College Basketball Nation: Texas Southern Tigers

Saturday's conference-clinching scenarios

March, 2, 2013
3/02/13
11:25
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Here are the scenarios today for teams that have a chance to clinch their regular-season conference title outright. For conferences with two divisions, we use the terminology “will clinch best record” instead of “will clinch conference outright.”

Akron: Will clinch best record in MAC with win at Buffalo and Ohio loss at Bowling Green
Belmont: Will clinch best record in Ohio Valley with win vs. Jacksonville State or Eastern Kentucky loss at Tennessee State
Charleston Southern: Will clinch best record in Big South South Division with win vs. Coastal Carolina
High Point: Will clinch best record in Big South North division with win vs. Campbell
Long Beach State: Will clinch Big West outright with win at UC Irvine or Pacific loss at UC Riverside
Louisiana Tech: Will clinch WAC outright with win vs. San Jose State and Denver loss vs. New Mexico State
Memphis: Will clinch Conference USA outright with win at UCF or Southern Miss loss vs. East Carolina
Mercer: Will clinch Atlantic Sun outright with win at Stetson or Florida Gulf Coast loss vs. Kennesaw State
Miami: Will clinch ACC outright with win at Duke
New Mexico: Will clinch Mountain West outright with win vs. Wyoming and Colorado State loss at Boise State
Niagara: Will clinch MAAC outright with win vs. St. Peter's
South Dakota State: Will clinch Summit League outright with Western Illinois loss vs. South Dakota
Texas Southern: Will clinch SWAC outright with win vs. Alcorn State
Valparaiso: Will clinch Horizon League outright with win at Green Bay or Detroit loss at Illinois-Chicago
Wichita State at Creighton: Winner clinches Missouri Valley outright

Numbers to Know: Monday recap

February, 19, 2013
2/19/13
11:26
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Player of the Night -- Fred Sturdivant, Texas Southern
Sturdivant had 21 points, 17 rebounds and eight blocks in a 73-57 win over Mississippi Valley State. Consider that the last two players to reach those numbers in a game were both selected second in the NBA draft: Hasheem Thabeet and Emeka Okafor. Of course, neither of them went 5-for-18 from the line. Texas Southern is now 12-1 since its 1-13 start.

Bench Player of the Night -- Thomas Gipson, Kansas State
Kansas State held off West Virginia 71-61 and the stat of the night belonged to Gipson. Despite coming off the bench, he outscored the entire Mountaineers starting lineup in the first half 9-7. Gipson (11) combined with Nino Williams (13) to score 24 points off the bench.

Freshman of the Night -- Kevin Mays, Maryland-Eastern Shore
It took two overtimes, but the Hawks picked up their second win of the season. Mays finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and four steals in the 64-62 victory over Coppin State.

Ugly Stat of the Night -- Pittsburgh Panthers
The Panthers went 0-for-8 from 3-point range and had a season-low scoring output in a 51-42 loss to Notre Dame. It was Pittsburgh's fewest points as a ranked team since 2007. Pitt is the only ranked team with a scoreless night beyond the arc this season, and it's happened to them twice, both at home. The Panthers hadn't previously failed to hit a 3 at home since 1998.

Video: Colorado 85, Texas Southern 80

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
12:54
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Freshman Josh Scott scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 19 Colorado needed double overtime to put away visiting Texas Southern 85-80.
1. From the world of secret scrimmages over the weekend (a ridiculous NCAA rule prevents teams from talking about them even though teams travel like its a road game or two teams meet in a neutral location): Iowa and Creighton scrimmaged to a tight game. Technically, Creighton won the game (but the schools aren't supposed to keep track of scores). A source said Creighton looked very strong with a variety of offensive options, not just preseason player of the year candidate Doug McDermott. Iowa, a sleeper in the Big Ten, played well, but remains inexperienced with freshmen and sophomores in key spots. Maryland was able to scrimmage George Washington over the weekend and while the Terps are still a trendy pick to rise up in the ACC, one source said that the guard play for Maryland still needs to improve quite a bit.

2. Texas Tech scrimmaged Texas Southern and new long-term coach Mike Davis (four-year deal) and a source said that the Red Raiders played well together under interim coach Chris Walker. There was the usual adversity during the game but the Red Raiders didn't get frustrated and played through it. The energy level was high and the Red Raiders were more athletic than previously predicted.

3. Colorado scrimmaged SMU over the weekend and one source said Mustangs coach Larry Brown was coaching as if he were in his mid-40s again. The Mustangs, while offensively challenged, were strong defensively and didn't have the look of a last-place team in C-USA. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes will have no issues on the perimeter with a pair of strong, productive guards in Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie. Both could find their way onto an All-Pac-12 team by the end of the season. The Buffaloes got productive play in points and boards from All-Pac-12 first-team guard Andre Roberson. Freshmen Xavier Johnson and Josh Scott both rebounded well in the scrimmage. For the Buffaloes to excel in the Pac-12 they'll need Johnson and Scott to shine. Colorado won the Pac-12 tournament, beat UNLV and lost to Baylor in the NCAA tournament. The Buffs should be in the top half of the Pac-12 again.

ESPN.com's SWAC preview

October, 22, 2012
10/22/12
4:50
PM ET
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the Southwestern Athletic Conference, here is Eamonn Brennan's quick wind sprint through the league:



Blue Ribbon breakdowns of all 10 teams in the SWAC:

Alabama A&M
Alabama State
Alcorn State
Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Grambling
Jackson State InsiderFree
Mississippi Valley State
Prairie View A&M
Southern
Texas Southern

3-point shot: Calhoun still a presence

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
5:00
AM ET
1. UConn coach Kevin Ollie said Wednesday night that his predecessor, Jim Calhoun, has been at most of the individual and team workouts leading up to Friday's start of practice. Ollie, who was at the Jimmy V Classic dinner at New York City's Pier Sixty, said that Calhoun -- still recovering from hip surgery -- has been taking notes and waving his cane around to illustrate his points. Calhoun uses a cane at times to get around but is aggressively rehabbing from his injury. Ollie said Calhoun keeps his distance when Ollie is going over team issues so as not to distract the players -- but added that it's good to have Calhoun involved and for the players to see him still actively contributing. UConn officials confirmed Calhoun's statement last week that he plans on making the trip to Germany for the Huskies' opener against Michigan State at Ramstein Air Base on Nov. 9.

2. The freaky, scary injury to Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz rocked the Badgers on Tuesday, according to a UW official. The Badgers were understandably anxious when they saw the gory cut on Bruesewitz's right leg after he sliced it on the back of a basket standard while chasing an loose ball. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan was there to comfort Bruesewitz and the training staff was apparently quick to treat him before he was taken away by ambulance. Bruesewitz has become the leader of this squad and is easily one of the most well-liked Badgers in the past three years. He will have to take his time returning from this injury. He was apparently fortunate that the prognosis is for him to be out only four to six weeks. The Badgers have two big-time games in their first five that will be much harder if Bruesewitz isn't available -- a Nov. 14 visit to Florida and a Nov. 23 meeting with Creighton in Las Vegas.

3. Texas Southern was banned from the 2013 postseason due to rules violations. TSU hired Mike Davis to shepherd the program through the season before it knew of the penalties. If Davis wants the job long-term, the Southwestern Athletic Conference school should sign him to a lengthy contract to get the program right. Texas Southern isn't going to get a coach with Davis' experience. The school has him now -- it should do everything in its power to keep him.
When you see the NCAA punish a school like Texas Southern, the immediate reflex is to make fun of the NCAA. You want to repeat the classic quote: "The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, it's going to give Cleveland State two more years' probation." Whether fair or not, that is the NCAA's historic reputation -- that it lets the big boys skate while punishing small schools in a strongman's show of force. Now we're punishing a SWAC school? Come on!

That is the initial reflex. But then you actually take a minute to read about Texas Southern's case, and the way the tiny D-1 entity has pretty much willfully broken every NCAA rule under the sun for the past two decades, and you feel less inclined to rage against the mean ol' NCAA. To wit:
In this case, the university allowed 129 student-athletes in 13 sports during seven academic years to compete and receive financial aid and travel expenses when they were ineligible. The majority of these student-athletes had not met progress toward degree or transfer requirements. The committee noted “particularly serious violations” occurred when the former head football coach knowingly allowed a booster to recruit for the football program and the former head men’s basketball coach provided false or misleading information during the investigation.

The men’s basketball team also failed to serve its academic performance program penalty. During the 2009-10 season, the university was required to limit scholarships and restrict its athletically related activity to five days a week. The team awarded two more scholarships than allowed in the penalty and did not adhere to the practice restrictions.

And that's just the first couple of paragraphs! It continues: Coaches aware boosters were acting as recruiters, basketball coaches using football scholarships (seriously?) to circumvent scholarship restrictions, the university exceeding financial aid limits, and on and on. And then there's this (bold emphasis mine):
The committee noted that as a double repeat violator, Texas Southern either has been on probation or had violations occurring on campus, or both, for 16 of the past 20 years. At various times during the earlier probation periods the university reported to the committee it was taking certain remedial actions when it actually was not, which was of particular concern to the committee.

Of course, life isn't easy in the SWAC, and you can empathize with small schools that struggle with the NCAA's universal academic requirements. But this is something else entirely. I mean, "double repeat violator?" Come on! I didn't even know that was a thing!

Basically, Texas Southern is Delta Tau Chi, and the NCAA is Dean Wormer. No matter what the Committee on Infractions does -- probation, scholarship losses, more probation, more scholarship losses, public censure, postseason bans, show-cause orders, the works -- Texas Southern just does not seem to care. And this has been happening since the start of the Clinton administration. Incredible.
Tony Harvey is far from a major name in college hoops. The same goes for Texas Southern. TSU is a member of the SWAC, which means it typically exists near the bottom of the sport's competitiveness totem pole. It has much different end-game goals than most college basketball programs. These are the facts of SWAC life; chances are even most die-hard college hoops fans couldn't name one SWAC coach. Until the play-in games in Dayton, it's out of sight, out of mind.

So what makes Harvey noteworthy on this fine post-Fourth Thursday? At a very strange time in the college hoops calendar, and after a relatively successful four-year tenure at Texas Southern, Harvey announced late Tuesday his decision to step down from his position.

But wait ... why? Harvey won't say, or at least he won't be more specific than "personal reasons." From Fox 26 in Houston:
"It's hurtful and it's disappointing, but the visions have to be shared and we're just not on the same page with some things," Harvey said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

"So it's probably best for both parties to separate at this particular time." [...]

"I think the reasons in due time, I think they'll come out and then they'll get addressed," Harvey said. "I think I ran a first-class program, Mediocrity wasn't something I wanted to settle for."

Palace intrigue in the SWAC? I never thought I'd type those words, but yes: This is palace intrigue in the SWAC. Why would Harvey jump ship now, almost halfway through the college basketball offseason, as most programs are gearing up for recruiting?

In any case, Harvey leaves after four pretty solid years -- he went 58-72 overall, which is not bad in the SWAC -- culminating in a 2011 NIT bid, the school's first postseason appearance since 2003. He also leaves Texas Southern no doubt scrambling for a replacement at a rather inconvenient stage of the offseason. A SWAC coaching search won't be as hotly followed as most coaching vacancies, but it nonetheless requires the school to find a coach well after most coaches are willing to leave old jobs to take on new ones. It should be interesting to see this one play out.

ESPN.com's SWAC preview

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
9:22
AM ET
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the Southwestern Athletic Conference, here is Eamonn Brennan's quick wind sprint through the league:



Blue Ribbon breakdowns of all 10 teams in the SWAC:

Alabama A&M
Alabama State InsiderFree
Alcorn State
Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Grambling
Jackson State
Mississippi Valley State
Prairie View A&M
Southern
Texas Southern

More SWAC content:
  • New Faces, New Places: Diamond Leung on new Southern coach Roman Banks, who inherits a mess in Baton Rouge after the firing of a coach and the scandal-induced resignation of an AD.
  • John Stovall gives the lowdown on the incoming freshmen in the SWAC.

The numbers you need to know

March, 1, 2011
3/01/11
10:52
AM ET
An inside look at the numbers behind Monday’s top performances:

1. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis both scored 30 points as Notre Dame topped Villanova 93-72. They are the first Irish teammates to score 30 in the same game since Chris Quinn and Colin Falls against Seton Hall in 2006. Hansbrough had 10 assists to go with his 30 points, just the fifth player this season to do that. The last Notre Dame player with 30 points and 10 assists in a game was Chris Thomas in 2002. Hansbrough also added five assists to become just the second player from a power conference with a 30-10-5 over the past 15 seasons. The other was Jonny Flynn in 67 minutes of action against UConn in 2009.

2. The Fighting Irish finished 20-of-32 from 3-point range, setting a school record and tying a Big East record for 3s in a game. It’s the first time a team has hit 20 3s against a D-I opponent since Cornell against Brown last March. The Irish’s 62.5 3-point FG percentage was also historic. Over the past 15 seasons, there have only been two instances of a team attempting 32 3s and having a better 3-point percentage. Factoring in the increased worth of a 3-pointer, the Irish had a 75.0 effective field goal percentage, the highest by a Big East team in conference play since Georgetown’s 76.1 last season against Seton Hall.

3. Texas shot just 33.8 percent from the field in a 75-70 loss to Kansas State. It was the Longhorns’ worst shooting performance at home since shooting 32.2 percent in a loss to Oklahoma in 2001. Tristan Thompson was the lone exception offensively for Texas, scoring 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting. However, the rest of the Longhorns combined to shoot 25.9 percent. Kansas State has won five in a row and finished February 7-1.

4. Northern Colorado secured at least a share of the Big Sky title with a 77-74 win at Northern Arizona. As has been the case a lot recently, the story in this one was Devon Beitzel. He had a game-high 28 points thanks to a perfect 16-for-16 effort from the line. He’s the fifth player this season to attempt at least 16 free throws without a miss. On the season, Beitzel ranks sixth in the nation with a 90.7 free throw percentage. Beitzel averaged 24.6 ppg in February, ninth-best in the nation.

5. Texas Southern’s smooth trip to the NCAA tournament just hit a bump. The Tigers entered Monday 14-1 in SWAC play, including eight straight wins. That streak ended Monday with a 60-48 loss to Alabama State. Having already clinched the SWAC regular-season title, this wouldn’t be notable were it not for Texas Southern’s awful shooting performance. The Tigers shot just 31.7 percent from the field. Former Texas Longhorn Harrison Smith provided 17 points off the bench, but he was the only Tiger with more than two field goals. Texas Southern’s starting lineup combined to go 3-for-21 (14.3 percent).

The numbers you need to know

February, 22, 2011
2/22/11
11:32
AM ET
Inside the numbers behind Monday’s top performances:

1. Kansas’ 92-65 win over Oklahoma State was brought to you by the letter M. Markieff and Marcus Morris scored the Jayhawks’ first 12 points, ensuring they’d never trail in this one. The Morris brothers ultimately combined for 42 points on 15-for-23 from the field. Meanwhile, Marshall Moses scored 27 points for the Cowboys, one game after being held scoreless while battling an illness. Monday’s 27-point loss was the worst of the Travis Ford era at Oklahoma State, and the largest margin of defeat for the Cowboys since a 30-point loss to Marquette in 2007. Oklahoma State still hasn’t won in Lawrence since 1989.

2. Philadelphia natives also came up big in Syracuse’s 69-64 win at Villanova. Scoop Jardine scored 20 points on 7-for-11 from the field. Compare that to the January meeting with the Wildcats when Jardine shot 1-for-8 on his way to two points. Rick Jackson again came up big against Villanova with 18 points, while Dion Waiters contributed seven off the bench. In all, those three served up 45 of Syracuse’s 69 points. Last month, they only managed 24 points against Nova. Jardine and Waiters, who were a combined 3-for-20 in the first meeting, shot 52.9 percent on Monday.

3. Valparaiso’s hopes of winning the Horizon League regular season title took a hit on Monday. The Crusaders lost 81-80 in overtime to Green Bay. With the loss, Valpo fell a game behind Cleveland State and a half-game back of Butler. It was Senior Night at the Resch Center, and it was a senior who stepped up for Green Bay. Bryquis Perine hit the game-winner with 11 seconds to go in overtime. In the first 30 minutes of the game, Perine only had two points. But he finished with 20, including seven of his team’s nine in overtime.

4. Texas Southern improved to 13-1 in the SWAC with a 58-55 overtime win over Mississippi Valley State. The Tigers won despite a 35.1 field goal percentage and getting outrebounded 43-35. So how’d they do it? Turnovers. MVSU committed 33 of them, the second-most in a D-I game this season. The Delta Devils are averaging 17.7 turnovers per game this season, fifth-most in the nation.

5. Coppin State shot 60.0 percent from the field in an 89-72 win over Delaware State. That’s the Eagles’ best shooting performance since November 2003 against Loyola Marymount. Michael Murray chipped in a career-high 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting. He’s scored 27 combined in his last two games, after entering that stretch with 49 points on the season. It was a rare decisive result for Coppin State. Five of its previous eight games had either gone to overtime or been decided by two points or fewer.

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