EMU at Texas Southern preview & open thread
As always with an unfamiliar opponent, we turn first to all-knowing Wikipedia to learn about the school:
Texas Southern University (shortened to Texas Southern, or simply TSU) is a historically black university located in Houston, Texas, United States. Texas Southern is one of four independent public universities in Texas (those not affiliated with any of Texas’ six public university systems) and is one of the largest HBCUs in the nation.
The beginnings of Texas Southern University can be traced to the March 7, 1927 resolution by the Houston Independent School District school board to establish junior colleges for each race. The resolution created Houston Junior College (now the University of Houston) and Houston Colored Junior College. The Houston Colored Junior College first held classes in Yates High School during the evenings. It later changed its name to Houston College for Negroes. In February 1946, Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American man, applied to the University of Texas School of Law. He was denied admission because of race, and subsequently filed suit. (See Sweatt v. Painter (1950).) The state had no law school for African Americans. Instead of granting Sweatt a writ of mandamus, the Texas trial court continued the case for six months to allow the state time to create a law school for blacks.
As a result, the state founded Texas Southern University under Senate Bill 140 by the Fiftieth Texas Legislature on March 3, 1947 as a state university to be located in Houston. Originally named Texas State University for Negroes, the school was established to serve African Americans in Texas and offer them fields of study comparable to those available to white Texans. The state took over the Houston Independent School District-run Houston College for Negroes as a basis for the new university. At the time, Houston College just moved to the present site (adjacent to the University of Houston) donated by Hugh Roy Cullen and had one permanent building and an existing faculty and students. The new university was charged with teaching “pharmacy, dentistry, arts and sciences, journalism education, literature, law, medicine and other professional courses.” The legislature stipulated that “these courses shall be equivalent to those offered at other institutions of this type supported by the State of Texas.”
Given the differences in facilities and intangibles such as the distance of the new school from Austin and other law students, the Supreme Court eventually ruled it did not satisfy “separate but equal” provisions, and that African Americans must also be admitted to the University of Texas Law School at Austin.
This game is the first of the Spartan Invitational, which also includes EMU’s games this Friday against Arkansas-Little Rock, this Sunday at IUPUI, and the following Sunday against Michigan State. Altogether, the Spartan Invitational is a six-team, thirteen-game, partial-round robin “event” in which each team faces four of the five other teams (EMU does not play Milwaukee). This is EMU’s first-ever game against Texas Southern.
TSU Head Coach Tony Harvey, now in his fourth season, was an assistant men’s basketball coach at EMU for a three-year period, from 1996-99. He has a 43-55 record at Texas Southern and led his team to the 2010-11 Southwest Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the post-season NIT.
So far this year (eventually we’ll probably have a table or chart for this, but there’s no point in doing that for a single game!) Texas Southern has played one game, losing at Baylor (#11 AP/#12 Coaches) 77-57. The game was close at first, with the Tigers taking the lead twice in the first eight minutes, but the Bears started pulling away late in the first half and never trailed again. This doesn’t tell us much of anything about how they’ll match up with EMU; the Eagles beat a lesser opponent while the Tigers lost to a much better opponent. Johnson-Danner, whose 13.1 points averaged makes him the top returning scorer, didn’t play (don’t know why), and King and Price both fouled out after combining for no points and one rebound in 16 minutes. I had to double-check, but that really happened. Price, at 6-11, the team’s tallest player by a good three inches (followed by King at 6-8), fouled out with just three minutes played. The top performers in that one game were Omar Strong, Fred Sturdivant, and DeAngelo Scott.
Tony Harvey is in his fourth season as a head coach, all at Texas Southern, and his career record is 43-54. Originally from Benton Harbor, Michigan, Harvey was an assistant men’s basketball coach at EMU from 1996-1999 under Milton Barnes. Harvey was the SWAC Coach of the Year last year, and was considered for the EMU position this spring (how seriously, and whether he was interested, I don’t know). He’s certainly been recruiting Michigan lately, with three underclassmen from the southern Lower Peninsula (two from Benton Harbor HS, one from Southfield HS).
Tonight’s game, at the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) Arena, should be fairly competitive. Ken Pomeroy’s ratings (details now behind a paywall) suggest that EMU is slightly better on offense and meaningfully better on defense. Jeff Sagarin’s ratings have EMU as the slightly better team, but suggest that home court advantage may make the Tigers about a one-point favorite tonight. The caveat with each continues to be that data-based rankings/ratings are only as good as the data, and this early in the season there is very little data to go on. My hunch is that this will be a close game. EMU can win this, but some of the key players like Lampley and Balkema will need to play with more discipline than they showed Friday night.
As far as I can find, this game will have no television or online video broadcast of any kind. It looks like Houston’s KTSU-FM will do a radio broadcast, which will be streamed online. As far as following the game from afar, I think that’s about it. While you’re listening to the game, feel free to discuss it — or anything else on your mind — here.