Men's basketball looks to begin another successful campaign following last
Tech’s Jud Dilliard, a preseason All-OVC selection, makes a layup during the men’s intersquad scrimmage at PurplePalooza. Jamal Ferguson
Jeremiah Samarrippas and Josiah Moore sign autographs of the community. Katie Vaughn
The Golden Eagles men's basketball team will be returning to the court Nov. 10 to build off of last year's successful season.
Last year's season was something not happening often at Tech: back-to-back 19 plus win seasons, conference tournament appearances and producing another NBA draft pick in Kevin Murphy, who currently plays for the Utah Jazz.
The Golden Eagles lost six good seniors after last season, but coach Steve Payne knows what it will take to build off of last season's successes and get these younger guys to step up and take over.
"The sum needs to be greater than all of its parts," Payne said.
After having a big senior class last season and having just two seniors this year in Jud Dillard, a preseason All-OVC team selection, and Terrell Barnes, Payne and the players still have a lot of confidence in the young team.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what the young guys will do and how they will adapt to the college game," Barnes said.
Payne said, "I think we'll be more balanced on offense. Kevin and Jud are such great scorers and had that scorer's mentality and would just take over the game."
Using a more balanced offense with some good returning players including the two seniors, the Golden Eagles have some more big games this season everyone should be looking forward to seeing.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Auburn University Dec. 18 and Oklahoma State University Dec. 22.
The Bruins of Belmont University are new to the OVC this season, and they come to Cookeville Jan. 5.
One of the season highlights will be when conference rival and defending OVC Champions Murray State University comes to town for a nationally televised game Jan. 24. The game will be broadcast on ESPN-U.
"I feel like we have the greatest school in our conference and a lot of fan support," Payne said. "We have guys that you like and will represent you well."
The Golden Eagles will tip off Nov. 10 at the Hoop at 8 p.m. against Crowley's Ridge College.
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