EVANSVILLE, Ind. --- Tennessee State men's basketball Head Coach Brian "Penny" Collins experienced his first Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Media Day on Tuesday.
The Tigers were selected eighth in the OVC Coaches/SID Preseason Poll.
MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH BRIAN “PENNY” COLLINS
(on the season fast approaching)
“I’m just excited to be here. What a good time to be here right now. The season is here. You can really feel it and smell it in the air. Everyone’s starting to get focused and get their mind locked in for the games.”
(on what he likes about his team)
“The spirit and energy of my guys have been above average. Our guys are working hard, and they pick each other up and it’s authentic.”
(on the team’s non-conference schedule)
“We want to be an NCAA Tournament team. We feel like our non-conference schedule is pitting us against some of the teams are going to be in the NCAA Tournament – Vanderbilt, Lipscomb, Kentucky, Memphis and a few others. That’s going to prepare us for the OVC Tournament and to be an NCAA Tournament team this year.”
(on playing the OVC Tournament in Evansville, Indiana)
“It’s awesome. I’m glad we’re in a city like Evansville that gives us that big game, big tournament feel. Evansville is a great city, and we’re just hoping that our fans come out and support us here.”
(on the biggest challenge for his team)
“Just understanding how hard it is to win each night. It’s not going to be easy. You can’t just show up and hope that your talent and athleticism win us games. We have to be smart players and outthink people, and we have to be able to fight through adversity.”
(on who has stepped up)
“We’ve got a lot of returners that will step up in bigger roles this year. Armani Chaney, who started last year at point, we expect him to come in and be a big time guy for us this year. We need him to lead the troops and be somebody that we can lean on especially late in games to get us to finish line. Kamar McKnight is a returner from last year who averaged 8.5 points so we expect him to come back and be a double figure guy for us. We also have a guy, Donte Fitzpatrick-Dorsey, who sat out last year who we expect to come in and be a big time player for us as well. Stokley Chaffee Jr., if you look at his minutes and his production last year, towards the end of the season, when he was actually playing it went up. So we are expecting with more minutes played, we expect more production out of him as well.”