NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15: Travis Trice #20 of the Michigan State Spartans drives to the basket against the Duke Blue Devils during the 2011 State Farms Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Your MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS vs the TEXAS SOUTHERN TIGERS
Better late than never, right? This game is only one of a couple that'll be on ESPN3.com this season, so that means unless you have the right internet provider, you're out of luck to watch it online (I'll have the link once it's up).
That said, let's take a look at the Texas Southern Tigers.
Coach: Tony Harvey (43-54 at Texas Southern, 43-54 Overall)
Last Season Overall: 19-13
Last Season In Conference (Southwestern Athletic Conference): 16-2 (1st)
Texas Southern was the pride of the SWAC last season, even scoring a nonconference victory against a major-conference opponent against Oregon State. They won the SWAC by four games, but lost in the semifinals of their conference tournament. Their regular season conference title earned them a spot in the NIT, where they lost to Colorado in the first round.
The Tigers will be hard-pressed to repeat last year's success though, as they lose both the SWAC Player of the Year in forward Travele Jones and Newcomer of the Year in senior (!) forward Kevin Galloway. The Tigers also lose a significant contributor in guard Harrison Smith. One important piece does remain, as SWAC Freshman of the Year and 40.2% three-point shooter Lawrence Johnson-Danner will be a dangerous player.
Besides Johnson-Danner, no other player returning to the Tigers' roster from last year is a threat from behind the arc, as all were below 30% from three last season. The forwards in Daniel King and Keithtrick Benson have some experience but will need to acclimated to starting - Galloway and Jones got more than the lion's share of minutes last season, and they'll need to produce quickly.
This season has seen the Tigers drop a game to Baylor 77-57 without Johnson-Danner, and win at Eastern Michigan 66-49. One thing State'll need to look out for is the Tigers' three-point shooting as they've made 47.6% of their threes so far this year. Conversely, the Spartans should find easy pickings on the offensive boards. Opponents have collected 48.9% of their misses so far this season.
This is the game thread. No slurs, no links to illegal game streams, and be cool to another.
GO GREEN, GO WHITE, BEAT TEXAS SOUTHERN.