Second-year Texas Southern head men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones and staff announced its complete non-conference schedule which includes its first NCAA Division I home opponent since 2014, 11 true road games and a return to familiar grounds for several staff members.
“We are excited about our non-conference schedule.” Jones said. “Our coaching staff had the goal of putting together a schedule that was extremely competitive and would prepare us for the rigors of the SWAC. This is a schedule that will most definitely challenge us.”
During the 2018-19 season, the Tigers played the No. 1 toughest non-conference schedule in the country (kenpom.com), while going on to set the NCAA Division I school-record for total wins and wins over Baylor, Oregon, and Texas A&M. This year’s schedule is just as difficult with nine teams ranked 116 or higher, including No. 2 Gonzaga.
Texas Southern’s non-conference schedule tips off on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at San Diego State. The contest kicks off a six-game road trip which has the Tigers traveling to Wichita State, South Dakota, Arkansas, Northern Kentucky and Montana.
The team’s home opener is set Saturday, Nov. 30 as the Tigers will host Lamar University. This marks the first time since 2014 TSU will host a Division I team as a non-conference opponent.
The month of December is a series of rematches from last season as TSU will head to Gonzaga (Dec. 4) followed by its final non-conference home contest versus Concordia on Dec. 7. On Dec. 18, the team heads to Nevada as it’ll mark the return to familiar grounds for head coach Johnny Jones and two staff members. Three days later on Dec. 21, TSU returns to the University of Oregon before closing out the non-conference slate at Arizona State (Dec. 28) and Texas A&M (Dec. 30).
“Our players have worked extremely hard this off-season for the opportunities in front of us,” said Coach Jones. “As we have said before, our non-conference schedule is a great branding tool for our university and basketball program. Our players and staff want to compete against the best, and we definitely sell that in recruiting.”
*SDSU finished with a 21-13 (11-7) record and an appearance in the Mountain West championship game. The Aztecs had a 116 NET ranking to finish the season.
*Wichita State finished with a 22-15 (10-8) record and made it to the NIT semifinals, losing to Lipscomb. On their way to the NIT Semifinal game, they beat Furman, Clemson, and Indiana. The Shockers finished the season ranked 63rd in the NET Rankings.
*Arkansas finished their season with an 18-16 (8-10) record, and an appearance in the NIT. The Razorbacks finished the season ranked 60th in the NET Rankings.
*Gonzaga capped off their season at 33-4 (16-0), losing to national runner-up Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga finished their season ranked 2nd in the NET Rankings.
*Oregon finished at 25-13 (10-8) last season, with a Sweet 16 loss to eventual National Champions UVA, 53-49. TSU defeated Oregon 89-84 last season.
*Arizona State finished with a record of 23-11 (12-6), with a loss to Buffalo in the NCAA Tournament.