NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee State men’s basketball team took full advantage of Tuesday’s practice as another building block and another chance to grow as a team. The high-energy practice included live five-on-five scrimmages.
Second-year Head Coach Dana Ford applauded the effort of his returners for helping elevate the level of practices. TSU welcomes back Marcus Roper (Walton Beach, Fla.), Xavier Richards (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands), Demontez Loman (South Port, N.C.), Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) and Christian Mekowulu (Lagos, Nigeria), who all saw minutes a year ago. Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) and Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) are also eligible after sitting out last season at TSU as transfers.
“The last couple days of practice, they’ve been able to practice at the expectation that we set here,” Ford said. “That’s really helped.”
Tuesday’s session began with shooting and layups before giving way to stations focusing on offensive movement, dribbling and post up play.
The team’s competitive nature was on full display with the five-on-five live scrimmages consisting of three four-minute games in the middle of practice.
“We’ve really started to pick it up in practice,” DeShields said “Our leaders came together, and we’ve been watching a lot of film. Practices have been tough, but we need it. It really brings out the competitive edge in you, and that’s mainly what the last practices have been.”
Following the scrimmages, the team went through shell offense and a four-on-four drill before finishing up with end-of-game situational plays.
“I think practice has gotten a little bit better,” Ford said. “Our goal is to try to get better every day. That’s the only thing we’re worried about is how can we have the best practice we can have today. We were able to maintain some consistency in our effort and execution.”