March 10, 2011

While we wait, where we stand; Golden Eagles finishing on top

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Golden Eagle men's basketball team awaits the start of its post-season tournament endeavors, here's a recap of how they finished on the season.

With an overall record of 20-12, the Golden Eagles recorded only their fifth 20-game winning season in program history, two of which have fallen under head coach Mike Sutton and his staff. With a final conference record of 12-6, the fourth seeded Golden Eagles capped off their post-season conference play with a trip to the championship round of the OVC tournament, something that they haven't done since 2003.

En route to the tournament finale, Tech took out the no. 1 seeded Murray State Racers in the semi-final round of the tourney, 64-59, and garnering a win over Murray for the first time since January of 2009. They also defeated UT Martin handily in the quarterfinal round, 83-59.

Juniors Zac Swansey and Kevin Murphy and sophomore Jud Dillard were named to the 2011 OVC All-Tournament team for their efforts throughout the week.

Swansey notched his fifth double-figure assist game during the tournament, scoring 29 points and notching 22 assists over three games. He averaged 9.7 points and 7.3 assists per game, and finished ranked first in the OVC in assists with 207 on the year, 6.5 per game played. He also took the no. 1 spot in steals, snagging 66 on the year, and had the best assist to turnover ration at 207 to 113 for a ratio of 1.8. Swansey was also named to the OVC's all-newcomer team following his post season play.

Murphy finished ranked third in the OVC with 532 points for an average of 16.6 per game. He had a .471 accuracy from the floor and notched 122 defensive rebounds on the season for an average of 3.8 per game. A member of the post -season OVC all-tournament team, Murphy was also named first-team all-OVC by head coaches and sports information directors throughout the league. In the post-season tournament, he averaged 24.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game shooting over 40% from the field and the three-point line.

Dillard averaged a double-double over the duration of the post-season tournament and notched two straight against UT Martin and Murray for his sixth and seventh on his career. He went 16 and 16 against Martin and hung 14 and 11 on Murray, averaging 13.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. With 163 rebounds on the year, Dillard ranked eighth in overall rebounding, sixth in defensive rebounds with 4.3 per game. Jud also ranked seventh in the conference with a field-goal percentage of .498, but was surpassed by senior teammate Alfred Jones, who led the conference up until the OVC tournament in accuracy. Jones finished going 114-179 for a .637 shooting percentage, falling just short of the top spot, which went to Kenneth Faried with a .644 percentage.

Overall, the Golden Eagles led the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring offense with 2396 points on the season, averaging 74.9 per game. The team's combined accuracy of .479 from the floor and 799 defensive rebounds (25 per game) also took top honors, while they finished second with a rebounding margin of +5.3 and in assists with 454 on the season, 14.2 per game.