Team preview: Austin Peay

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:11 PM ET
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COACH AND PROGRAM

You can bet Austin Peay coach Dave Loos had a hard time saying goodbye to four seniors from the 2003-04 team.

Those four -- guards Corey Gipson and Rhet Wierzba, forward Adrian Henning and center Josh Lewis -- were instrumental during the best two-year run in program history.

Their 45 wins over the last two seasons were the most ever combined in consecutive seasons. Wierzba, Henning, and Lewis played together for four years and tasted victory 81 times; Gipson joined the team for his junior season.

They helped carry the team to the NCAA Tournament in 2003. Last year, their 16-0 record was the first unbeaten season in the OVC since 1969-70 (by Western Kentucky), and after losing to Murray State in the league title game, they beat Belmont in the NIT before losing to George Mason, 66-60.

"I've gotten spoiled. I've become accustomed to those guys the last several years," Loos said. "We have some work to do, losing those four starters.

"I don't think the cupboard is completely bare. We have some guys coming back with experience but we will certainly miss those guys."

And Loos isn't just talking about missing their points and rebounds.