Middle Tennessee Men's Basketball 2014 Tournament Capsule

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Conference USA (24-9, 13-3)


The expectations for Middle Tennessee were down compared to last year when they represented the Sun Belt in the NCAA Tournament. But the Blue Raiders performed very well in their first year in Conference USA, tying with three other teams for the top spot in the regular season pecking order.

Big Wins: 11/16 Akron (80-73), 11/26 at Murray State (80-62), 2/15 Southern Miss (81-64)
Bad Losses: 12/29 vs Maine (85-89), 1/16 UTEP (54-63), 1/23 at Tulsa (53-58)
Coach: Kermit Davis (12 seasons at Middle Tennessee)

Why They Can Surprise:
Shawn Jones stepped into a starring role during his senior season and leads the team with 14.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest. The offense will work through the 6-8 forward and when the backcourt remembers that, the Blue Raiders offense can be quite dynamic. Neiko Hunter, a 6-7 forward, and Kerry Hammonds II, a senior wing, are the other two dangerous scoring threats at Coach Kermit Davis’ disposal. Tweety Knight is not much of a scorer, but the speedy point guard is an amazing defender and a great passer.

Why They Can Disappoint:
But Knight, a 6-1 senior, has never developed an outside shot and that does limit his ability on the offensive end. And that lack of shooting prowess goes well beyond Knight. Hammonds is a very good outside shooter and reserve Jaqawn Raymond has his moments, but this team does not hit many long balls. There will be times when the Blue Raiders need quick points and it probably will not come in chunks of three, unless Jones or Hunter get a bucket and a foul.

Probable Starters:
Tweety Knight, Senior, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 4.6 apg, 2.0 spg
Kerry Hammonds II, Senior, Guard, 12.3 ppg, 2.7 apg
Neiko Hunter, Senior, Forward, 13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Reggie Upshaw Jr., Freshman, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Shawn Jones, Senior, Forward, 14.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.9 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Jaqawn Raymond, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 21.3 apg
Jacquez Rozier, Junior, Forward, 3.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Marcus Tarrance, Junior, Guard, 5.2 ppg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.2 (177th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.7 (28, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (121, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.2 (74, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.4 (261, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.9 (189, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.7 (272, 11)
Rebound Margin: 4.5 (46, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (115, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (175, 4)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    NCAA    First Round loss to St. Mary's
2012    NIT        First Round win over Marshall
2012    NIT        Second Round win over Tennessee
2012    NIT        Quarterfinal loss to Minnesota
2010    CIT        First Round loss to Missouri State
1989    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Florida State
1989    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Virginia
1988    NIT        First round win over Tennessee
1988    NIT        Second round win over Georgia
1988    NIT        Quarterfinal loss to Boston College
1987    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Notre Dame
1986    NIT        First Round loss to Clemson

*all team stats through 3/9


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules