The 2016-17 Tennessee State men's basketball season begins with a Nov. 3 home exhibition game versus Fisk at the Gentry Center. TSUTigers.com will provide a preview leading up to the season. Post players are featured in today's preview.
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s basketball team’s post players are a blend of newcomers and returners headlined by redshirt senior Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Martin, who is in his second season at TSU, posted a team-best 10 double-doubles last season. The 6’7 forward was third in the Ohio Valley Conference with 9.1 rebounds per game, while also putting up 11.1 points per game a year ago.
The Tigers will also work Christian Mekowulu (Lagos, Nigeria) back into the fold after missing last season with an injury. Mekowulu, a 6’9 redshirt sophomore, posted 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a freshman in 2014-15.
Head Coach Dana Ford put an emphasis on adding size to the frontcourt with the addition of junior college transfers Ken’Darrius Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala.) and Xavier Williams (Fairfield, Ala.). Hamilton, Williams and Mekowulu, who are all 6’9, give TSU three players who are listed at 6’9 or taller for the first time since Alex Bates, Michael Green and M.J. Rhett suited up for the Tigers in 2013-14.
Two other players who are in their second season at TSU are Samson Oyediran (London, England) and Khalill Spencer (Memphis, Tenn.). Oyediran provided a spark off the bench by adding 1.3 points and 1.2 boards per game in 23 appearances with one start as a freshman, while Spencer gained experience in the system in practice during his redshirt season.
TENNESSEE STATE HEAD COACH DANA FORD
"We’re a lot bigger this year. We’re a lot stronger and a lot more physical. I think we have more guys who score with their back to the basket. Our main priority is getting them in playing shape and getting them strong enough to where their bodies can endure a complete season. We’re pretty pleased with them. We’re going to have to change up some of our defensive techniques in order for them to be successful. Our guys last year were smaller and faster, and they could do some things that this group can’t do. On the flip side, we can throw it down into the block and get a good bucket or get fouled. I also think this group of big men pass the ball a little better than we’ve been able to in the past. We’re equally as pleased. It’s just a different type of post player this year."
TENNESSEE STATE 2016-17 POST PLAYERS
|Wayne Martin||R-Sr.||6'7||237||Led TSU with 10 double-doubles in 2015-16; Averaged 11.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg|
|Xavier Williams||R-Jr.||6'9||220||Put up 7.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg at Holmes CC last season|
|Christian Mekowulu||R-So.||6'9||240||Missed 2015-16 with injury; 8.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg as a freshman in 2014-15|
|Ken'Darrius Hamilton||Jr.||6'9||275||Led Meridian CC in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) in 2015-16|
|Khalill Spencer||R-Fr.||6'4||230||Sat out first season at TSU in 2015-16 as a redshirt|
|Samson Oyediran||R-So.||6'7||220||Played in 23 games with one start in 2015-16; Averaged 1.3 ppg and 1.2 rpg|