For the seventh year in a row, the Ohio Valley Conference has conducted a preseason Men’s and Women’s Basketball Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total, 13 voters from around the league cast a ballot on whom they thought would be the 2020-21 basketball favorites and preseason players of the year.

The media panel picked co-favorites on the men’s side with Austin Peay and Murray State sharing first-place honors, while they predicted UT Martin as the favorite in the women’s race. In addition, Austin Peay senior guard/forward Terry Taylor and UT Martin senior forward Chelsey Perry were tabbed the OVC Preseason Players of the Year.

Earlier this month, the OVC coaches and communications directors poll were released and had the same favorites and preseason players of the year.

In the men’s voting, Austin Peay and Murray State each picked up six first-place votes and 145 points in being tabbed the co-favorites. Belmont picked up the other first-place vote in being picked third (137 points). Eastern Kentucky was picked fourth (115) and followed by Eastern Illinois (98), Tennessee State (92), Jacksonville State (80), Tennessee Tech (56), Morehead State (54), UT Martin (46), SIUE (29) and Southeast Missouri (17).

UT Martin received 10 of the 13 first-place votes to tally 149 points and top the poll. Belmont was second with one first-place vote and 137 points, while Southeast Missouri earned two first-place votes and 132 points in being picked third. Tennessee Tech was fourth (114) and followed by Eastern Illinois (105), Austin Peay (85), Murray State (80), Jacksonville State (76), Morehead State (48), Eastern Kentucky (43), Tennessee State (24) and SIUE (21).

Pollsters for the 2020-21 OVC Media Poll included: Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Rob Calhoun, Eastern Illinois Radio; Wes Chandler, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; Michael Dann, Harrisburg Daily Register; Edward Marlowe, The Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio; Brian Rives, Governors Sports Network; Jeremy Rose, Murray State Radio; Harry Schroeder, ValleyHoopsInsider.com; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; and Rich Tiner, Belmont Radio Network.

2020-21 Media OVC Preseason Men’s Predicted Order of Finish

1. Austin Peay (6 first-place votes) — 145 points

1. Murray State (6 first-place votes) — 145

3. Belmont (1) — 137

4. Eastern Kentucky — 115

5. Eastern Illinois — 98

6. Tennessee State — 92

7. Jacksonville State — 80

8. Tennessee Tech — 56

9. Morehead State — 54

10. UT Martin — 46

11. SIUE — 29

12. Southeast Missouri — 17

Preseason Player of the Year: Terry Taylor, Austin Peay

2020-21 Media OVC Preseason Women’s Predicted Order of Finish

1. UT Martin (10 first-place votes) — 149 points

2. Belmont (1) — 137

3. Southeast Missouri (2) — 132

4. Tennessee Tech — 114

5. Eastern Illinois — 105

6. Austin Peay — 85

7. Murray State — 80

8. Jacksonville State — 76

9. Morehead State — 48

10. Eastern Kentucky — 43

11. Tennessee State — 24

12. SIUE — 21

Preseason Player of the Year: Chelsey Perry, UT Martin

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