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MBB signs prep standout, receives early preseason rave
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nashville, Tenn. - Tennessee State University men's basketball head coach John Cooper announced the signing of prep standout Jay Harris to a National Letter of Intent.

Harris will join the Tigers this fall for the 2011-2012 academic year.

"We are excited to have Jay join the program," Cooper added. "We are eager to see how he can contribute to our team and are pleased to see that he chose to come play for us here at TSU."

Harris enters TSU after spending last season at Charis Prep (Wilson, N.C.) averaging 14 points, 11 assists and three steals per game. Running the offense from the point guard position at Charis Prep, he helped set a team milestone with a 24-0 home record.

A 5'10 guard and native of Philadelphia, Pa., Harris attended Robeson High School and was an All Public League and All City selection when he averaged 20 ppg as a senior. Harris also played on the Runhouse Team in the 2010 season of the Philadelphia Positive Image League.

With the season a distance away, TSU has received great reviews for the upcoming year.

According to's Catlin Bogard "This year, they're (TSU Tigers) more talented and more experienced. At the end of the previews, I'll rank the teams from 1-11, and I can tell you this team will be near the top, if not at the top, of my ranking. Beware the Tigers in March." Tennessee State Men's Basketball Preview

Harris will provide depth at the guard position with the loss of sixth man, Jacquan Nobles, and first-year player Verkeneo Mann. Both elected to transfer at the conclusion of the season.

Nobles, a sophomore from Ayden, N.C., finished last season averaging 7.5 ppg making the first four starts on the year. In his first year, he started 15-of-32 games played and finished second on the team in scoring with 11.2 ppg. 

That season, he led TSU in three-point shooting knocking in 43 percent from behind the arc. He finished his first year as a member of the 2010 All Ohio Valley Conference Newcomer Team.

Mann, a native of Decatur, Ala., started 1-of-20 games played last year averaging 2.0 ppg and shot 80 percent from the free-throw line.

Last year, the Tigers did not have a senior on their roster. For the upcoming season, all five starters return in guards Will Peters (10.5 ppg | 4.2 apg) and Patrick Miller (11.4 ppg) with forwards Kenny Moore (14.5 ppg), Robert Covington (13.4 ppg | 7.5 rpg), and Michael Green (1.7 bpg).

Miller was named OVC Freshman of the Year and joined Moore on the OVC Newcomer Team. Covington was named to the OVC Second Team. He received his second Conference honor after being named to the Newcomer Team in 2010 with Nobles.

Peters finished last year third in the OVC in assists with Green closing out the year second in the league in block shots.

Lastly, three D-I transfers Jordan Cyphers (Utah), Muniru Bawa (Indiana) and Kellen Thornton (Illinois State) and redshirt freshman Malcolm Rhett will add talent, experience and depth after sitting out last season.

TSU released the men's basketball tentative 2011-12 schedule. The Tigers will play Trevecca-Nazarene (11/1) in exhibition play before opening the season on the road at Saint Louis (11/11).