Samford (0-0) at Austin Peay (0-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dave Aaron Arena (7,257) -- Clarksville, Tennessee. Television: Local. Home Record: Samford 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Away Record: Samford 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Conference Record: Samford 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Series Record: Austin Peay leads, 14-6.
GAME NOTES: Former conference foes kick off the 2012-13 campaign against each other tonight, as the Austin Peay Governors tangle with the Samford Bulldogs at Dave Aaron Arena in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Samford, which used to clash with the Govs when the program was part of the Ohio Valley Conference, is now part of the Southern Conference where it produced a record of 8-10 in league play last season. The Bulldogs were competitive against the rest of the SoCon, but the non-conference schedule proved to be too difficult for the squad as it won only three of 12 opportunities. Samford won a total of just three games before the second week of January last season, and two of those came against programs outside of Division I.
As for the Governors, they too were roughed up by programs that they were not all that familiar with last season, sporting a 4-12 mark in non-conference action. The team opened with nine consecutive setbacks and eventually logged a 12-20 record thanks to a split of its 16 OVC bouts.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, APSU has a considerable edge at 14-6.
Last season the Bulldogs had only two double-digit scorers in Drew Windler (14.4 ppg) and Tyler Hood (11.1 ppg) and between them they accounted for 99 three-point baskets but still the team made good on just 33.4 percent of their chances out on the perimeter. Windler is no longer around which means Hood, who is just a sophomore, is the top returning scorer for the group. According to the roster, there's not a single senior available to the Bulldogs this season and while that sounds as though it will cause some growing pains, the good news is Samford should only get better in the coming years as youngsters like Raijon Kelly, Brandon Hayman and Tim Williams all grow together. Spreading the wealth is not a bad idea for this season either because last year a group of five regular starters took control of the scoring and accounted for a large portion of their 66.1 ppg.
Unlike the Bulldogs, Austin Peay had four players putting up double digits a season ago, however the APSU roster somewhat mimicked that of Samford because only a handful of performers accounted for the greatest portion of the scoring which meant the players on the periphery barely made an impact. Head coach Dave Loos, who has seen the ups and downs with the Governors during his 23 years at the helm, has a huge project before him this time around because he doesn't return a single double-digit scorer from last year. Instead, the coach has to try and put together a lineup that is capable of creating something that can withstand the rigors of an entire season. To put it in perspective, Will Triggs is the second-best returning scorer and the top rebounder after he delivered 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per outing, respectively.
Austin Peay was actually picked to finish third in the OVC West Division behind Murray State and SE Missouri State, which means the Govs are diamonds in the rough, or the rest of the league is just that dismal.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Austin Peay 64, Samford 58
11/09 10:38:26 ET