Murray State men's basketball coach, Billy Kennedy, on his seniors Tyler Holloway and Kevin Thomas after the Racers' loss to Austin Peay on Friday in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals.
“Both of these guys have been with me the last three years, and it’s disappointing they don’t get to continue playing. Tyler has probably gotten more out of his ability than just about any player I’ve ever coached. His mental preparation, his attitude, his character, and his work ethic has been better than anyone really in our program the last three years. Kevin, the last month or so, stepped up. He battled injury early in his career and really did a tremendous job the last few weeks and even in the last six minutes of the game, he didn’t want to let go, and I’m really thankful we had these two guys and their effort and their character was much appreciated.”
Part of the Racers' problem Friday was the fact they couldn't get any breaks in play. The Racers were called for 22 personal fouls while the Governors were called for 15. Only a few of the Racers' fouls were desperation, strategical fouls. Whether the calls were legitimate or not really isn't my expertise, but in the last six games of the season, the Racers were called for an average of 14.6 fouls a game. Their opponents were called for 21.2 fouls a game. Granted, the Racers played five of those six games at home, but it's not like the Racers are a hack-and-shove team.
I cut this part of my story from Friday night because it simply made my story too long for publication:
Coach Kennedy’s frustration with the officiating was clearly evident, and he spent plenty of time stalking the sidelines, yelling at referees’ decision for a call or no call. With just less than four minutes left and the Racers called for another foul, Kennedy just threw his hands at the refs and walked back to his bench.
Even when Jeffery McClain hustled after a loose ball and collided with two other APSU players, it was McClain that went to the bench injured and with a foul.
“He’s OK,” Kennedy said about his sophomore. “He’s more disappointed than injured. We didn’t fly around with that kind of recklessness in the beginning of the game, and we tried to at the end but it was too late.”