It’s that time of year again, another Texas Southern basketball season is upon us. Over the past nine years Texas Southern has been one of the most consistent mens programs in the SWAC.
The defending SWAC Champs return several key pieces from last years team including, John Jones, Justin Hopkins, Joirdon Karl Nicholas, John Walker III, Galen Alexander, Yahuza Rasas, and Jordan Gilliam. The team will get a returning piece in Bryson Etienne who sat out last season due to injury. The Tigers have also added key pieces including transfers AJ Lawson from McNeese State and Brison Gresham who played a significant role in University of Houston’s Final Four run.
Possible Upsets for Texas Southern
If your’e wondering am I really predicting that Texas Southern could defeat a PAC-12 opponent in their 4th game of the season. Well in the words of Kevin Garnett “Anything is Possible.” TSU will have the element of surprise on their side. Coach Jones will still be trying to figure his line-ups and the teams style of play won’t be defined. Washington only had one player receive preseason all conference recognition, Daejon Davis a grad transfer from Standford. The Huskies lost every point guard that saw minutes last season and were picked to finish 11th in the PAC-12.
North Carolina State
The tigers will enter this game with three days rest and 4 games under their belt The Wolfpack finished 14-11 overall and 9-8 in conference. NC State finished with 321 turnovers which was third most in ACC. It returns leading scorer Jericole Hellems and Manny Bates who led the ACC in blocks. However, Bates also finished 14 games with at least three fouls. TSU will have a shot if it can slow down Hellems and get Manny Bates in foul trouble as well and cut down on its own turnovers.
Louisiana Tech and UT-GRV (UT-Rio Grand Valley) both provide a chance for winnable games. By no means am I saying Louisiana Tech isn’t a good team — it finished 24-8 overall, 12-4 in conference and won two games in the NIT. It returns four starters but won’t have the same caliber of talent as some of the Power Five schools TSU will have faced up to this point. LA Tech also finished last season with 411 turnovers.
UTRGV is a familiar non conference opponent. TSU has faced UTRGV twice in the past three seasons, winning both matchups. Texas Southern won last seasons game in a 77-75 thriller inside the H&PE Arena.