Tech Tidbits: Peter Producing at Historic Level for ATU

Taelon Peter 2023-24
Taelon Peter

Taelon Peter is doing things for the Arkansas Tech University men’s basketball program that have not been done in a long time.

The junior guard from Russellville is averaging 20.6 points per contest with two games remaining in the regular season. He is on pace to become the first Wonder Boy since 2006-07 and just the second since 1994-95 to average 20 or more points per game in a season.

Peter leads the Great American Conference in scoring, he ranks second in the league in 3-point field goals made (3 per game) and steals (1.9 per game) and he is third in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.456) while shooting 52.7 percent from the field overall.

And with Arkansas Tech (20-6 overall, 16-4 GAC) in the thick of the conference championship chase, Peter has been at his best late in the season. He has scored 20 or more points in nine of the Wonder Boys’ last 11 games and he has played 35 or more minutes in 11 of Tech’s last 12 games.

As a result of his production over the past month, Peter has moved all the way up to 18th on ATU’s all-time men’s basketball scoring list with 1,263 career points.

It’s the kind of season that garners GAC player of the year and All-America consideration. No Wonder Boy has earned either of those awards since Johnie Davis achieved both distinctions in 2011-12.

“Taelon is Taelon, man,” said Mark Downey, ATU head men’s basketball coach, during a recent post-game interview. “I don’t think I give him enough credit. It would be easy to get spoiled, but believe me I’m not spoiled with Taelon. I love that dude in every which way. I remember the first summer I came back (to ATU), and we were playing pick-up in the gym. He was getting to the rim on everyone. There were some good players on the floor, and he was knifing through everybody. I want that Taelon every time he gets the ball on the fast break. He just has that instinct.

“Having Taelon Peter on your team and in your program…not only is he a great player, but he does so many other things for us with his leadership and his character,” continued Downey. “I’m glad he’s with us.”

The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (12-12, 9-11) earned a season-defining 80-70 win at Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Thursday.

Senior guard Maisa Marcal had nine points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists — narrowly missing what would have been just the second triple-double in ATU women’s basketball history — as the Golden Suns defeated SWOSU in Weatherford for a second consecutive year.

“I thought we did a good job of being two-way players,” said Dave Wilbers, ATU head women’s basketball coach, after the victory over SWOSU. “We played good defense against a really good offensive team, especially in the first half. We did a good job of breaking their pressure, which we struggled with the last time we played them. Our team just likes to play basketball. It’s good to have some emotion when you play this time of year.”

Arkansas Tech will enter the final week of the regular season in position to clinch its 18th consecutive postseason appearance in women’s basketball. The Golden Suns would punch their ticket to the GAC Tournament March 7-10 in Shawnee, Okla., with one win or one Ouachita Baptist University loss this week.

Arkansas Tech will close out the regular season by hosting Henderson State University at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29, at Tucker Coliseum, and by visiting Southern Arkansas University at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday, March 2.

Tickets ($5 adults, $3 children and senior citizens) for the 2023-24 home finale on Thursday are available at

Live coverage of all four games will be available on KCJC 102.3 FM, and the EAB Media Group app.

Talk to you on the radio.

Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.