NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University men’s basketball team officially opens up the season this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. against Reinhardt at the Gentry Center.
The Tigers will face the Eagles for the first time in school history. This will be the first of five games this season in which TSU will square off with an opponent it has never faced. A lot of firsts will happen on Friday, but to name just a few, it will be the first game coached for head coach Dana Ford and it will be the first game played in a Tiger uniform for 12 of the 13 players.
Eyeing the Tigers
Based on practice and the Big Blue Madness scrimmage, the probable starting lineup for Friday may have three freshmen in it. First-year players Charles Tucker, Darreon Reddick, and Zachary Lee have caught the eye of the coaches and figure to be prominent contributors, at least for the first game of 2014.
It is well known that TSU has the youngest coach in all of Division I as well as the most inexperienced roster, having just two players with Division I experience. Those two players who have seen time, senior Jay Harris and junior Christian Crockett, will look to lead a TSU side in their first contest against Reinhardt.
The Eagles may be just what the doctor ordered as the first game for this young Tiger team. Reinhardt is an NAIA school out of Waleska, Ga. who made the NAIA Tournament last year, but bowed out in the first round.
The Eagles are coached by Jason Gillespie who has been at the school for nine years and has amassed 168 wins. He coached the team to an 18-13 record last season and figures for another strong campaign in 2014-15.
Coming in to their game with TSU, Reinhardt has played, and won, three games so far this season. Their focus thus far has been forcing turnovers and creating points from those turnovers. They have had a player score at least 20 points in each game and scored an average of 83 total points.
The Tigers will be the first of two Division I teams on Reinhardt’s schedule as they play Winthrop later this season.
The first tip-off of the 2014-15 season is set for 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. This will be the first of three chances for Tiger fans to see their team in action during the month of November.