The Tennessee State University Tigers men’s basketball team began year two of the Dana Ford era passing a Nov. 13 road test at Loyola (Md.) in Baltimore following a 66-61 win in an exhibition game versus Cal State East Bay on Nov. 7. Junior Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) put on a dominating performance with 27 points and 21 rebounds in TSU’s 86-71 season opening win at Loyola, and he was named Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for his performance.
Last season the Tigers compiled a 5-26 (2-14 OVC) record under new head coach Dana Ford, a 2006 graduate of the University of Illinois. In Ford’s first season last year, the Tigers had just one returner and a total of two players who had played in an NCAA Division I game prior to the season. Ford’s roster includes 12 players who did not see minutes for the Tigers a year ago, 10 players who have seen action at the D-1 level at TSU or another institution, including four players back who saw minutes for the Tigers last season and two others who sat out the season as transfer students.
Here with their 2014-15 stats are four players returning to action with the team. Their stats are Points Per Game, Rebounds Per game, Assists Per Game, and MINuteS played Per Game. Marcus Roper is a 6-5, 205 lb senior guard from Walton Beach, Fla.: PPG 10.0, RPG 2.8, APG 0.6, and MINS 23.3; Xavier Richards is a 6-2 200 lb senior guard from St. Thomas, USVI: PPG 6.7, RPG 4.7, APG 1.4 and MINS 22.7; Demontez Loman is a 6-6, 192 lb senior forward from South Port, N.C.: PPG 4.8, RPG 5.7, APG 0.7, and MINS 25.9; and Darreon Reddick is a 6-4, 204 lb sophomore guard from Belleville, Ill., PPG 7.7, RPG 3.6, APG 1.4, and MINS 27.2.
Christian Mekowulu from Lagos, Nigeria, a 6-9 sophomore forward who played last season, PPG 8.0, RPG 5.3, is out for this season due to a torn ACL suffered in practice. Last season, the posted and finished second on the team with rebounds per contest.
The Tigers play 13 home games at the Gentry Center this season. Five of their road or neutral site games will also take place in the state of Tennessee. The Tigers play 29 regular season games against 23 different opponents, and face five teams with 20 or more wins last season — Murray St. (29), Illinois St. (22), Belmont (22), Eastern Kentucky (21) and UT Martin (21). The Tigers’ Dec. 22 game at Illinois State will be broadcast on ESPN3, while their Dec. 29 game at Tennessee is on ESPNU, and they will appear on the American Sports Network on Jan. 28 at Tennessee Tech. The OVC Semifinals will be shown on ESPNU and the Championship game airs on ESPN 2. Listen in on 102.1 FM – The Light for most games.
Next week, we will preview the OVC Champion TSU Lady Tigers women’s basketball team.
TSU 2015-16 Mens Basketball Team
0 Armani Chaney G 5-10 162 Fr. Chicago, Ill. (St. Rita HS)
1 Jordan Reed G 6-4 210 Sr. Philadelphia, Pa. (Binghamton)
2 Marcus Roper G 6-5 205 Sr. Walton Beach, Fla. (New Mexico Military Inst.)
3 Xavier Richards G 6-2 200 Sr. St. Thomas, Virgin Islands (Baltimore City CC)
5 Tahjere McCall G 6-5 195 R-Jr. Philadelphia, Pa. (Niagara)
10 Thomas Davis G 6-2 165 Fr. Nashville, TN (Lighthouse Christian HS)
11 Demontez Loman F 6-6 192 Sr. South Port, N.C. (Brunswick CC)
13 Samson Oyediran F 6-7 220 Fr. London, England (Ancilla College)
14 Darreon Reddick G 6-4 204 So. Belleville, Ill. (Belleville East HS)
15 Keron DeShields G 6-2 195 R-Sr. Baltimore, Md. (Montana)
20 Johnny Woodard G 6-4 222 Jr. Duluth, MN (North Dakota State College of Science)
21 Christian Mekowulu F 6-9 232 So. Lagos, Nigeria (Covenant Christian HS) (Ga.)
23 Neville Fincher C 6-10 246 Jr. Teaneck, N.J. (Navarro College)
30 Khalil Spencer G 6-4 220 Fr. Memphis, TN (Ridgeway HS)
33 Wayne Martin F 6-7 237 R-Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y. (Navarro College)
34 Jalen Duke G 6-5 213 Fr. Nashville, TN (Martin Luther King HS)
42 Christian Griggs-Williams F 6-7 265 Gr. Milwaukee, Wisc. (Long Beach State)
Dana Ford — Head Coach
Randy Peele — Associate Head Coach
Rodney Hamilton — Assistant Coach
Pierre Jordan — Assistant Coach
Janna Eichelberger — Director of Basketball Operations
James White — Video Coordinator