Canisius vs Tennessee State Preview and Prediction
Canisius vs Tennessee State Preview
After scoring its first win of the season at home Saturday night, the Canisius men’s basketball team starts a four-game road stretch Tuesday when the Golden Griffins play at Tennessee State in Nashville, Tenn. That game will start a four-game in six-day stretch which will also see the Blue and Gold play three games in Stockton, Calif., as part of the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase event.
Tennessee State (1-2) has had a grueling non-conference schedule to start the season. Opening up with a 92-56 loss to Kansas, they followed that up with a victory over sub-level Reinhardt College, and another loss to a competitive Middle Tennessee State team.
Key Players for Canisius
In their 104-84 win over Youngstown State, Isaiah Reese became the first player in school history to record a triple-double after he posted a career-high 23 points and 11 assists, while matching a career best with 11 boards. The Miami, Fla., native is the first NCAA Division I player to record a triple-double this season, and he’s the first MAAC player to reach the feat since Iona’s Scott Machado had a triple-double at Marist Feb. 12, 2012.
Senior forward Jermaine Crumpton is the Griffs big-man of choice down low. Not only can he bang with the best of them in the paint with his 6’6 240 pound frame, but he can expand his range from beyond the three-point arc. For the season, Crumpton is averaging 16.7 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block per game–he is coming off back-to-back 20-point games.
Sophomore point guard Malik Johnson is the third Griffs player to watch. He’s coming off of a career-high 22 points against Youngstown State and is averaging almost six assists per game. He has five-or more assists in 19 of his first 37 collegiate games played.
Key Players for Tennessee State
Tennessee State is led by their experienced backcourt which includes two senior guards who know how to handle the ins-and-outs of the college game.
As a team, Tennessee State is shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from 3-point land, where the Tigers are averaging 9.7 3-point makes per game.
Senior guard Delano Spencer paces the Tigers attack, he averages 16 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist per game. He’s coming off of a poor shooting performance in their 75-65 loss to Middle Tennessee State. In that game he shot 2-for-12 from the field scoring 12 points–seven of those coming at the free throw line (he went 7-for-7).
Darreon Reddick is the other piece in the senior backcourt. Reddick averages 13.7 points, 4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. In their first game of the season, he was able to dissect the Jaywaks defense en route to a team-high 20 points. He should have similar success against this Canisius defense.
The last key player for Tennessee State is junior forward Christian Mekowulu, who stands at 6’9 and will be able to matchup well with Griffs forward Jermaine Crumpton highlighted earlier. Mekowulu isn’t an intimidating offensive presence, but he makes an impact on the glass averaging eight rebounds a game to go with his nine points per contest.
Tonight’s game in Nashville will mark Canisius’ first game in the state of Tennessee since the Dec. 29, 1996, when the Griffs played at Chattanooga. Tennessee State is 2-0 all-time against Canisius, with the most recent win coming Nov. 23, 2016 in Buffalo last season. The Tigers won that game by a score of 72-58.
This game will be a different story as the defenses are not as solid for each squad as they were a season ago.
Both play high-tempo attacks and there should be a lot of running up and down the floor. If the Griffs can continue to get all their players involved, they had four players score 20+ points in their last game, then they will have an edge over the Tigers who can only rely on two guys to score consistently.
Watch out for freshman Takal Molson for Canisius to have a bounce-back performance after two sub par outings. He is the most talented player on the floor in this game.
Canisius 88 Tennessee State 82
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