MEN'S BASKETBALL PREVIEW
When: Saturday, January 21 at 4 p.m., at Morgan State (4-11, 2-2 MEAC)
Monday, January 23 at 7 p.m., at Coppin State (8-10, 3-2 MEAC)
TV: The Coppin State game will be aired on ESPNU.
Must See: The Aggies opportunity to showcase their talents on national television. The Aggies open their Baltimore trip at Morgan State on Saturday afternoon. After playing the Bears, the Aggies head down the street to play Coppin State Monday night. The game against the Eagles will be televised live on ESPNU. It will be the Aggies only regular-season nationally broadcasted game this season, with their only other possible opportunities being in the MEAC Tournament Championship or an NCAA Tournament contest. The Aggies are 6-4 when they play on ESPNU. A&T's televised game comes as starting forward DaMetrius Upchurch gets healthy. The junior forward out of Raleigh, N.C., has missed the Aggies last three games with a hip pointer. In his place, the Aggies have used freshmen Anthony Estes and Wayland Siverand in the starting lineup. The Aggies are after their third straight win on Saturday. They have won twice in their last 10 games against the Bears, but lead the all-time series 41-34. The Aggies are 19-33 against the Eagles all-time, and coach Jerry Eaves is 5-9.
Morgan State: The Bears will have head coach Todd Bozeman back on the bench after a three-game suspension for an incident that occurred at S.C. State. Bozeman has been effective when playing A&T. He is 9-2 against the Aggies in his six seasons at Morgan State. The Bears went 1-2 without Bozeman, including a nationally televised win over Hampton and a double overtime loss to Norfolk State. The Bears' leader is NBA prospect DeWayne Jackson. Jackson leads the Bears in scoring and has connected on 33 3-pointers this season. Morgan State Kevin Thompson also returns for the Bears. He is averaging 12.7 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (8.5 rpg). In six games played against the Aggies, Thompson is averaging 12.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and he shoots 51.8 percent from the floor.
Coppin State: Legendary Coppin State coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell recently won his 400th career game. Mitchell picked up his 400th win on Dec. 30 at home against Nebraska Omaha. The Eagles have picked up three more wins since then with all three being conference wins. The Eagles' two losses in conference play have come against the league's top two teams - Savannah State and Norfolk State. Coppin State and A&T are ranked second and third in the MEAC respectively. The Eagles make close to 10 3-pointers per game and they are smart with the basketball as they go into this weekend's games with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference. The Eagles are led by Tony Gallo and Akeem Ellis. The two are 1, 2 in scoring and have combined to dish out 135 assists with Gallo leading the way with 68.
He's Heating Up: Junior forward Adrian Powell (6-6, 190, Conover, N.C.) has played a crucial role in the Aggies two-game winning streak. Powell scored five points in overtime against Florida A&M on Jan. 9 to lead the Aggies to an 85-82 win. Five days later, Powell scored nine points in two minutes in the second half against Howard as the Aggies defeated the Bison 70-65. Powell is shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from 3-point range.