Friday, October 22, 2021


Head coach Ryan Ridder and graduate guard Darius Simmons represented the University of Tennessee at Martin men’s basketball team during the annual Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Media Day festivities, which were held virtually and presented by CenterPoint Energy.

Ridder and Simmons discussed the upcoming 2021-22 campaign, which will be the first in the Ridder Era. It will also be the first season in a Skyhawk uniform for all 14 players as UT Martin is the only NCAA Division I institution to not have any returners from the previous season. Because of that unfamiliarity, the Skyhawks were selected 10th by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors in the preseason poll.

UT Martin’s roster is made up of six Division I transfers, one Division II transfer, a pair of junior college transfers and five true freshmen. The nine newcomers with collegiate experience have combined for 4,151 points and 453 games played. The Skyhawk roster is filled with local talent as four Tennessee natives (KK Curry, Josh Endicott, Chris Nix, Grant Hurst) grace the roster – the most for the program since 2017-18.

The 2021-22 UT Martin schedule is shaping up to be one of the toughest in recent memory as No. 18 Tennessee (Nov. 9) and No. 17 Ohio State (Dec. 21) are amongst four opponents who advanced to the postseason last year. For the first time since the 2010-11 season, the OVC slate will feature home-and-home matchups against the other nine teams. The OVC Championship tournament will be held at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. for the fifth consecutive season as this year’s event is slated for March 2-5.

Photo Gallery

Gallery: (10-21-2021) OVC Media Day

Preseason All-OVC Releases

Video Content

UT Martin Head Coach Ryan Ridder

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UT Martin Guard Darius Simmons

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Preseason All-OVC Team

Preseason Co-Player of the Year: Grayson Murphy, Belmont
Preseason Co-Player of the Year: Johni Broome, Morehead State

Position – Name, School
F – Johni Broome, Morehead State
G – Tevin Brown, Murray State
G – Jr. Clay, Tennessee Tech
G – Chris Harris, Southeast Missouri
G – Carlos Marshall Jr., Tennessee State
G – Grayson Murphy, Belmont
C – Nick Muszynski, Belmont
G – Skyelar Potter, Morehead State
G – Luke Smith, Belmont
F – KJ Williams, Murray State

Preseason Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Belmont (17 first-place votes) – 161 points
  2. Morehead State (3) – 141
  3. Murray State – 136
  4. Southeast Missouri – 101
  5. Tennessee State – 84
  6. Austin Peay – 76
  7. SIUE – 65
  8. Tennessee Tech – 62
  9. Eastern Illinois – 43
  10. UT Martin – 34

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