Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Five Former OVC Players on NBA Opening Day Rosters

Five former Ohio Valley Conference players are/were on NBA opening day rosters.

The five are Kenneth Faried (Morehead State), Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), Cameron Payne (Murray State), Ian Clark (Belmont) and Robert Covington (Tennessee State).

Here's a release from the OVC:

Five former Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball players have made National Basketball Association (NBA) rosters as the league officially kicks off its 2015-16 season tonight.

Former two-time OVC Player of the Year Kenneth Faried begins his fifth season with the Denver Nuggets, two-time former OVC Player of the Year Isaiah Canaan (Philadelphia 76ers), former OVC Player of the Year Ian Clark (Golden State Warriors) and Robert Covington (Philadelphia 76ers) begin their third seasons in the NBA while last year's OVC Player of the Year Cameron Payne (Oklahoma City Thunder) begins his rookie season.

Faried, drafted as the 22nd pick of the First Round of the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged 12.6 points and 8.9 rebounds/game last season in 75 games for the Nuggets. In his four-year career he has an average of 12.2 points and 8.7 rebounds/game. In the summer of 2014 he was a part of the Team USA squad that won a gold medal in the World Cup of Basketball. While at Morehead State Faried was named OVC Player of the Year in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and OVC Defensive Player of the Year in each 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. He helped the Eagles to NCAA Tournament victories in each 2009 and 2011 and earning All-American honors after leading Division I in rebounding and double-doubles.

After being drafted No. 34 overall (fourth pick of the second round) by the Houston Rockets in 2013, Canaan played the 2013-14 season and part of last year with the franchise before being traded to Philadelphia. In 22 games with the 76ers to close last season Canaan produced his best professional numbers in averaging 12.6 points and 3.1 assists/game; both of those numbers were well above his 7.7 and 1.7 career averages in those categories. At Murray State Canaan became the sixth player in Murray State history and 17th player in OVC history to reach the 2,000 career point mark. He was in the top-10 in scoring in NCAA Division I during his entire final season, finishing with 21.8 points per game. He was also the all-time leader in made 3-point baskets at Murray State and third all-time in the OVC with 304. Canaan left MSU having been OVC Freshman of the Year and OVC Tournament MVP in 2010 and earning All-American honors as a junior and senior. The Racers won three-straight OVC regular season titles, made two NCAA Tournament trips and one to the NIT during Canaan's career making him part of the winningest class in MSU history with 106 victories.

Clark begins his third season in the NBA with his third team, this time the defending World Champion Golden State Warriors. Clark made the Warriors roster after spending time with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets in 2014-15. Clark, who originally signed with Utah as an undrafted free agent, has played in 53 career games and knocked down 21 3-pointers. Clark was the 2012-13 OVC Co-Player of the Year along with Canaan and outright OVC Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his collegiate career as Belmont's NCAA-era career leader in points (1,920) and 3-point field goals (340) in leading the Bruins to a third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the program's highest NCAA Tournament seed (No. 11 vs. Arizona). In 2013, Clark ranked among the NCAA leaders in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals per game en route to being named an All-American. Clark finished his career as a four-time all-conference honoree and two-time conference defensive player of the year.

Complete Release

Former OVC Players on NBA Opening Night Rosters

Isaiah Canaan, Philadelphia 76ers (@SiP03)
Ian Clark, Golden State Warriors (@IanClark)
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (@Holla_At_Rob33)
Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (@KennethFaried35)
Cameron Payne, Oklahoma City Thunder (@CamPayne)

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