From Racer Athletics...
The Murray State Racers get the 2018-19 season going Monday with an exhibition game against the Brescia Bearcats. The 7 p.m. tip is at the CFSB Center in Murray, Ky.
The Racers' only exhibition game finds them meeting Brescia for the first time outside of regular season play. Previously, the Bearcats have visited The Bank for games that count in five-straight seasons from 2012-17.
At media day activities, the Racers were picked second in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason voting by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. The Racers, were picked behind Belmont and ahead of Jacksonville State and had more first place votes.
The exhibition with Brescia will lead the Racers into it's 93rd season of collegiate basketball and when the Racers host Morehead State in January 2019, the 70th season will begin in the OVC.
Coming off an incredible 2016-17 season when the Racers went 26-6, won both the OVC regular season and tournament titles and made their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance, the Racers look to retool somewhat in the 2018-19 season with three returning starters. Sophomore point guard Ja Morant (Dalzell, S.C.) who was named All-OVC First Team and All-OVC Newcomer Team as a freshman is All-OVC Preseason. He started every one of the Racers' 32 games and was 15th nationally with 6.2 assists per game. Morant enters his sophomore season as the fifth returning scorer in the OVC at 12.7ppg, the eighth returning rebounder at 6.5rpg and the first returning assister at 6.3apg.
Seniors Shaq Buchanan and Brion Sanchious give the Racers a total of three returning starters for 2018-19. along with Morant. Sanchious (Pompano Beach, Fla.), is the glue that holds the Racers together on both ends of the floor. He made 61 percent of his 70 shots from 2017-18. Buchanan (Madison, Miss.) became a starter in the third game of the season and became a player that can do just about everything a team needs to win. He led the team with 50 steals (4th in the OVC) and tossed in 9.1ppg and grabbed 3.9rpg. Senior Anthony Smith (Suitland, Md.) appeared in all 32 games off the bench for the Racers and his experience and high energy will be even more important to the team this season.
The Racers open the regular season at home (Nov. 10) against the Wright State Racers and then enjoy home games with Spalding (Nov. 16) and Missouri State (Nov. 24) before taking to the road for the first time (Nov. 26) for a game at Alabama.
Racer fans should mark Dec. 15 on the calendar for a special day when MSU hosts Jackson State. Coach Tevester Anderson will be back on campus for the game that involves the last two teams he coached at during his distinguished career. Anderson assisted Mark Gottfried from 1995-98 and had a big part in three OVC regular season titles and a pair of NCAA appearances. As head coach from 1998-03, Coach T's Murray State teams won 103 games in five seasons including two OVC titles and two trips to the Big Dance. Anderson ended his career at Jackson State (2003-13) by winning two SWAC titles and taking JSU to one NCAA appearance.
The Racers get the regular season going Saturday when they host the Wright State Raiders Saturday at 7 p.m. at the CFSB Center. It's a double-header day with the MSU women's team playing Oakland City at 5 p.m.