Nashville, Tenn. --- Tennessee State University men's basketball has announced their 2010-11 schedule. Despite playing much of the top half of the schedule on the road, the Tigers will play 13 home games this year while meeting eight teams in non-conference action.
After hosting two exhibition games against Trevecca Nazarene (Nov. 2) and Carson-Newman (Nov. 8), the Tigers will open the regular season with six consecutive non-conference match-ups beginning with Mississippi State (Nov. 12) in Starkville, Miss.
TSU will follow with a home game against Fisk (Nov. 15), before heading back on the road to face Illinois State (Nov. 17), Air Force Academy (Nov. 20), and St. Louis (Nov. 23).
The Tigers will then host Belmont (Nov. 29) before beginning Ohio Valley Conference play on the road against Eastern Illinois (Dec. 2) and Southeast Missouri State (Dec. 4).
They will then continue non-conference play at Alabama A&M (Dec. 7) before hosting LeMoyne-Owen (Dec. 12). The Tigers will then play host to OVC opponents Morehead State (Dec. 19) and Eastern Kentucky (Dec. 21).
TSU's scheduled non conference games will end on the road at Middle Tennessee State (12/29) before opening 2011 at Memphis (1/2).
It will be conference games the rest of the way starting with games at Murray State (Jan. 6), UT Martin (Jan. 8), then home against Austin Peay State (Jan. 15) on ESPNU, Jacksonville State (Jan. 20), and Tennessee Tech (Jan. 22).
The league return games will then begin at Morehead State (Jan. 27) and Eastern Kentucky (Jan. 29) before hosting Murray State (Feb. 3) and UT Martin (Feb. 5).
The Tigers will hit the road for three straight versus Jacksonville State (Feb. 7), Austin Peay State (Feb. 12), Tennessee Tech (Feb. 14), followed by a team to be announced in the ESPN Bracket buster (Feb. 19). They will then close out the season at home against Southeast Missouri State (Feb. 24) and Eastern Illinois (Feb. 26).
"We faced a tough road schedule last season, so this year, we have added some more home games. We have tremendous support from our fans and we enjoy playing in front of them in the Gentry Center," said head coach John Cooper. "One thing we learned last year; was how to play on the road." "This year's schedule features some tough teams as well as respectable programs right here in Tennessee."
Last year the Tigers finished 9-23 overall, with a 6-12 conference record, while recording a 5-6 home record. For the upcoming season, the Tigers have added nine to the roster which features only four returners from last year's team.
Junior Wil Peters (Nashville, Tenn.) and sophomores Robert Covington (Bellewood, Ill.), Jacquan Nobles (Greenville, N.C.), and Tashan Fredrick (Hemingway, S.C.) will head a young team that welcomes the addition of four freshmen, two junior college transfers along with three transfers from highly recognized Division I basketball programs.
Freshmen, Michael Green (Columbia, S.C.), Verkeneo Mann (Decatur, Ala.), Patrick Miller (Chicago, Ill.) and Malcolm Rhett (Hopkins, S.C.), were named to their all-area teams while receiving either all-state first team or honorable mention selections. Mann redshirted last season after joining the squad at mid season.
Division I transfers Kellen Thornton, Jordan Cyphers, and Muniru Bawa will sit out the 2010-11 season after coming in from reputable programs. Thornton and Cyphers spent two seasons at their previous school while Bawa transfers in after one year.
"My coaching staff and I thought about the future as well as being competitive this season. We feel the players we brought in add value to our program," said Cooper. "Our freshmen are very talented and we feel that they will have the opportunity to play valuable minutes."
"Our junior college transfers both come from well respected programs and we are looking forward to them adding experience and toughness on the floor," said Cooper.
"Even though they have to sit out this season, we have three players on our roster that have played for well established Division I basketball programs. We have no seniors this year, so we should be a solid veteran team when those guys are eligible to play next year," added Cooper.