Tigers Host Trevecca Nazarene in Exhibition Play
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team will host Trevecca Nazarene in exhibition play at the Gentry Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The Tigers hold a 7-0 series lead over the Trojans, defeating TNU in last year's exhibition match-up, 101-75.

Returning are four Tigers who saw action a season ago. Darius CoxJeremiah CrutcherLonnie Funderburkeand Wil Peters accounted for 25.8 percent of TSU's scoring and 33.6 percent of its rebounding in 2008-09. That group is led by preseason All-OVC selection and returning starter Darius Cox who averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds/game last season while hitting 52.2 percent from the field.

Crutcher returns as one of two starters after leading the team in assists with 121 last year, averaging four per contests along with four points/game. Peters averaged 2.8 points/game but led the team at the charity stripe with a .808 average. Funderburke gathered more playing time down the stretch, making seven starts in which the Tigers won six straight to move up the team standings to secure a spot in the OVC Tournament.

With only four letterwinners from the 2008-09 squad, the newcomers will be expected to step up early. JuniorsHamilton NashErick Peguero, and Josh Sain will bring college experience to the team.

Nash finished the 2008-09 season as the NJCAA leading rebounder with 14.2 per game at Redlands Community College. Peguero averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds at Colby Community College. Sain played in 33 games and scored 206 points at Chipola Community College. Before Chipola, Sain averaged 6.7 points per game for Middle Tennessee State and was a high school Mr. Basketball finalist in 2006.

Head Coach John Cooper's first freshmen recruiting class is comprised of a host of talent. Freshmen Robert CovingtonMarcus CowanTashan FredrickMartell Buie and Jacquan Nobles were all area standouts in their high school careers either making all-city, district or state teams.

A Preseason High School All American, Covington averaged a double-double with 18.1 points and 11.0 rebounds a game. Cowan and Fredrick will add more depth to the forward position. Cowan averaged a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Fredrick averaged 17.1 points/game. Buie and Nobles will see time at the guard position. Buie averaged 10.1 assists/game with Nobles averaging 20.2 points/game shooting 63 percent from the field.

The Tigers will open the 2009-10 regular season against top ranked Siena on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Gentry Center. The game is slated for a 7:00 p.m.start.