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2019-20 Men's Basketball Season in Review
Thursday, March 26, 2020
2019-20 Men's Basketball Season in Review


  • The Tennessee State men’s basketball team finished the 2019-20 season with an 18-15 overall record including a 9-9 mark in Ohio Valley Conference regular season games.
  • TSU earned the fifth seed in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament, winning its first postseason game since 2012-13 over Morehead State, 74-67, then falling in the quarterfinals to Eastern Kentucky, 58-48.
  • The Tigers accepted a bid to host the John McClendon Classic as part of the first round of the Tournament, however, the tournament was canceled due to public health concerns surrounding COVID-19.
  • Tennessee State earned the championship title for this year’s Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, defeating Cal Poly and North Florida at the Orleans Center.
  • Big Blue posted an 11-3 home record at the Gentry Center, tying for the all-time record set in 1980-81 and repeated in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2015-16.
  • Sophomore Carlos Marshall, Jr. was named to both the OVC All-Newcomer Team and All-OVC Second Team.
  • It is the fifth year in a row TSU has placed at least one player on the All-Conference team.
  • Head coach Brian “Penny” Collins was named BOXTOROW Coach of the Year.
  • Brian “Penny” Collins also was named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award.
  • Four Tigers led the league in scoring: Carlos Marshall Jr.(8), Wesley Harris (11.6), Michael Littlejohn (10.7), Jy’lan Washington (10.5). The last time four Tigers averaged double-digits was 2012-13 with Robert Covington, Kellen Thornton, Patrick Miller and Jordan Cyphers.
  • Freshman Mark Freeman dished out 131 assists over the course of the season outpacing the efforts of Armani Chaney, who led the Tigers in assists for two consecutive seasons with 111 and 73.
  • Shakem Johnson won the Tigers’ sole OVC weekly award as the junior-college transfer was named Newcomer of the Week after posting a career-high 27 points, six rebounds and two blocks over Blue Mountain, and went 5-of-7 from the field with 11 points, four rebounds and a block.
  • Michael Littlejohn earned College Sports Madness OVC Player of the Week after leading the Tigers in scoring against San Diego State and Cal Poly in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invite.
  • Shakem Johnson led the league in field goal percentage, shooting 62.4 percent (126-202). Jy’lan Washington ranked third shooting 88-of-145 (60.7 percent).
  • Jy’lan Washington led the league shooting over 53 percent from beyond the arc (25-of-28), while Michael Littlejohn and Wesley Harris were in the top 10.
  • Five Tigers pulled down over 100 boards, helping the Tigers rank 24 in the nation in total rebounds. The last time five Tigers had more than 100 rebounds apiece was 2016-17.
  • Emmanuel Egbuta made it to round two of the Dark Horse Dunker competition, the voting competition that would earn the champion a spot in the College Dunking Championship at the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. 
  • Michael Littlejohn earned a spot on the OVC 3x3U Championship team which would have competed for $150,000. The championship was canceled due to public health concers regarding COVID-19. 
  • The Tigers moved from dead last in the conference averaging just 945 fans per home game in 2018-19 to second with a 350 percent increase.