There is always something special in the air a day before the Murray State and Austin Peay game. The anticipation of playing the game that everyone circles on their calendar, the build up before facing your arch nemesis. Rivalries are what make competitive sports great, and boy is this a good one. Pay no attention to their records, this game will be great. And with ESPN U in the bank, I expect to see a monstrous crowd.
THE FOUR FACTORS
b style="font-weight: normal;">Just like the last time these two teams met, Murray State will be trying to bounce back after a tough conference loss, and again, this game could be the confidence booster the Racers need to make another run. So it’s important that Murray State stays focused and take care of the task in front of them, and not look ahead to the big game against Belmont coming up. If Murray State wants to flush the Peay, then they will need to follow my Keys to Success.
First of all, the Racers must stay in attack mode. Murray State has made a habit of starting off slow and trying to fight back the whole game. If they start off aggressive and stay aggressive, then the Racers have a better chance of controlling the game and possibly get Austin Peay in foul trouble.
But this all comes down one simple thing that Murray State has to execute: Someone not named Canaan or Daniel must consistently score points. Canaan and Daniel are the backbone of this team, this we know, but at times they are the entire team. When teams prepare to play Murray State, their game plan is simple - stop Canaan and Daniel. And so far, this has been successful for them.
No other player for the Racers has given a reason for opponents to respect them as a scoring threat, so most of the attention is set on stopping Canaan and boxing out Daniel. If just ONE other player for Murray State steps up and forces defenses to respect them, the Racers WILL dominate.
And last, Murray State must defend the three-point shot. The long ball is Austin Peay’s bread and butter, and if it isn’t defended well, this game will be close. Remember how the Governor's almost came back last time? If they would have made one more three-pointer at the end of the game, then it would have been a whole different story.
I expect the Racers to take care of business against the Governors. I hope we look better than we did the last time we were on ESPN (vs Tennessee Tech). But get to the CFSB Center and get loud, it’s time for Murray State and Austin Peay. Go Racers.