JSU Basketball squads prepare for 2-game home stretch
The men’s team will be without their second-highest leading scorer
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Both the Men’s and Women’s Jackson State Basketball teams return to Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center to host a pair of conference ties, but with different circumstances.
The mood is good and back on track for the Lady Tigers and head coach Tomekia Reed. The women are back to winning ways, being victorious in their last five consecutive games after losing their first SWAC game since the 2020-2021 season; which amounts to 41-straight wins.
Two of the games included in the recent 5-game win streak came in Louisiana against Grambling and rival Southern this past Saturday and Monday.
Both Grambling and Southern have won 10 SWAC games combined, and the mindset will have to change against a Mississippi Valley State Devilettes desperate for their first conference win.
“I’m extremely proud of how we grew those last two [road] games. Valley are a scrappy team and they play extremely hard,” Coach Reed said in her opening statement. “They are hungry for a win right now and they have players that play well together... We must not underestimate Valley because they do play extremely hard.”
Coach Reed says competing against Valley will be a four-quarter battle, and the best way to approach the games is to just be themselves.
“It’s important that we have a great start against Valley. It’s really important that we play extremely hard and play our type of basketball all four quarters,” Coach Reed said. “They are a team who will push in transition.”
Coach Reed on what needs to be done to not overlook a MVSU team that plays hard despite their misleading record 🔵🐅 @WLBT— Garrett Busby (@gsbusby) February 3, 2023
“It is really important that we have a great start against Valley… play our type of basketball… They are a team that likes to play in transition.” pic.twitter.com/KIgEM9VvvV
The Lady Tigers will lean on their conference best defense, second best scoring offense in the SWAC, and undefeated home record in hopes of securing a victory against the in-state rival.
The contest is set to begin Saturday, February 4 at 4 p.m.
On the men’s side of things, the road trip to Louisiana produced different results, including a key player missing out for the upcoming home stretch.
The Tigers suffered away defeats against Grambling and against Southern - which aired on national TV - and now see themselves on a 2-game losing streak after beginning SWAC play with a 5-2 record.
Fortunately for head coach Mo Williams, his Tigers squad will find comfort in returning to Lee E. Williams, who are undefeated at home as well and will look forward to protect their home court.
“It’s time to bounce back. We have two home games against our rival [Mississippi Valley State] [and Arkansas-Pine Bluff],” Coach Williams said in his opening statement. “You gotta come ready to play because you know [Valley] are going to be ready to play... so we have to look forward to Saturday first and obviously Monday. Pine Bluff is playing really playing well. They are 6-3 [in SWAC play]. We are looking forward to those opportunities to take care of home.”
The Valley Men similar to the women are craving a win. The Delta Devils, despite their misleading 2-21 record, have played teams extremely close this season but just haven’t been able to pull out wins late in games.
Coach Williams said that it’s an important question to ask; how do you approach this game in hopes of avoiding an upset?
“It’s human nature especially for 18-23, and 24-year-old kids to look at guys and thinking their record is one thing. But as a coach, I watch every single game and can see they compete and see [Valley’s] endgame,” Coach Williams said. “[Valley] aren’t just walking down the court, they’re competing. They’ve just come up short in a lot of their games.
“Our mindset has to be about us. It has to be about coming out and being the best version of ourselves,” Coach Williams concluded.
Jackson State will have to bounce back without one of their leading scorers, who Coach Williams told WLBT would not be available for the home stretch.
🚨 .@GoJSUTigersMBB head coach Mo Williams told @WLBT that Forward Trace Young will not be available for the 2 upcoming home games.— Garrett Busby (@gsbusby) February 3, 2023
Young played just 10 minutes against Southern on Monday. He is the Tigers' second-highest leading scorer, averaging 10.6 points a game.
Young played just 10 minutes against Southern Monday night and didn’t appear in the second half of the game, nor was he on the bench.
He is the team’s second-highest leading scorer, averaging 10.6 points a game.
Young transferred to JSU before the start of the season after spending the previous year at Alabama State with Coach Williams.
It was not specified how long his absence would last but Young is no longer on the team’s website despite still being listed on the official roster.
The Tigers will host Valley at Lee E. Williams Saturday, February 4, at 5:30 p.m.
Both the women’s and men’s squads will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff Monday night. The Lady Tigers play at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Copyright 2023 WLBT. All rights reserved.