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Know Your (Temporary) Rival: Austin Peay Governors

The awesome mascot ... the "Let's go, Peay!" chant ... that's right, it's everybody's favorite mostly nonthreatening mid-major opponent, Austin Peay!  Mizzou must fight an Illinois hangover and a full belly to conquer a Governors squad who has played reasonably well against at least one team better than the Tigers (i.e. Kentucky).

Austin Peay: 8-5

Points Per Minute
1.79 1.75
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.06 1.04
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.31 1.23
2-PT FG% 48.4% 46.3%
3-PT FG% 37.0% 37.7%
FT% 68.1% 73.8%
True Shooting % 55.0% 53.8%
Assists/Gm 13.5 13.5
Steals/Gm 6.2 6.9
Turnovers/Gm 14.0 14.5
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.41 1.41
Expected Offensive Rebounds 157 160
Offensive Rebounds 146 155
Difference -11 -5

Ken Pomeroy Stats

APSU Offense vs MU Defense Ranks
APSU Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 145 7 MU Big
Effective FG% 212 13 MU Big
Turnover % 128 2 MU Big
Off. Reb. % 222 301 APSU
MU Offense vs APSU Defense Ranks
MU Offense APSU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 50 225 MU Big
Effective FG% 60 245 MU Big
Turnover % 70 181 MU Big
Off. Reb. % 100 271 MU Big
FTA/FGA 320 120 APSU Big

Where the Governors are best

This is a physical offense with decent 3-point shooters and ball-handlers.  The top six players in their rotation all shoot at least 0.40 free throws per field goal attempt (as point of reference, only Keith Ramsey averages over 0.40 for Mizzou), and their top two players (Anthony Campbell, Wes Channels) have combined to make 44% of their 3-point attempts.

Where the Governors are weakest

First of all, this isn't a very big team at all -- they've got two players above 6'6, and neither are above 220 pounds.  Second, while they're reasonably physical, they're a bit of a sieve on defense.  Opponents get good shots against APSU, and they usually make them.  APSU is decent from a BCI standpoint, and they will almost certainly win the fouls battle, but unless Mizzou misses a lot of easy shots, the Govnahs probably aren't talented enough to break Mizzou's home winning streak.

APSU's Season to Date

  • @Tennessee 83, Austin Peay 54
  • Austin Peay 80, @Akron 77
  • Glenn Wilkes Classic (Daytona, FL)
    IUPUI 77, Austin Peay 63
    N.C. State 66, Austin Peay 59
    Austin Peay 69, Niagara 67
  • Drake 78, @Austin Peay 72
  • @Austin Peay 99, Freed-Hardeman 61
  • @Austin Peay 76, SEMO 71 (OT)
  • @Austin Peay 73, Eastern Illinois 60
  • Austin Peay 68, @Ohio 66
  • @Austin Peay 85, Marion (IN) 55
  • @Kentucky 90, Austin Peay 69
  • @Austin Peay 71, Evansville 68

Confusing set of results for APSU.  They got their doors blown off by Tennessee, but they trailed undefeated Kentucky by just nine with six minutes left a week ago.  They've won a couple of road games (albeit against Ohio and Akron) but needed overtime to beat SEMO at home, and they got whooped by IUPUI.  This team clearly has both fight and a strong offensive identity, and if Mizzou fails to take them seriously, clearly they'll hang around.  But if Mizzou picks up where they left off Wednesday night at the Scottrade Center, this won't be close.

Austin Peay Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Anthony Campbell (6'6, 185, So.) 13.4 0.41 32.2 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.8 TOPG
Wes Channels (6'3, 210, Sr.) 12.1 0.37 32.5 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 3.1 TOPG
John Fraley (6'8, 220, So.) 10.5 0.40 26.2 MPG, 9.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 1.3 TOPG
Duran Roberson (6'8, 215, Jr.) 7.5 0.38 19.8 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG
Marcel Williams (6'6, 235, So.) 7.5 0.27 27.5 MPG, 6.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.3 TOPG
Tyrone Caldwell (6'0, 170, So.) 6.5 0.35 18.5 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.0 RPG, 1.8 TOPG
Caleb Brown (6'0, 170, So.) 6.1 0.28 21.8 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.3 TOPG
Justin Blake (6'3, 190, Fr.) 3.1 0.29 10.5 MPG, 4.1 PPG
Eric Mosley (5'10, 165, Fr.) 2.0 0.28 6.9 MPG, 2.7 PPG
Chris Reaves (6'5, 200, Fr.) 1.9 0.27 6.9 MPG, 2.1 PPG

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • If there's one reason to be scared of Austin Peay, it's that their best player, Anthony Campbell, is extremely similar to Dominique Morrison, the Oral Roberts G/F who torched Mizzou in ORU's upset win.  He's not great at any one thing, but he's physical, he's good from long range, and he fills every column of the box score here and there.
  • This team goes roughly 8-deep.  As I mentioned above, they're not a big team at all, at least not beyond 6'6, 235-pound bowling ball Marcel Williams.  They've got depth in the backcourt, but even though only one freshman averages even 10 minutes per game, this is still a young team, with five sophomores filling up the aforementioned 8-man rotation.

Keys to the Game

  1. Show Up.  For the last three and a half days, Mizzou has been getting some serious pats on the back for ending what truly was a ridiculous losing streak to Illinois.  They probably had a nice, big Christmas meal, and the crowd, to say the least, is probably going to be less than full, what with crappy roads and the fact that December 27 is not the most fan-friendly date on the calendar, especially Mizzou fans.  All the ingredients are in place for Mizzou to sleepwalk through this one, and if they do, Austin Peay is at least good enough to hang around much longer than they should.  However, if Mizzou hits the ground running and plays some urgent basketball for the first 10-12 minutes of the game, they should be able to put it on cruise control in the second half.

  2. Kimmeh vs Campbell.  Anthony Campbell is an interesting perimeter weapon for APSU, and he will likely be guarded primarily by Kim English on the wing.  Now, "primarily" is used loosely here -- you know a bunch of different defenders will be on him at one point or another -- but if Kimmeh wins this one-on-one battle, on both sides of the court really, then APSU doesn't have enough weapons to win this game.

  3. Here comes the Predator.

    You can run, but you can't hide
    Run and tell 'em

    Pretty sure the reason I like Mike Dixon's "Predator" nickname so much is because, not only do the player and the monster bear a striking resemblance, but it also reminds me of my favorite Ice Cube song (not for, uhh, sensitive eyes).  How does Dixon respond to his best performance in a Mizzou uniform?  Does he continue to keep up what has been a pretty consistently high level of play, or is it time for a mid-season slump?  Quite simply, if the Illinois game is what we can expect from Dixon the rest of the season, then Mizzou has too many guns to be taken down by the Governors.


Under Mike Anderson, Mizzou has been pretty good about avoiding hangovers, particularly at home.  Even if the shots aren't falling and crowd is sparse, they usually keep up the energy level enough to go on a solid late-first half run and pull away.  APSU's got some intriguing players, but I don't think they can take advantage of Mizzou's rebounding weaknesses, and in the end a couple of patented Mizzou runs makes this one safe.  Mizzou 86, Austin Peay 62.