Men’s Basketball Tips Off 2020-21 Season Tonight At Washington State

• Texas Southern kicks off an uncharacteristic late start to the 2020-21 campaign on the road on Wednesday night at Washington State in Pullman, Wash. Due to the effects of COVID-19, the NCAA pushed back the 2020-21 season to Nov. 25 and due to the nature of the virus, expect a fluid schedule which could change weekly.

• This marks the third year for TSU head coach . 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.

• This marks the fourth meeting against Washington State in series history for TSU and the seventh consecutive season TSU has faced a Pac-12 team. Both TSU and WSU met in 1989, 2015 and 2017 with WSU holding a 3-0 lead. The last meeting in 2017 came down to the wire as WSU won 86-84 in overtime. 

• Washington State is 21-0 all-time against the SWAC as they’ve played every team in the league with the exception of Alabama A&M. TSU will also face Southern Cal later this year.

• Even though TSU head coach Johnny Jones has spent 19 years as a head coach, he has only faced four Pac-12 teams as head coach and is 1-6 all-time. He’s 1-1 against Oregon, 0-3 versus Arizona State, 0-1 versus Colorado and 0-1 against USC.

• 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 57-39 all-time in the month of November and 5-9 at TSU. 



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