2007-08 Austin Peay Basketball Preview
Austin Peay Governors
Overall Rank: #90
Conference Rank: #1 OVC
2006-07: 21-12, 16-4, 1st
2006-07 postseason: NIT
A few transfers hampered the Austin Peay off-season, but the Governors still return all five starters. The team dominated the regular season in 2006-2007, but lost in the conference tournament leaving one more step to be taken by this experienced squad. APSU has the talent to make some noise in March, but their lack of size will once again cause problems against better competition.
Landon Shipley is the main loss for the Governors. The guard only started two games, but played a big role off the bench in just about every contest. He is a quality long range shooter and ended the season averaging 8.8 points per game. Center J.P. Felder started the first eight games of the 2006-2007 season, but soon after saw his playing time drastically decrease. He was still a big body to come off the bench, but will look for more minutes elsewhere this year. Forward Grant Leaver is not returning to the program after seeing limited action in seven games as a sophomore.
Coach Dave Loos does not need any of the newcomers to make an impact right away, but he is bringing in a nice trio to Clarksville. Power forwards John Fraley and Marcel Williams could use their size and rebounding abilities to work their way into the regular rotation. Fraley, a local product, will need to gain some strength and offensive skills before he is ready to contribute. Williams is a great athlete and will be a presence on the defensive end right away. Ideally, he is a small forward, but at 6-7, he can do some work in the paint. Caleb Brown played both guard positions at the high school level and could do the same at Austin Peay. He is a solid ballhandler and a good scorer and will add to the quality depth that the Governors have on the perimeter.
Who to Watch:
They may be undersized, but the strength is in the frontcourt. Drake Reed led the team with 15.8 points and added 6.0 rebounds. His partner in crime Fernandez Lockett averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 boards. With the duo now upperclassmen, this is the year they burst onto the national scene. Duran Roberson is the big guy off the bench and, at 6-8, is the tallest impact player. Ernest Fields is not much taller than the starters, but will give Reed and Lockett a rest when needed.
The Governors were among the best in every major shooting category in the Ohio Valley Conference last year. A lot of that has to do with the interior play of Reed and Lockett, but the team has a host of quality perimeter players who definitely help out the shooting percentages. Todd Babington may be the best scorer of the group and the senior rarely ventures inside the arc. Wes Channels developed into a quality scorer off the bench and is a solid defender. Kyle Duncan is not a prolific scorer, but is a great defender and will help out on the glass. The most important perimeter player is Derek Wright, who averaged 4.1 assists and just 1.9 turnovers. Now a senior, the 5-10 point guard has been underappreciated throughout his career and he has steadily improved over his career. With another year of improvement, Wright will gain the recognition he deserves. He is not just a ballhandler and distributor though; Wright is an effective scorer and a shutdown defender.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Derek Wright, Senior, Guard, 8.2 points per game
Todd Babington, Senior, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Kyle Duncan, Junior, Guard, 4.3 points per game
Drake Reed, Junior, Forward, 15.8 points per game
Fernandez Lockett, Senior, Forward, 11.9 points per game