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Govs making strides in opening weeks of practice

Jimmy Trodglen/Tnsports360.com

By Riley Cooper

Tnsports360.com

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- The season tipoff for Austin Peay basketball draws closer as it await a tough road-opener against Cincinnati in less than a month.

Practice for the Govs officially started Sept. 26, and they’re looking to improve on the team’s best record in nearly a decade.

“I’ve been pleased for the first few weeks,” said Govs coach Dave Midlick, following practice earlier this week. “A lot of effort and a lot of energy. Injuries have stayed away from us for the most part. We still have a way to go, but I’m pretty pleased with the first few weeks.”

Installation and finding the team’s strengths are important this early in practices, especially as Midlick focuses on playing an up-tempo offense and playing the length of the court.

“I think that they have gotten better on both of those things,” Midlick said. “We have been able to play some better pressure defense without fouling. We’ll see when we have real referees how that goes, and we have been, for the most part, able to get some shots out of our offense.”

Govs senior guard Keisha Gregory, one of the team’s leaders, mentioned the hardships of getting back into a rhythm.

“It’s a lot different because we have lost three key players, but I think we have all overcome that and all have a role,” Gregory said. “I think we all know what that role is.”

Gregory said the Govs have shown signs of progress, both offensively and defensively.

“I think we have done well with our offense and our defense, mostly just staying in front in the change-of-game and mostly just being a pressing type of team,” Gregory said.

During Tuesday’s practice, the defenses swarmed to the ball and played clean, physical basketball. The offenses had its moments, especially rebounding.

One improvement Midlick hopes to see is communication and vocalization.

“We need to be more vocal to help our teammates out on defense. And matching up and guarding screens,” Midlick said. “That is going to happen as you are putting in a new offense and new defense. As you get more comfortable, hopefully, they’ll understand what they have to say and when they have to say it.”

Austin Peay is set to begin the season when it plays Georgetown College in an exhibition game at the Dunn Center Nov. 2.

Riley Grubbs is an intern with Tnsports360.com. Questions and comments can be directed to jtrodglen@tnsports360.com

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