BYU vs. Tennessee State preview

Nov 08, 2012 - Posted by Whitney Craft Jordan on November 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

BYU men's basketball will host Tennessee State in the 2012-13 season opener for both teams on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. MST. The game is part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

BYU went 2-0 through this season’s exhibition games with wins over Southeastern Oklahoma State and Findlay. Returning starter Brandon Davies led the team, averaging 19.5 points and 9.5 rebounds through the exhibition games while shooting .583 from the field.

Last season BYU finished 26-9 overall and 12-4 in the WCC. The Cougars received an at-large invitation to the NCAA Tournament where BYU recorded the largest comeback in the tournament’s history by overcoming a 25-point deficit to defeat Iona 78-72 in the First Four. The Cougars were eliminated by Marquette in the second round. BYU has won a tournament game in three-straight season, a program record.

The Tennessee State Tigers finished last season 20-13. It was the first time since the 1995-96 season the team had posted a winning record. It was also the first time the Tigers had eclipsed the 20-win plateau since the 1978-79 campaign.

After falling 54-52 in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship game as No. 2 seed, the Tigers announced they would accept a bid to the CIT. The postseason bid was the first of any kind for Tennessee State since the 1993-94 season.

The team finished their year in the CIT First Round with a loss to eventual champion Mercer.

Lucky for the Tigers, the 2012-13 squad consists of returning starters Robert Covington, Kellen Thorton and Patrick Miller. Covington averaged 17.8 ppg last year, Thorton averaged 9.1 and Miller contributed 10.8.

Tennessee State has played one game this season, an 86-56 exhibition win over Trevecca Nazarene. Thorton led all players with 18 points while Covington contributed a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.