NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the regular season opener just over two-and-a-half weeks away, Tennessee State men’s basketball Head Coach Dana Ford is pleased with the progress his team has shown in recent practices.
“It’s been encouraging because guys are getting better every day,” Ford said. “We are starting to execute a little bit better. We are getting our rotation intact, and that’s helping with a lot of the execution.”
Trying to blend a group of newcomers with five players who saw minutes for the Tigers a year ago, Ford has been encouraged by veterans and young players alike.
“Darreon Reddick (Belleville, Ill.) has been pretty solid this preseason, and so has Christian Mekowulu (Lagos, Nigeria),” Ford continued. “Some of our more veteran guys like Keron DeShields (Baltimore, Md.) and Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) are really stepping up. Of our new guys, I think our freshmen have been a pleasant surprise. Samson Oyediran (London, England) has really defended well and really bought into the team concept.”
With the season inching closer and closer every day, fans will have three chances to see the team before the season opens on Nov. 13 at Loyola in Baltimore, Md. Big Blue Madness is set for Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Gentry Center followed by the Blue & White Scrimmage on Nov. 3 in the Gentry Center and an exhibition game versus Cal State East Bay on Nov. 7 at Kean Hall.
Big Blue Madness will consist of a dunk contest, three-point shooting contest, skills competition and an autograph session.
“It’s exciting for the fans, our students and our alums if they can come out,” Ford said about Big Blue Madness. “It will be their first chance to see our team this year. We’ve got some new faces as well as some returners. We’ll get a chance to participate with our women’s team, who are coming off a championship. It will give our students a chance to interact with our team, and it should be fun.”