Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men's basketball team will open the 2010-11 season in exhibition play when they host Trevecca Nazarene at the Gentry Center. The match-up is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 2, with a 7 p.m. tip-off.
TSU holds an 8-0 lead over the Trojans in the all-time series with most of the games coming in exhibition play. TSU jumped out to an early lead last year, defeating TNU, 91-62, inside the Gentry Center.
The Tigers are coming off a 9-23 (6-12 OVC) record winning 5-of-11 at home last season. Returning from last year's squad are Wil Peters, Tashan Fredrick and OVC All-Newcomers, Jacquan Nobles and Robert Covington. Three of the four were starters, but, all played a significant amount of minutes and should help mold a team that welcomes 11 newcomers.
Last year, Covington led the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounds (6.5 rpg). Nobles finished last year as one of the top three-point shooters in the conference with a .439 average while finishing second on the team in points, averaging 11.2 points per game. Peters led the team in minutes played while averaging 9.6 points per game. Fredrick made 12 starts in 30 games played posting 3.4 points per contest.
Newcomers for the Tigers include: freshmen, Michael Green (Columbia, S.C.), Verkeneo Mann (Decatur, Ala.), Patrick Miller (Chicago, Ill.) and Malcolm Rhett (Hopkins, S.C.). Each was 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.
Junior College transfers Kenny Moore and Jerret Towns will bring a wealth of on-court experience after helping their teams to winning records in their final season while Division I transfers Kellen Thornton, Jordan Cyphers, and Muniru Bawa will sit out the 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer rules after coming in from reputable programs. Thornton and Cyphers spent two seasons at their previous school while Bawa transfers in after one year.
For the Trojans, three of their top four scorers return after finishing 21-10 overall and 11-5 in the TransSouth Conference. Michael France returns for TNU after finishing second on the team last year in points (17.0 ppg) and rebounds (5.2 rpg).
Keith Morris led the team in blocks with 27 in 2009-10 while averaging 12.4 points and five boards per game. Marquise Rudolph (10.0 ppg), the assist leader from last year (2.45 apg) and top rebounder, JP Nyadaro (5.3 rpg), also add depth to the Trojans' roster.
The Tigers will host Carson-Newman on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. for their last exhibition game before opening the 2010-11 regular season at Mississippi State on Nov. 12, in Starkville, Miss. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.