November 9, 2018 8:10:15 AM
Austin Peay (1-0) at No. 18 Mississippi State
BROADCAST INFO: 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app.
MSU LAST YEAR: 25-12, 9-9 SEC, NIT semifinalists. Only four of those 12 losses came to teams that finished outside of the top 25 in KenPom. Finished the season 14th in block percentage and 40th in overall defense according to KenPom.
AUSTIN PEAY LAST YEAR: 19-15, 12-6 Ohio Valley Conference, second round of the CIT. 15th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage and 11th in turnovers forced percentage according to KenPom, and did it all with only one senior among its top seven players.
The Governors do have one game under their belt this season, a 114-53 win over Oakland City, a Division II team in Indiana.
AUSTIN PEAY PROJECTED STARTERS
G 4 Dayton Gumm, Soph., 6'2", 180 -- 11 points and 10 assists against Oakland City, 6-6 from the free throw line and three steals in that game, all significant improvements from last year.
G 1 Antwuan Butler, Fr., 6'0", 190 -- Only 15 minutes in the Oakland City game thanks to 4 fouls, freshman from Philly.
G/F 21 Terry Taylor, Soph., 6'5", 230 -- 21 points and nine rebounds (six of them offensive) against Oakland City, led the team with 13 shot attempts, shot 54.1 percent from the field in starting every game last year.
F Jabari McGhee, Sr,, 6'7", 210 -- Grad transfer from Western Kentucky, 8 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes against Oakland City.
F Chris Porter-Bunton, Sr., 6'5", 215 -- 6-8 from the field against Oakland City, led last year's team with 42 steals.
MISSISSIPPI STATE PROJECTED STARTERS
G 1 Lamar Peters, Soph., 6'0", 185 -- 9.6 ppg, 4.5 apg and 1.5 spg last year, fifth in the SEC in both assists and steals per game, 17 points and 5 assists in in the exhibition win.
G 0 Nick Weatherspoon, Fr., 6'2", 195 -- 10.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.1 apg last year, scored 10 or more in 13 of his last 17 outings last year, 7 rebounds in the exhibition win.
G 11 Quinndary Weatherspoon, Jr., 6'4", 205 -- 14.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.9 spg last year, did not play in the exhibition due to injury.
F 35 Aric Holman, Jr., 6'10", 225 -- 10.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg last year, 6-8 from the field and 2-3 from 3-point range in the exhibition, also had 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
F 24 Abdul Ado, R-Fr., 6'11", 255 -- 7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 0.8 spg last year, 5 rebounds and a block in the exhibition.
QUOTE: "The head coach was an assistant for Frank Martin, that's how they play, that's who they emulate in their style. Defensively, denying everything up the line, they're a problem for you in terms of pressuring the ball. Offensively, they do a good job of getting inside, they have a great 4 man who averaged 15 and 10 last year. They're physical, they're tough, they bang, they're going to play very hard." -Ben Howland on Austin Peay
NOTES: KenPom gives MSU a 95 percent chance of winning this game with a projected final score of 84-66....Quinndary Weatherspoon could become the fifth player in MSU history to average double-digit scoring in all four season as a Bulldog....Q needs 21 points to move up to 16th place in school history for scoring....MSU is a consensus top 25 team for the first time since 2009-10.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson