Texas Southern Men's Basketball 2016 NIT Tournament Capsule

Texas Southern Tigers
SWAC (18-14, 16-2)
Unlike last year, Texas Southern did not pull off any huge upsets in nonconference play, but that did not stop them from dominating the SWAC again. As usual, the Tigers hit the road early and tested themselves against some of the best teams in the country. They played well most of the time, especially against Washington State, Mississippi State and Stephen F. Austin.
Big Wins: 1/2 Southern (88-66), 1/16 at Jackson State (71-65), 3/5 at Alcorn State (76-66)
Bad Losses: 11/23 vs Howard (81-87), 2/6 at Prairie View A&M (55-59), 3/3 at Southern (79-84)
Coach: Mike Davis
Why They Can Surprise:
Texas Southern dominates the SWAC with their frontcourt play. Technically, they even start four forwards. Seniors Chris Thomas, Orlando Coleman and Malcolm Riley have a load of experience and are the backbone of Coach Mike Davis’ team. Thomas is a very versatile player and can create mismatches when he is going up against a guard. Thomas is not much of a shooter, but he can attack the basket with the best of them. Unfortunately, that often leads to Thomas struggling at the free-throw line, but he still averages 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Coleman is not nearly as prolific of a scorer, but he can knock down some shots and hit the glass effectively. Like Thomas, Riley is a versatile 6-5 forward. Riley is much more of a shooter though and is the team’s top three-point shooting threat. Having a bunch of 6-5 forwards is nice, but the emergence of freshman Derrick Griffin has really turned this into a great frontcourt. Griffin is 6-7 and 225 pounds and he is averaging 13.1 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. That is an impressive debut season.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The backcourt does have some talent, most notably point guard David Blanks. He is an inconsistent shooter at best, but Blanks does find his teammates and can do some scoring inside the arc. However, turnovers are a big problem for Blanks and the rest of the squad. Not only does the team commit quite a few turnovers, but they do not create many either and their turnover margin is among the worst in the country. This team cannot afford to give away possessions. Their defense is good enough to hang in there with some good teams, but not that good.
Probable Starters:
David Blanks, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4.5 rpg
Orlando Coleman, Senior, Forward, 6.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Chris Thomas, Senior, Forward, 14.7 ppg, 4.2 apg, 5.1 rpg
Malcolm Riley, Senior, Forward, 15.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Derrick Griffin, Freshman, Forward, 13.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Key Roleplayers:
Tyree Bynum, Junior, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Brian Carey, Freshman, Guard, 2.1 ppg, 1.6 apg
Jerron Martin, Junior, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Jose Rodriguez, Senior, Forward, 8.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (186th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.8 (125, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (81, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.9 (200, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (196, 2)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.8 (215, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 62.8 (338, 8)
Rebound Margin:  5.1 (43, 1)
Assists Per Game:  14.4 (108, 1)
Turnovers Per Game:  13.2 (227, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NCAA Second Round loss to Arizona
2014    NCAA First Round loss to Cal Poly
2011    NIT      First Round loss to Colorado
2003    NCAA Opening Round loss to UNC-Asheville
1995    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Arkansas
1994    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Duke
1990    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Georgetown
*all team stats through 3/6