One season ago, Texas Southern University, who was picked by some to win the regular season title, earned an NCAA tournament bid with center Aaric Murray leading the way. Top scorers Murray and D’Aris Scarver have moved on, which means that Mike Davis has some significant holes to fill in order to lead Texas Southern back to the Big Dance.
Davis welcomes back senior forward Jose Rodriguez while reloading with transfers. Nick Shepard (Long Beach State) and Nevin Johnson (Creighton). These two are ready to go while point guard Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) will be eligible at end of the fall term. The Tigers are hopeful that the new additions will help contribute immediately. If they are able to so, TSU will once again have the talent needed to win the conference.
Even with those additions, the Tigers however, were not picked to repeat as tournament champions. TSU was picked to finish third in the 2014-15 Southwestern Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship in a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Jose Rodriquez returns as the only player to average double figures in scoring from last season’s team producing 11.4 points per game. The 6’5 senior out of the Bronx, N.Y. pulled down an average of 5.7 rebounds per contest which was 10th overall in the conference. He was also voted on the 2014-15 preseason All-SWAC team.
TSU should not miss a beat at the guard position. Mondarious Gibbs brings a wealth of experience back as the team’s floor general. On three different occasions last season, the Newnan, Ga. senior dished out 10 assist in a game.
Davis is entering his third season at TSU and 14 overall as a head coach. Last year’s appearance in the NCAA Tournament was his sixth. Davis and the Tigers will open the season on the road facing Eastern Washington November 14.