In 25 seasons as the head coach at Austin Peay, Dave Loos has won 391 games and led the Governors to three NCAA tournament appearances. However the last four seasons have been tough, as Austin Peay hasn’t registered a winning season during that period and won just eight games in 2014-15.
With the team’s season coming to an end Saturday, as they did not qualify for the OVC tournament, Austin Peay announced Saturday that the Ohio Valley Conference’s all-time wins leader will return for his 26th season with the program.
“Recently, Coach Loos and I met to discuss the future of this basketball program, and there is no one more disappointed about this season than he,” Austin Peay athletic director Derek van der Merwe said in the release. “During our meeting, Coach Loos has clearly communicated a vision for how he intends to improve the overall athletic performance of our men’s basketball program next season.”
Austin Peay’s top three scorers from this season, led by junior forward Chris Horton (13.1 ppg), have eligibility remaining. The Governors will have to account for the loss of seniors Ed Dyson and Chris Freeman, but Loos will have some productive options to work with as he looks to turn things around.
Damarius Smith, Austin Peay’s high-flying point guard, will miss the first half of the season after being suspended for what the school is calling a violation of athletic department policy.
Smith will miss all 14 of the Governors’ non-conference game, returning to play during OVC play.
“We have a standard we expected our student-athletes to adhere to and Deedee made a mistake,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “He is going to pay a severe consequence for that mistake. But he has a chance to make it right during the second half of the season, during OVC play. It is up to him.”
Smith, a senior, began last season as a reserve but ended up starting 20 games and averaged 8.0 points, 5.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. An ankle injury hampered him at the end of the season.
Junior Zavion Williams started last season as the starting point guard.
Another in-season tournament has its field set, as on Friday the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational announced its participants. The semifinal and championship rounds will be played on November 27-28 at the Orleans Arena, with there being two separate brackets. In the televised bracket, Illinois will play Indiana State and Memphis will face Baylor on November 27, with the championship and third place games being played the following day.
The non-televised bracket will have the same set up, with the games being Austin Peay vs. Brown and Stephen F. Austin vs. Prairie View A&M. Prior to arriving in Las Vegas each of the eight participating teams will play two games apiece, with the teams in the televised bracket serving as hosts. The on-campus match-ups have yet to be announced.
Of the four teams in the televised bracket two, Memphis and Baylor, reached the NCAA tournament with Illinois and Indiana State playing in the Postseason NIT. As for the non-televised bracket, Stephen F. Austin was the lone participant to reach the NCAA tournament. Brown also played in a postseason tournament, as the Bears played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
All three NCAA tournament participants in the Las Vegas Invitational field won at least one game in the Big Dance, with Baylor reaching the Sweet 16.
Below is the schedule for Las Vegas Invitational games on November 27 and 28.
Thursday, November 27
2:00 p.m. EST: Austin Peay vs. Brown
5:00 p.m. EST: Illinois vs. Indiana State (FS1)
9:00 p.m. EST: Stephen F. Austin vs. Prairie View A&M
12:00 a.m. EST: Baylor vs. Memphis (FS1)
Friday, November 28
2:30 p.m. EST: Non-televised bracket third-place game
5:00 p.m. EST: Non-televised bracket championship game
8:00 p.m. EST: Televised bracket third-place game (FS1)
10:30 p.m. EST: Televised bracket championship game (FS1)