First Impression: PG Tre’ Ivory
After sweeping their exhibition slate Austin Peay appears set with freshman Tre’ Ivory (Louisville, Kentucky/Trinity) as the Sixth Man.
Ivory averaged 20.0 mpg, 3.5 ppg, and 3.0 apg. Tre’ is not the first Ivory to suit up for Austin Peay.
A father always wants his son to elevate the family. Be just a bit better. Young Tre’ Ivory begins his own career for Austin Peay this week, just as his father, Willie Ivory, did 18 years ago.
Suiting up from 1996-1998 Willie contributed 380 points to the cause.
Ivory was not expecting to play this much this early, but Austin Peay is down to ten men. Injuries to Chris Porter-Bunton and Jeremy Purvis grouped with a half-season suspension to Damarius Smith left just Zavion Williams in the backcourt.
“‘Purv’ got hurt, so I stepped up when they put me in,” said Ivory. “It is kind of like high school. I was pretty used to it. We ran the same things. It is basically the same things, so I was really prepared coming in. But the coaching staff has really got me up to speed and that is why I am playing a lot.”
For now Ivory is asked to pressure the ball and initiate the offense. Scoring is not his job.
“Just a lot of disturbing, not really looking to score, but I will score when needed to,” said Ivory.
Fans can look forward to his contagious energy. Ivory has incredibly quick legs, which he uses to defend with vigor. Opponents will be annoyed with the defensive effort he puts in from baseline to baseline. During OVC Media Day Head Coach Dave Loos suggested Austin Peay would defend more of the floor than last season. For this to succeed the Governors will rely primarily on Ivory and Williams.
Together and apart the lead guards are required to pressure the inbounds after made (Austin Peay) baskets.
“They tell me, ‘Make sure everyone is back. If everyone is back, do not get up and pressure the ball.’ It allows us to set up our defense and them not getting easy transition buckets if I pick up the ball,” said Ivory.
Ivory credits two veterans with tutoring him already.
“I would say Zavion, but the big difference was D.D. (Smith) in practice,” said Ivory. “He really pressured me. He makes me do what a point guard is supposed to do and he gets on me when I am not doing it. So I would say D.D.”
Highs and Lows
Many freshmen struggle with consistency. Not Tre’. There is just one horrific series of plays staining an otherwise perfect opening week. Facing Webster University, Ivory tried to drive and kick and wound up driving and kicking the ball 20’. On the next play he lobbed to a static teammate. Maybe he misread his buddy, but he essentially threw a two-handed lob off the backboard from top of key. Ugly. After the opponent scored on the other end Ivory instantly lost the inbounds pass.
Burn that tape.
Ivory’s greatest display occurred mere minutes later. A teammate thrust an outlet pass ten feet ahead of Ivory along the sideline. Ivory made up burst past a defender, caught an outlet pass, and turned the corner before his defender got back on defense. That one play showed all of Ivory’s physical gifts coupled with his mental awareness and court savvy.
Reflecting on the entire first exhibition game Coach Loos beamed with delight.
“I thought he showed that he is going to be a guy that can help our basketball game for sure,” said Coach Loos. “Tre’ was impressive tonight. I thought he ran the club good. He worked defensively, got in the middle of their defense, found the open man. Hit a couple shots, I think. I was really impressed with him.”
Wednesday night, as Austin Peay humbly ousted Bryan College, Ivory recorded his second highlight of the exhibition slate.
Leading 50-39 midway through the second half, Ivory hounded his mark into a five second call. The 12-0 scoring run of Austin Peay seethed Bryan College players. They desperately needed a solid, methodical, offensive possession and Ivory individually ruined their intentions.
Subtle, yet spectacular.
OVC guards get ready. Tre’ can play.