Morehead State Eagles
Ohio Valley (19-15, 12-6)
Big Wins: 12/30 at East Tennessee State (71-61), 3/6 vs Tennessee Martin (63-55), 3/7 vs Austin Peay (67-65)
Bad Losses: 11/14 at Louisiana Monroe (54-56), 11/23 vs Florida A&M (74-79), 11/29 vs Grambling State (71-72)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1984, First Round loss to Louisville
Coach: Donnie Tyndall (First NCAA appearance)
Why They Can Surprise:
The Ohio Valley may not provide the stiffest competition around, but by the numbers Morehead State is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. Much of the success on the glass can be attributed to Kenneth Faried. The 6-8 sophomore grabs an amazing 12.8 rebounds per contest. Faried is also a solid shot blocker and he will never make it easy for the opposition to get to the basket. However, Faried is more than just a defender; he is also averaging 13.9 points per game and any time he does not tally a double-double it is a surprise.
What makes the Eagles frontcourt so dominating is the fact that Faried is not the only talented player who hangs out in the paint. At 6-5, Leon Buchanan is undersized for a power forward, but he is a tough interior player who always works hard on the glass. Buchanan, who leads the team with 15.1 points per game, is a great scorer in the paint and can step out and hit the mid-range jumper.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Coach Donny Tyndall has a couple capable ball handlers in Demonte Harper and Brandon Shingles, but this is a team that turns the ball over way too much. Harper, who dishes out 3.4 assists per game, turns the ball over more than that. Fortunately, Harper is a capable scorer and that makes the turnovers a little easier to stomach, but the Eagles simply cannot turn the ball over as much as they usually do if they want to pull off an upset in the NCAA Tournament.
Who To Watch:
Maze Stallworth is the starter at the small forward spot and the team’s third leading scorer behind Buchanan and Faried. Stallworth is the team’s best long range shooter and when he is hot he can score in bunches. Stallworth has connected on five or more three-pointers on seven occasions this season and the Eagles won six of those games. But Stallworth can use his 6-4 frame to get to the basket. Against Tennessee Tech in February, Stallworth only hit one three-pointer, but he still managed to tally 16 points by attacking the basket and getting to the charity stripe 12 times. Robert Murry can provide a spark off the bench when given the opportunity. The 5-10 junior will not hit many outside shots, but he does a surprisingly good job sneaking into the paint and finishing.
Brandon Shingles, Junior, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 3.9 apg
Demonte Harper, Sophomore, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 3.4 apg, 4.0 rpg
Maze Stallworth, Junior, Guard, 12.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Leon Buchanan, Senior, Forward, 15.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Kenneth Faried, Sophomore, Center, 13.9 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg
Terrance Hill, Freshman, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Robert Murry, Junior, Guard, 8.3 ppg, 1.4 apg
Steve Peterson, Freshman, Forward, 1.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.6 (128th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.5 (163, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (154, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (97, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (252, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.4 (193, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (72, 2)
Rebound Margin: 8.0 (7, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.9 (172, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (260, 7)
Following the final Bracket announcement, more team info will be added, including final RPI, final team statistical rankings, Joel's prediction, and more!