HAMPTON, Va. (Nov. 3, 2023) … Hampton University men’s basketball is set to begin the 2023-24 season on Monday, November 6th against longtime rivals Howard University. The Pirates are coming off their first season in the Coastal Athletic Association. Head Coach Edward Joyner Jr. enters his 14th season under the helm. Monday night’s contest marks the 93rd meeting between these two squads. The Pirates are (62-30) all-time against the Bison.
A look at the Pirates
While Hampton will have to replace Marquis Goodwin and Duece Russell, the Pirates are returning some key pieces. HU’s leading scorer from the 2022-23 season, Jordan Nesbitt, returns for his junior season. Nesbitt averaged just shy of 15 points per game and six rebounds last season. The St. Louis Mo. native, produced his first 30-point game of his career against Stony Brook. Also coming back for Hampton is Kyrese Mullen. During his freshman campaign, Mullen almost averaged a double-double. He would be named to the CAA All-Rookie Team.
The Pirates also made seven additions to the roster this offseason. Coach Joyner was able to sign five players from the portal and two from the high school ranks. Three of the transfers joining Hampton are coming from Power Five schools. Tristan Maxwell played in ACC for Georgia Tech and both Ja’Von Benson and Ford Cooper played in the SEC for South Carolina.
Hampton By the Numbers
- 260: The Pirates are ranked 260th in the initial 2023-24 Kenpom Rankings
- 812: The Pirates will be missing 37 percent of their scoring from last season with Marquis Goodwin and Duece Russell graduating
- 3: HU will be facing three teams this season projected to make the tournament in Joe Lunardi’s original bracketology release
- 37%: HU’s Tedrick Wilcox Jr. has nearly shot 40 percent from three during his collegiate career
- 232: Jordan Nesbitt is 232 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point mark in his career
A look at Howard University
Howard finished the 2022-23 campaign with a (22-13) overall record and went (11-3) in the MEAC. With the Bison defeating Norfolk State in the MEAC Tournament championship game, they secured a spot in the NCAA tournament. Howard faced the Kansas Jayhawks in the opening round and fell to the 2022 National Champions (96-68).
The Bison are coached by Kenneth Blakeney who enters his fifth season with the program. During the past two seasons, Coach Blakeney has had a record of (38-26). Since Blakeney has been at Howard the Bison are 2-1 against the Pirates. All three meetings have been decided by ten or fewer points.
Howard this season will have to replace their top two scores from last season Elijah Hawkins and Steve Settle III. Both Hawkins and Settle combined averaged 24 points per game. However, the Bison are returning Shy Odom. Odom played in 31 games for Howard last season and averaged 10.9 points per game. He also shot an efficient 81 percent from the free-throw line. The Roxbury, Mass. native, would also be named the MEAC Rookie of the Year and the MEAC Tournament MVP.
Howard By the Numbers
- 237: The Bison are ranked 237th in Kenpom’s first rankings release
- 339: Shy Odom scored the 13th most points in the MEAC last season
- 282: Howard was one of the better three-point shooting teams in the MEAC making a league-high 282 threes
- 755: The Bison will have to replace 29% of their scoring from the 2022-23 campaign
- 8: Howard has a veteran squad with seven graduate students and one senior