NASHVILLE --- With the first game just over a month away, the Tennessee State men’s basketball team held its first official practice of the 2019-20 seasons on Tuesday night at the Gentry Center.
Second-year Head Coach Brian “Penny” Collins guided the squad through the first full team workout.
Coming off a 9-21 record in 2018-19, the Tigers open the year with an Nov. 5 home game versus fellow HBCU Alabama A&M before hitting the road to play nearby Chattanooga on Nov. 9. TSU features two returning letterwinners in Michael Littlejohn and Emmanuel Egbuta, as well as LaTech transfer and Nashville-native Jy’lan Washington and redshirt-freshman Monty Johal.
Redshirt-Freshman Guard Monty Johal
-On beginning the new season as a veteran
Last year I was a little slow. My body wasn’t fully developed yet. Getting through one practice was something else. This year I can feel my body has changed. The game has slowed down for me. As a whole, my teammates and I, we’re just getting after it this year.
-On the difference between summer workouts and official preseason practice
At the beginning of the summer, we had a lot of new guys this year. The chemistry wasn’t there at first and as time has passed, we’re all like brothers now. The camaraderie of the whole team is great.
-On bonding off the court
Off the court we bond really well. The team has a lot of diversity in personalities and we all mix together really well.
-On what the team needs to work on before game one
Right now, we really just need to work on our pace - slowing down. We have a lot of new guys, a lot of newcomers that haven’t played Division I basketball yet. So, just getting this all together and understanding how different it is from JUCO or high school.
-On what he’s working on individually
Individually, I’m going to be working on being a consistent shooter, playing defense and playing both ends of the court as hard as I can.