One thing Tennessee State knows how to do is promote a game.
TSU dropped a well-thought-out promo for its men’s and women’s basketball programs’ Ohio Valley Conference home opener against Jacksonville State on Thursday night a few hours ahead of the game.
The video features men’s coach Dana Ford and women’s basketball coach Jessica Kern being summoned to their respective offices and receiving Mission Impossible-style phone calls to accept the challenge of conference play.
It’s a great concept that was well-executed and worth a watch.
Of course, it will take more than just a good Youtube video to get that done.
Fighting through growing pains
The TSU women enter the Jacksonville State game 0-2 in the OVC after dropping a squeaker to Southeast Missouri on Saturday. They are also on a three-game losing streak and are 2-9 overall.
First-year head coach Jessica Kern says that she’s seeing her team grow before her eyes.
“Eventually they’re going to be so angry at this feeling that they’ll get to the point where we get turn the corner and that means playing a disciplined game,” she said after Saturday’s loss. “There’s not a single kid in the locker room that doesn’t want that win.”
“We’re not so concerned about our overall record, we’re concerned about our quality of play. Once we turn that corner, we’re going to be that team in February that nobody wants to play.”
It’s been an up-and-down season so far for TSU’s men’s program. The team entered OVC-play 5-6 after a tough non-conference schedule that included Kansas, Purdue, and Texas.
But even with that record, there was optimism about the team as they nearly knocked off Texas in December, suffering a 47-46 loss on a buzzer beater. Then they dropped their first two conference games on the road.
Make no mistake about it, head coach Dana Ford is happy to be home in the Gentry Center on Thursday.
“It’s been a long road trip for us, a couple thousand miles, we just appreciate the fact that we get to be in our own beds, practice in our own gym and have an opportunity to play on our own court,” he said.
TSU will be facing a Jacksonville State team that comes in at 11-4 overall and 2-0 in the OVC.
“They’re really good, they’re really big, they’re well-coached. Really physical, great defensive team. Really balanced offensive team, and extremely athletic,” Ford said. “We’ll have our work cut out for us and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”