Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Austin Peay Governors - 11/15/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Austin Peay Governors (12-18) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (20-12)
College Basketball: Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm (EA Diddle Arena)
The Line: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers -11.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Austin Peay Governors travel to E. A. Diddle Arena to take on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers to kick of their 2014-15 seasons.
The Governors come into this season looking to make significant improvement from last year’s 12-18 squad. Dave Loos lost a few key contributors from last year’s team in Travis Betran and Will Triggs, but returns one of the better unheard big men in the country in Chris Horton. Chris Horton averaged 13.2 points with a staggering 59.5 FG% while also producing 9.5 rpg and 3.1 bpg. Austin Peay will have many new faces to provide a supporting cast for Chris Horton as they have a couple of Junior College transfers in Khalil Davis & Assane Diop and incoming freshman guard Josh Robinson who could all have an immediate impact for the Governors. Coach Loos has run an up-tempo style of offensive over the past few years which will naturally lead to giving up more points, however, for Austin Peay to make any noise this year, they will need to improve on the defensive end as they gave up on average 78.9 ppg last year which ranked them 340th in the country.
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Western Kentucky has become a solid program under head coach Ray Harper and coach Harper will hopefully continue to find success in their new conference, Conference USA. The Hilltoppers will return 4 starters from last year’s squad, including leading scorer T.J. House (15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg), Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, Chris Harrison-Docks (9.9 ppg, 2.2 apg), and Senior Forward George Fant (13.3ppg, 6.6rpg). Along with the experience, Coach Harper has an exciting prospect in Justin Johnston who will hopefully be able to provide an instant impact for the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky displayed a solid defense last year giving up only 67.6 ppg last year, however, if Coach Harpers squad is going to make noise in Conference USA this year, they’ll have to improve a bit on the offensive end as the Hilltoppers only were able to produce 68.6 ppg while shooting only 41.4% from the field.
Over the last 5 non-conference games the Austin Peay Governors are 4-1 ATS. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are 13-4 ATS in their last 17 against the Ohio Valley but only 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 home games.
Western Kentucky comes into this season with a lot motivation to continue their recent success, however, I have a feeling that they might already be overlooking the Governors and focusing on their 2nd game of the season at Minnesota. Although I don’t think the Governors have much of a chance to win this game, I feel that Chris Horton will cause enough trouble to keep the game within the spread so I’m going to back the Governors for this one.