OVC Media Day: Canaan named Preseason Player of the Year

Senior guard Isaiah Canaan salutes the crowd during Racer Madness. Canaan was named OVC Preseason Player of the Year Tuesday morning at OVC Media Day.

Senior guard Isaiah Canaan salutes the crowd during Racer Madness. Canaan was named OVC Preseason Player of the Year Tuesday morning at OVC Media Day. || Photo courtesy of Sports Information

OVC predicted finishes for the 2012-13 season were released early this morning, as men’s basketball was predicted to finish in first place in the West and women’s basketball was picked to finish fourth.

Garnering 22 of 24 first-place votes in preseason voting, the Racers are expected to remain near the top of the conference all season behind 2012 Preseason OVC Player of the Year and senior point guard Isaiah Canaan, who averaged 19 points per game during a 31-2 campaign in 2011-12.

Alongside Canaan is senior forward Ed Daniel and UAB transfer guard Dexter Fields, who didn’t see any play last season due to his redshirt transfer status. Daniel led the OVC last season averaging 1.5 blocks per game and shot 58 percent from the field, while Fields averaged four points and 10 minutes per game in his lone season at UAB during the 2009-10 season.

Canaan and Daniel were both selected for the 2012-13 Preseason All-OVC team.

Belmont was picked as the favorite to win the East Conference, snagging 21 of 24 first place votes in the preseason poll.

Junior guard Erica Burgess was awarded 2012-13 Preseason All-OVC team honors and should lead the women’s team for the coming season.

Finishing last season averaging 16.8 points per game and 5.3 rebounds, Burgess and company will be looking to build on a 13-18 season and .500 record in conference play.

Women’s Head Coach, Rob Cross (left) and Men’s Head Coach, Steve Prohm (right) at OVC Media Day || Edward Marlowe/The News

UT-Martin, behind the play of senior guard and 2012 Preseason OVC Player of the Year Heather Butler, was picked to finish first in the West, while Tennessee Tech was picked to win the East.

With the admission of Belmont University to the OVC starting this season, this marks the first year of separate divisions in the history of the conference.

Edward Marlowe, Staff Writer

2012-13 OVC Men’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
Order of Finish Points
East
1. Belmont (21 first-place votes) 131
2. Tennessee State (3) 109
3. Tennessee Tech 87
4. Morehead State 77
5. Eastern Kentucky 56
– Jacksonville State n/a
West
1. Murray State (22) 132
2. Southeast Missouri (2) 108
3. Austin Peay 92
4. SIUE 73
5. Eastern Illinois 49
6. UT Martin 38

2012-13 OVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Team
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State G 6-1 195 Sr. Biloxi, Miss.
Ian Clark, Belmont G 6-3 175 Sr. Memphis, Tenn.
Robert Covington, Tennessee State F 6-9 215 Sr. Bellwood, Ill.
Ed Daniel, Murray State F 6-7 228 Sr. Birmingham, Ala.
Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech G 6-5 190 Sr. Riverdale, Ga.
Kerron Johnson, Belmont G 6-1 175 Sr. Huntsville, Ala.
Patrick Miller, Tennessee State G 6-1 189 Jr. Chicago, Ill.
Marland Smith, Southeast Missouri G 6-2 175 Sr. Little Rock, Ark.
Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri  F 6-8 230 Jr. Memphis, Tenn.
Mark Yelovich, SIUE F 6-6 223 Sr. Mt. Zion, Ill.