Elkins is Top Priority
Austin Peay has two major recruiting regions in Kentucky and Missouri. Head Coach Dave Loos has scoured the former once again, in the process identifying Colton Elkins (Danville, KY) as a key target in the Class of 2016.
Elkins just returned from an Austin Peay September 25th.
In evaluating Elkins the very first characteristic that jumps off the page is his height. Elkins stands 6-foot-7, making him unusually tall for an OVC combo forward. Though he routinely played center or power forward for Boyle County High School, Elkins projects as a combo forward.
He is very bouncy at 6-foot-7. Elkins looks more comfortable defending the blocks than on the perimeter, but his agility is not as stiff as most bigs his size. He is very light on his feet and gets off the floor quickly.
To be a better post defender Elkins will need to add some weight. He is lean and strong, but obviously needs about 30 pounds if he intends to play D1 power forward.
Offensively, he is very skilled with his back to the basket. Because he already finishes with both hands and comfortably executes the drop step Elkins might stick as a power forward. Pivots of his height/weight usually do pretty well in middle-tier conferences. His athleticism would only help.
Though probably not as spry, Elkins projects much like Evan Bradds (Belmont). Both are thin, bouncy combo forwards who have to overcome their slighter frames by being quick and springy.
Schools also pursuing Elkins include Campbell and nearby powerhouse Kentucky Wesleyan (D2).
Overcoming Budget Constraints
According to USA Today and Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center, Austin Peay only spends $25,434 a year on men’s basketball recruiting. This ranks near the very bottom of D1, and absolutely the lowest investment in the OVC.
If you are going to spend the least, then you need to attract quality players in your immediate region. Austin Peay routinely recruits Kentucky, St. Louis, and occasionally rural Tennessee. Elkins fits nicely into that niche.