Governors Left Searching for Answers in Vandy Loss
From the moment they stepped onto the floor Friday night Austin Peay appeared unsteady, timid, and overmatched.
They lost 80-41 to a crisp Vanderbilt Commodore offense. VU (1-0) throttled the visiting AP Governors (0-1), who shot a nightmarish 21.9% from the floor.
“Our shot quality, our shot selection was pretty bad, but I have to give them credit for that,” said Austin Peay Head Coach Dave Loos.
Luke Kornet was wonderful in victory, suggesting an NBA-future could follow.
“I thought Luke was really good on both ends,” said Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings. “He really anchored our defense at the back end.”
He has come a long way in the last two years. The customary scoring leaders for Austin Peay, Josh Robinson and Chris Horton, were not as prolific as needed.
In the opening half, Josh Robinson missed every single shot. Nine times he offered. Maybe once it appeared the bucket was possible. Robinson finished with seven points (2-13).
“I really like Dave (Loos), so I hope it was our defense and not their bad offense,” said Coach Stallings. “Because I want them to have a good year.”
Senior Chris Horton infused energy, but suffered block after block. He just looked small. The whole team did.
“It is what it is,” said Coach Loos. “We are going to have to learn to play that way.”
Late in the game Horton limped off slightly. He merely sustained a left calf cramp. Horton led the visitors with 14 points (3-14 FG’s).
“We came unraveled,” said Coach Loos.
After the game Coach Loos sounded despondent. The loss was frustrating to Coach Loos because he did not seen learning and adapting from his guards. Facing the gigantic front line Coach Loos wanted his charges to drive into the lane and then kick or score on pull-up jumpers. They really did neither.
In fact, Austin Peay finished with an astonishing one assist.
Overall, Jones might have been the bright spot in the dark of night. Jones registered six points and tugged down six rebounds.
Jones will be a high energy guy in the Ohio Valley Conference. His energy must be high to compensate for his smaller size. Still, Austin Peay has no other options on the blocks. They even played Jared Savage on power forwards Friday night, which is not his position. At all.
John Murry might be able to provide some bench scoring going forward. The 6-foot-3 wing can score in a variety of ways. He did not make any outside shots, but projects as a multi-level scorer.
Little positive can be drawn from this contest. In fact, honest evaluations of the direction of the program must be broached. Is Austin Peay building a program?
If Austin Peay is building a program where are the building blocks? Khalil Davis and Horton are outgoing seniors and the only underclassman to provide much of anything was Savage. Robinson can score, but when faced with an SEC-opponent he was terrible. Perhaps Robinson’s night was not indicative of his career. Either way the Austin Peay program lacks quality depth, quality youth, and quality size.
It is going to be a long slog in 2015-2016.