tevin Brown and the Murray State Racers stopped them in their tracks in the Semifinals of the conference tournament. Then Casey Alexander’s Belmont Bruins and beat Murray State to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Let’s talk the Governers squad for next season, Terry Taylor is the first of the star-duo he’s 6’5 230 pounds averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and he shot 55% from the field and was the OVC player of the year, these are video-game-like numbers. The two main-things Taylor can work on his senior season is his shooting, he only shot 32% from deep last season which is definitely serviceable but if he made more of those, and more than 65% of his free throw’s he can be an All-American this season. He dropped 27 in the loss to Murray State in the OVC Tournament Semifinals and is such an immense talent that for some reason isn’t a National name. Great players can go to a school in a small-conference and that means nothing, you can have a great career and go to a not power conference school, Ja Morant (Murray State), Damian Lillard (Weber State), Stephen Curry (Davidson), Paul Millsap (Louisiana Tech), Kenneth Faried (Morehead State), Pascal Siakam (New Mexico State) Gordon Hayward (Butler), Doug McDermott (Creighton). Point being there’s so much talent in all the Conferences. Some guys just are either late-bloomers or are swept under the rug and go to a Mid-Major have a great career and are still doubted and have to prove themselves more than others. Terry Taylor doesn’t even have a page on 247sports or Rivals, I tried to see who else offered him out of High School and it’s impossible to know because he was so under-the-radar he literally didn’t have a page. Now he’s a superstar at the College level.
Their next star is Jordyn Adams he’s a different kind of player definitely than Taylor, he’s a pure-scorer first guard. Adams averaged 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game while shooting 42% from the field and 37% from three he adds a different dimension to the game where you need a guy to rise and shoot a three he can and will do it, and probably make it. He was a freshman last season, which is ridiculous, to be fair though Adams was a 3-Star recruit who was pursued by Baylor and Oklahoma State, and TCU so he had a few high-major offers but there’s no way you can convince me there was 313 better players in last season’s class than him. He was far under-recruited for whatever reason and that’s part of my issue with High-School rankings, if you aren’t playing in some of the AAU circuits or going to a powerhouse High School, you’ll be under-recruited it just happens and it’s unfair to be quite honest.
Let’s look at their lineup going into next season:
PG: Antwaun Butler
SG: Jordyn Adams
SF: Reggie Gee
PF: Terry Taylor
C: Matheus Silveira
Bench: Adam Woodard, Carlos Paez, Merdy Mongozi, Ibrahim Jarjou, Tai’Reon Joseph, Devon McCain
The Biggest X-Factor for me though is Matheus Silveria, I think he starts and has a good season he’s a 7-Footer who’s only played 31 games in 2 seasons for Austin Peay but with that size, he’ll figure it out. They also get Reggie Gee back who was granted a hardship waiver after tearing his ACL 6 games into the season who was an elite 3-point shooter at Alabama State for three-seasons. Merdy Mongozi was one of the Top-JUCO shot-blockers this season.
It will be a battle once again between Austin Peay, Murray State, Belmont but I have Austin Peay well ahead of the other three. They were one of the first 5 teams to miss out on my Way-Too-Early Top 50, I really wanted to include them but they just missed out. This is a super talented team that I think will be a problem should they make the NCAA Tournament.