College basketball is in the mist of conferences tournaments. With the NCAA tournament beginning next week, there are several teams jockeying for postseason. There are also several regular season champions who are trying to avoid the NIT Tournament as well. Texas Southern is one of those teams who is trying to avoid a return trip to the NIT. Coach Mike Davis has done a great job of consistency in stabilizing the Tiger program with wins. However the Tigers seem to struggle in Tournament play as teams seem to step up their play against the SWAC regular season champs. Southern University did that last season in sending the Tigers packing to the NIT. Many of the Tiger faithful watched the Jaguars win the NCAA Bid. This season , Coach Davis seems to have his Tigers focused more on finishing close games.
Texas Southern plays Grambling State at 2:30 pm in Houston’s Toyota Center. Grambling has risen from the ashes as Coach Shawn Walker has done a great job in getting the G-Men back on course. TSU can’t afford to let the Tigers hang around or take a chance of an upset. Texas Southern dominated SWAC post season honors as Marvin Jones, Zach Lofton and Demontrae Jefferson were ALL SWAC candidates. Lofton even got SWAC Player of the Year. The TSU Tigers will need all three of them if the plan on continuing their season Saturday in the Championship game against either Alcorn State or Southern, who plays Friday night.
Will TSU rise to the occasion or will pressure burst the Tigers pipe?……Stay tuned….
This is the season to be jolly. This is the season of excitement. As we leap into conference tournaments, there are many teams with the hope of landing a spot in the big dance. For conferences like the SWAC, winning the tournament is their only ticket to the NCAA tournament. Ask Southern University: The Jaguars finished 4th last year as the Texas Southern Tigers dominated league play on to a regular season championship. However, in tournament play, the Jaguars put it all together and won 3 straight games to still the SWAC’s automatic bid to the tournament. Not bad for a program that was banned from postseason 2 years ago. With the Jaguars victory, it gave a lot of teams hope in still making the field.
This years tournament is no difference. Not winning the regular season championship seems to be fine with Coach Roman Banks. Rolling the dice in the league tournament seems to be the best bet. Southern University is fresh off a 69-63 first round victory over the 6th seeded Jackson State Tigers. Up next is the 2 seeded Alcorn State Braves , who have already swept the season series against the Jaguars. However, as you may know , the pressure is on Alcorn State to win. It seems like its all or nothing now. Alcorn is also banned from post season this year. So the Braves may be in a pressure cooker to win after stumbling to TSU and PVAMU blowing a chance to win the regular season crown. Southern on the other hand has experience in winning tough ball games in the tournament as they defeated TSU and JSU as a 4th seed last year. The Jaguars are seeded 3rd and are primed to even the score with Alcorn State on Friday night.
Coach BANKS has done a great job in Baton Rouge and he looks to pull another rabbit out the hat starting Friday night. The Jaguars are paced by Forward Shawn Prudhomme , an All SWAC First Team selection. Prudhomme averaged nearly 18 points a game. Forward Jared Sam averages double figures also and is a second team ALL SWAC pick as well. PG Trulan Banks figures to be the point man for the Jags and would like not other to to get another MVP award as he did last season. Chris Thomas offers the Jags another dimension as he has turned up his game after being promoted to the starting line up.
Well, its SWAC tournament time……throw out all regular season records…..WINNER TAKES ALL……….
The 2017 Conference Basketball Tournaments are off are rolling. Several Mid major programs have already punched their tickets to the big dance. Major Tournaments start this week. The SWAC Tournament starts today at host schools before moving to Houston for the Semi Finals and Finals. Let’s take a look…..
#1 Texas Southern vs. #8 Alabama State
TSU has been unstoppable at home. What makes you think that the Hornets have the formula…….
#2 Alcorn State vs. #7 Mississppi Valley State
The Braves were the hottest team in the conference before dropping the last two in Texas. MVSU has won their last 2 games to get in. MVSU was the last team to defeat the Braves in Lorman earlier this season. The Braves draw a team that is capable of beating them however, home court goes a long way in this one. Braves all Day…
#3 Southern University vs. #6 Jackson State
The Jaguars are the defending tournament champions and would to defend their championship in Houston again. However, a tough Jackson State team can cause problems for the Jaguars. The Tigers play brutal ball inside with their post along with their pesky guards. Southern playing at home could cause Tigers problems. Southern in OT in this one…..
#4 PVAMU vs #5 Grambling State
The Panthers have come on strong of late winning their last 3 of out 4 ball games to over take Grambling for the final home court seed. Grambling has won their last 5 out of 6 and split with the Panthers during the season. However, Coach Byron Smith has home court in this match up………PVAMU wins a close one…….
What’s your take ………………realsportsrealtalk……
As the clock ticked down Saturday night , Texas Southern’s victory over Southern University didn’t look so appeasing to Coach Mike Davis and his staff. Winning the regular season championship still doesn’t guarantee a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. As the Tigers celebrated, Davis all but knows that Southern eliminated them last season en route to the tournament championship and a ticket to last year’s dance. Davis understands too that beating a team three times will be tough. Alcorn State and Southern along with PVAMU are capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat. With the higher seeds hosting the first round, home court advantage plays an important role in who will be coming to Houston for the remainder of the tournament.
Texas Southern , the number 1 seed host a fledgling Alabama State team who has lost its last 4 games and seems to be hanging on a string. TSU has not lost at home this season and looks to make a statement in the first round against the Hornets.
Other first round games….
#2 Alcorn State host #7 MVSU
#3 Southern host #6 Jackson State
#4 PVAMU host #5 Grambling State
The winners will advance to Houston for the semi finals and finals to be played at Houston’s Toyota Center.
Five years ago, basketball in Grambling was sort of a joke. No one took Grambling serious as it related to basketball. When talking to folks in the basketball community, Grambling was sort of a dumping ground for players who wasn’t good enough for D1 or Junior College. Recruiting for the program was horrific. Since the former NBA and Grambling alumni Larry Wright excited the program , there has been a revolving door of head coaches at the helm of the Tiger Men’s program. Kenny Sykes, Bobby Washington, and Joseph Price once lead the Tiger program however during those years the program suffered it worst seasons as losses piled up and embarrassment grew for a program that produces NBA stars Willis Reed , Bob Hopkins and Aaron James. The hiring of Shawn Walker back in 2014 didn’t look as though things were going to change with Walkers’ first season being 2-27 and 0-18 in conference play. But Walker did something totally different in building up his program.
With the Grambling State Tiger football program suffering through the years of 2012-2014 with huge losses , unstable coaches and a revolving roster added with a players boycott in 2014, things looked bleak for the once proud Tiger athletic program. Broderick Fobbs was hired away from McNeese State and returned back home to get the program back on top. Fobbs hired great assistant coaches , then he over hualed the roster and began bringing in quality talent. Fobbs began to win games and finally broke through in 2016 with a SWAC Championship and a National HBCU championship with a win over NCCU in the Celebration Bowl. Fobbs had developed a formula for success.
Shawn Walker took time and went over to the Tiger’s football facility and talked with Fobbs about his plan. Well, in speaking with Fobbs, Walker was able to devise a plan to reshape and re tool the men’s basketball . Players and coaches would be accountable for their actions on and off the court. Walker then brought in some needed help to get the Tigers headed in the right direction. Ervin Mitchell, Remond Brown, and Avery Ugba average double figures for the Tigers while leading a balanced attack. After improving from 2 to 5 wins in season two, this year seems to be the rise of the Tigers. With the football team giving the community something to be proud of, the men’s basketball team has followed up with a 14 win season and possibly more. Sitting at 9-8 in conference play, the G-Men looks to host a first round SWAC Tournament game at Fred Hobdy Center on Tuesday.
Walker has lit fire to a program that was starving for success. Going from a 2 win season to possibly a 15 win season in two years is an incredible feat for the small Louisiana school in the Lincoln Parish. Credit Coach Broderick Fobbs for sharing his winning formula with Walker in preparing the Tigers for success. Now the Tigers can only continue to make history as a 2-26 Alabama A&M team limp into Fred Hobdy Center on Saturday as the season concludes. Can Walker and the Tigers continue to improve?……Stay Tuned.…
As we reach the finish line of another exciting SWAC Men’s basketball season, one may ask the question..” WHERE DID THE ALCORN STATE BRAVES COME FROM ALL OF A SUDDEN?”. Well, as we began the 2016-2017 season, no one even imagined the Braves would run the table as they have done thus far. Texas Southern, Jackson State and Southern were all picked ahead of the Braves in the preseason poll. However after suffering two early losses to Texas Southern and Mississippi Valley State, the Braves have gone an a tear winning their last 12 ball games. Coach Montiez Robinson inherited much of the roster from previous head coach, Luther Riley. With a few tweaks here and there, Robinson turned a middle of the road program into the surprise of the SWAC thus far. Coming off a huge win at Southern 68-67, Alcorn faces it’s toughest challenge yet, heading into Houston to take on the SWAC defending champ Texas Southern. The Tigers have sort of dominated the regular season for the last three season winning the regular season championships on a daily basis. Coach Mike Davis has build up a proud program in the Houston area with addition from D-1 transfers plus great high school talent.
Alcorn State on the other hand has a season roster of guys who have bought into Robinson’s system of sharing the rock and great team defense. Reginald Johnson, Marquis Vance, and A.J. Mosley pace the Braves with 15.7, 11.2 and 10.1 scoring averages per game. The Braves balance attack goes even deeper as four other players average between 9 and 4 points a game. The Braves defense has given opposing teams havoc as they rank second in the conference in scoring defense. Alcorn State ranks first in Swac in defensive rebounding as well.
Heading into Thursday’s match up with the first place Tigers, the Braves are looking to make history at TSU. It’s been nearly 10 years or so since the Braves have won a SWAC Championship and now would be the time as most Brave Nation would think. Are the Braves for real? Stay tuned……………
The Alcorn State Braves seem to be playing with vengeance. The Braves went into Baton Rouge and defeated Southern 68-67 with one goal in mind, the 2017 SWAC Championship. However, there’s is one team standing in their way of that goal…Texas Southern University Tigers. Alcorn has played lights out basketball as a result of a 11 game winning streak. Coach Montiez Robinson has done a great job in turning around a once traditional power. Robinson should be a candidate for SWAC Coach of the Year. A.J. Mosby and Reginald Johnson have lead the Brave charge thus far this season. Alcorn enter’s tonight SWAC slate with an open date which gives the added time to focus on the Tigers.
Texas Southern is coming off a 86-73 victory at Alabama State and visit Huntsville to take take on Alabama A&M Bulldogs , victorious over PVAMU 87-74. The Tigers have ruled the SWAC since coach Mike Davis have come aboard. Zach Lofton and Jalon McCloud lead a well balance Tiger attack.
Alcorn State visits Houston Thursday to take on the Tigers and visits PVAMU on Saturday. Will Alcorn beat the odds and win that SWAC Crown.? Will TSU continue to dominate the series and continue ordering rings?……Stay Tuned.