The 96th season of men's basketball at Truman State University kicks off this weekend at the Midwest Regional Challenge, hosted on the campus of Maryville University in St. Louis.
Second-year head coach Chris Foster's club will battle Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) at 1 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 13) before taking on Ohio Dominican at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 14) in MU's Moloney Arena.
Coming off a second-straight 20-win season and a trip to the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals, Truman returns three starters and 11 squad-members from last season's team, as the Bulldogs look to make a third straight appearance in the GLVC tournament.
Truman was picked second in the West division as part of the 2015-16 GLVC preseason coaches' poll, sandwiched between predicted-favorite Drury and Quincy.
This is the second straight season that teams play two play "exempt" games and add a pair of contests to the regular season schedule if they compete against fellow Midwest regional schools on opening weekend.
Last season, the Bulldogs traveled to Nashville, Tenn., and picked up a 82-65 win against Lake Superior (Mich.) State before falling by two points to host-Trevecca Nazarene. This season, the Bulldogs will play TNU for the second time in program history while battling ODU for the first time.
Bulldog Tweet-ables (140 characters or less):#MBBHistory: This weekend marks the 2,207th & 2,208th all-time games. TSU has 1,130-1,075 record (.513) in 96th season.
#80IsGravy: Last year, the Bulldogs went a perfect 15-0 when reaching the 80-point mark on the offensive end.
#BucketsOnBuckets: The Bulldogs averaged 9.6 three-pointers made per game last season.
#CallTheGame: Truman went 18-2 last season when leading at the half; 'Dogs just 2-8 when trailing at intermission.
#RunningClock: In blowouts last season, Truman went 15-3 when the final margin was 11+ points.
#GetToGlass: Truman went 11-0 a year ago when they match/out-rebound their opponent.
#UniWatch: Say hello to new purple uni's this year; 'Dogs went 12-3 in white's and 8-7 in anthracite gray in 2015-16.
Scouting the Weekend Opponents:
Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) "Trojans" (13-15, 8-6 G-MAC in 2014-15)Picked third in the 2015-16 G-MAC preseason coaches' poll.
Had four 10+ ppg scorers last season, return two (SR 6'0" guard Byron Sanford - 18.1 ppg; SR 6'10" post player Matt Gamberoni - 10.7 ppg).
Averaged 77.5 ppg as a team (42.7% FG); gave up 79.1 ppg (46.5% FG) in 2014-15.
The 16-player Trevecca roster features nine seniors, one junior, four sophomores, and two freshmen.
Sam Harris is in his 23rd season as the TNU head coach.
Ohio Dominican "Panthers" (9-18, 7-15 GLIAC in 2014-15)Picked fifth in GLIAC South in 2015-16 GLIAC preseason coaches' poll.
Senior Trent Weaver (6'8", SR forward) and senior Chad Nelson (6'1", SR guard) named preseason all-GLIAC. Weaver averaged 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last year, while Nelson averaged 13.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.
Averaged 70.0 ppg as a team (43.5% FG); gave up 75.7 ppg (46.7%) in 2014-15.
The 16-player ODU roster features four seniors, five sophomores, and seven freshmen.
Dan Evans is in his third season as the ODU head coach.
The Bulldogs will play their first home game in 2015-16 on Wednesday, Nov. 18, as part of a doubleheader with the women's team against Central Christian (Mo.).
Tipoff for the women against the Saints is at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men's tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
Courtesy Truman State University