• This marks the second 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 last season.
• TSU has to replace three key starters from last year’s squad but has several returnees who had made starts last year that will have to step up. Point guard Tyrik Armstong, shooting guard John Jones and forward Eden Ewing will be counted on to lead the charge as Armstrong and Jones are top returning scorers while Ewing is the top returning rebounder.
• Head coach Johnny Jones is 78-71 all-time in the month of January and 9-4 at TSU.
• Jones is 1-1 lifetime against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
• Mississippi Valley State was picked seventh in the SWAC’s preseason poll and is under the direction of SWAC legend George Ivory. UAPB ranks third in defense yielding 71.3 ppg while Markedric Bell leads the team with 10.1 points per game. Marquell Carter is the top rebounder with six boards per game and third in blocked shots with one per game.
• UAPB has won three of the past five games versus TSU but has struggled inside the H&PE as TSU has won 10-of-11 at home versus UAPB. UAPB won its first game in Houston in 2018 with the last win in 2009 which ultimately was vacated.
• Since Jan. 6, TSU guard Bryson Etienne is averaging 17.2 points, 2.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds while making 24-of-30 free throws.
• TSU takes the term “home, sweet home” to heart as the Tigers are 97-23 inside the H&PE Arena since 2008. TSU has won nine-plus games at home every year since the 2010-11 season.
• TSU was picked second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference preseason poll as senior forward Eden Ewing was named to the All-SWAC Preseason First Team. Ewing was granted a sixth year of eligibility in the summer.