Men’s Basketball Back In Action Tonight At Saint Mary’s

• Texas Southern heads to the state of California for its first-ever meeting against Saint Mary’s Thursday night at 9 p.m. TSU is looking for its second consecutive win on the season as the Gaels are members of the West Coast Conference and are a perennial NCAA Tournament program.

• This marks the third year for TSU head coach Johnny Jones. Jones went 24-14 in his inaugural year as head coach with three Power 5 conference wins. TSU fell in the finals of the 2019 SWAC Tournament and competed in the CIT. TSU advanced to the semifinals of the CIT in 2019. Last season, the Tigers made it back to the semifinals of the SWAC Tournament after a third-place regular season finish but saw the season end abruptly due to COVID-19.

• Tonight will mark the first-ever meeting between SMC and TSU. SMC is 6-1 all-time against the SWAC with its lone loss to Mississippi Valley State (88-84) in 1990.

• Saint Mary’s is one of two WCC teams TSU will square off against this season as TSU will face BYU on Dec. 21.

• Jones is 2-2 all-time against the West Coast Conference with games against Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and San Francisco.
• The SWAC has named senior guard Michael Weathers as its co-player of the week for his outstanding performances during the opening week of competition. Weathers (Roeland Park, Kansas) led TSU in scoring (14.7 ppg) over a three-game span.

• TSU was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the 2020-21 SWAC title in the annual preseason poll. The Tigers also had a trio of student-athletes earn preseason honors as Yahuza Rasas and Justin Hopkins were named to the first team while Chris Baldwin received second team honors.

• TSU returns an experienced roster with nine lettermen returning and three starters. Depth won’t be an issue early on for the Tigers as they return six players who combined for 22 starts while serving as valuable members of the rotation last season. In terms of newcomers, experience won’t be an issue as four of the five newcomers are NCAA Division I transfers who sat out last season due to NCAA rules.

• Head coach Johnny Jones is 82-49 all-time in the month of December and 3-9 at TSU.

Courtesy: TSUSports.com

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