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Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: October 16, 9:15 AM ET
Preview: Jackson State Tigers

By Nic Reiner
ESPN Insider

2013-14 SWAC Projected Standings

1. Texas Southern | 2. Southern University | 3. Prairie View A&M | 4. Alabama A&M | 5. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | 6. Jackson State | 7. Alcorn State | 8. Alabama State | 9. Mississippi Valley State | 10. Grambling State
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Jackson State Tigers

2012-13: 11-18 (9-9)
In-conference offense: 0.97 points per possession (4th)
In-conference defense: 0.95 points allowed per possession (6th)

Jackson State underwent its first coaching change in more than a decade this offseason. After Tevester Anderson retired, Wayne Brent was charged with leading a program whose last NCAA tourney berth came in 2007. As with all coaching changes, transitions abound at the player level, as well. Over half of the players on Jackson State's roster are newcomers: seven of the 12 players are true freshmen, with another being a redshirt freshman. Because of the changes and lack of experience, it's unlikely the Tigers will compete for a conference title.

Projected starting lineup

Pos. Name Year
F
B.J. West
Sr.
F
Derrell Taylor
Jr.
G
Kenneth Taylor
Fr.
G
Jeff Stubbs
Sr.
G
Julysses Nobles
Sr.

Senior guard Julysses Nobles, an Arkansas transfer who is eligible this season, could make an immediate impact at this level. He is a scorer who has SEC playing experience and was one of the Razorbacks' best distributors when he was on the team. The only serviceable returners with any playing experience are senior guard Jeff Stubbs and junior forward Derrell Taylor, neither of whom notched more than 20 minutes per game last season. Taylor was the team's most efficient player, though he used less than 14 percent of possessions when he was on the floor. Stubbs was a high-usage player but was not particularly efficient due to mediocre shooting and a high turnover rate.

B.J. West, at 6-foot-10, could provide valuable inside presence in his first season with the team. First-year players who could make impacts are guards Javeres Brent and Marcus Love and forwards Marquis Todd and Janarius Middleton.

The overarching theme with this season's Jackson State team will be adjusting to change. With so many new faces, expectations won't be high. Still, how this season goes will undoubtedly be crucial in determining how high to set expectations going forward.

Projected 2013-14 conference finish: 6th