Courtesy of Morgan State Athletic Communications
Opponent: Fresno State
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Site: Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
Game Time: 10:30 p.m. (ET)
Live Stats: here
Live Stream: here
Coaches: MSU – Kevin Broadus (59-55, 5th yr) | FSU – Justin Hutson (81-74, 6th yr)
Websites: www.MorganStateBears.com | www.gobulldogs.com
SETTING THE STAGE
• The Morgan State University men’s basketball team will travel to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs Wednesday night at Save Mart Center. The contest is the first game of the 2023 Cancun Challenge.
• Kameron Hobbs scored 21 points and Myles Thompson added 15 points with eight boards in Morgan’s (2-1) 78-60 victory against the Penn State-Wilkes Barre Nittany Lions. Fresno State fell short at Kent State, losing 79-69. The Bulldogs (1-1) were led by Xavier DuSell who had a game-high 18 points, whiler the team finished the night shooting 60 percent from the field.
• Redshirt junior guard Kamron Hobbs and redshirt junior forward Will Thomas were named to the preseason All-MEAC second team. Last season, Hobbs started in 16 of 31 games played and averaged 28.1 minutes. He averaged 8.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and shot 44.7 percent from the field and 45 percent (45-100) from 3-point territory. Hobbs also averaged 2.7 assists (ranked No. 10 in MEAC) and 1.4 steals. He scored in double-figures 13 times, including a season-high 24 points versus Delaware State (Feb. 4). Thomas started in 8 of 29 games played last season and averaged 8.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and shot 43.4 percent from the field and 34 percent (16-47) from 3-point territory. He scored in double-figures 10 times, scored 20 or more points five times, and poured in a season-high 27 points (11-22 FG) and grabbed 11 rebounds versus Norfolk State (Jan. 23).
• Several newcomers could make an impact for the Bears this season. Morgan added guard Wynston Tabbs from East Carolina, guard Kiran Oliver from New Mexico State, and forward Myles Thompson from Saint Francis (Pa.) via the transfer portal.
• Morgan’s roster includes three freshman, three sophomores, seven juniors, and three seniors.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
• Fresno State is led by head coach Justin Huitson. Hutson, one of the West’s best recruiters and a veteran of the Mountain West conference, is in entering his sixth season as Fresno State’s 19th head men’s basketball coach. In his five four seasons at Fresno State, Hutson produced a 80-73 record. Hutson has twice won 23 games in a season (2018-19 and 2021-22) and guided the Bulldogs while capturing the 2022 The Basketball Classic, presented by ERACISM, Championship.
• The Bulldogs will record their third game of the season when they face Morgan. Fresno State opened the season with a 77-66 victory against Fresno Pacific (Nov. 6)followed by a 79-69 loss at Kent State (Nov. 11).
• Fresno State is a member of the Mountain West Conference.
• Nov. 11, 2023 — Fresno State fought hard but came up short at Kent State, falling 79-69 at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center. Despite shooting 60 percent on the night, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome a minus-10 differential in turnovers. Xavier DuSell had a game-high 18 points, knocking down from deep. Isaac Taveras (13) and Isaiah Hill (11) combined for 24 points, all coming in the second half.
• Fresno State enters Wednesday’s contest averaging 73 points per game on 55 percent shooting from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc. The Bulldogs are averaging 15 assists and 10 steals per game.
• Senior 6-4 guard Xavier DuSell (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is leading the Bulldogs’ squad averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game and is shooting 52 percent from the field and 57 percent from 3-point territory.
• Senior guard Isaiah Hill (Bakersfield, Calif.) is averaging 10.5 points, 2.5 rebounds per game and senior 6-foot-11 center Eduardo Andre (Luanda , Angola & London, England) is averaging 9.5 points on 64 percent shooting from the field and leads the Bulldogs on the glass by averaing 6.5 reboards.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BEARS
• Nov. 12, 2023 | BALTIMORE, Md. – Kamron Hobbs had 21 points, five assists and three steals to lead the Bears to a 78-60 win over Penn State Wilkes Barre on Sunday afternoon.
• Hobbs, a redshirt-junior from Stockbridge, Ga., finished with a game-high 21 points and five assists and three steals to lead five Bears in double-figures. He connected on 7-of-10 from the field and buried 5-of-8 from beyond the arc help the Bears secure back-to-back victories.
• Redshirt senior forward Myles Thompson scored 15 points (6-16 FG) with eight boards and two steals in 29 minutes. Junior guard Kiran Oliver had 13 points (4-4 FG) and five rebounds off the bench and Christian Oliver added 13 points with five boards.
• Senior forward Will Thomas put together a solid floor performance as he was just shy of a double-double. He finished the game with 10 rebounds and a game-high eight assists, including a blocked shot and a steal in 40 minutes.
16th ANNUAL CANCUN CHALLENGE
Set for Nov. 21-22, 2023 at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, the Men’s Cancun Challenge welcomes eight teams to this gated, trusted and all-inclusive resort, where teams play in a converted ballroom that is walking distance from guest rooms.
• The event features four teams in the Riviera Division (Fresno State, James Madison, New Mexico State and Southern Illinois) and four teams in the Mayan Division (Morgan State, Northern Colorado, Radford and Chicago State).
• This marks the second visit to the event for Fresno State and Northern Colorado; it’s the debut appearance for the other programs.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK
• Morgan scored 100 points in their home-opener vs. Cheney University of Pa. (11/9/23).
• Morgan scored 100 or more points twice during the 2022-23 season.
• The Bears recorded 130 points in the home-opener vs. Penn State Allegheny (11/11/22).
• Morgan registered 123 points in a home win vs. Virginia-Lynchburg (11/29/22).
• Morgan completed the 2022-23 regular season 10-2 at home.
• The Bears had an 11-game home winning streak snapped by UMES on Jan. 30.
• Morgan completed the 2021-22 season with an 8-3 mark inside Hill Field House.
• The last time the Bears lost at home was against North Carolina Central (74-64) … their previous loss was on Jan. 23, 2022 against Howard (91-82) on Jan. 23, 2022.
• Morgan is 2-0 at home so far this season.
• Morgan is off to a 2-0 record in non-conference play so far this season.
• The Bears registered a 8-9 record in their non- conference slate of games during the 2022-23 season (Feb. 4 vs. Delaware State was officially logged as a non-conference contest).AT THE HELM
• Kevin Broadus is entering his fifth season at the helm of the program after being named as the men’s head basketball coach in 2019.
• The Broadus-led Bears team has compiled several significant victories over non-conference competition, elevating the caliber of wins for a program that aims to compete at a championship level within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Broadus demonstrated exemplary leadership while successfully overcoming a number of challenges at the onset of his tenure at Morgan, including having to navigate rebuilding a program under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• This past season, Morgan finished with a record of 15-16 overall, and went 7-7 in MEAC play. In 2021-22, the Bears went 13-15 overall, and placed fourth in the MEAC standings with a 7-6 record while advancing to the MEAC Tournament semifinals game. Morgan advanced to the MEAC Tournament championship game in 2021.
• Prior to Morgan, Broadus worked at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has been one of the nation’s best recruiters as the top assistant on Mark Turgeon’s coaching staff. Broadus was influential in the successful NCAA tournament run for the Terps.
• Consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally for recruiting, Broadus was instrumental in signing a number of local Baltimore talents such as DeJuan Summers, Brandon Herbert, LaFonta Johnson, and Henry Sims.
• Malik Miller (Washington, D.C.), Khalil Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.), Isaiah Burke (Bowie, Md.), Daiquan Copeland (Philadelphia, Pa.), Lewis Djonkam(Springfield, Va.), Toto Fagbenle (London, England), Collin Nnamene (Enugu State, Nigeria), David McCullough (Bowie, Md.) and Ty Horner (Sisters, Ore.) wrapped up their Morgan careers last spring.
The Bears return one starter from last year’s team, bringing back guard Kamron Hobbs. MSU also returns forward Will Thomas along with guards Rob Lawson and Kevon Wiggins.
The Bears have added several newcomers to the 2023-24 roster: G Wynston Tabbs, G Demajion Topps, F Myles Thompson, G Kiran Oliver, G Amahrie Simpkins, F Daniel Akiotoby, F Trent Edwards, F Staccardo Washington, G Marvin Brimage, F Christian Oliver, G Tytan Newton, F Allen Udemadu, and G Xavier Valley.
RETURNING PRODUCTION NUMBERS
Morgan State returns 30.2 percent of its scoring, 24.5 percent of its rebounding and 34.3 percent of its minutes played totals from last year’s team. The team leaders in field goal percentage (Kamron Hobbs – .447), three-point percentage (Hobbs, .450), free throw percentage (Hobbs, .806), rebounding (Kyle Thomas – 3.9 rpg), assists (Hobbs, 2.7), steals (Hobbs, 1.4), blocked shots (Thomas, 0.2). and minutes played (Hobbs, 28.1). Two (2) players who started in at least five (5) games a year ago.
Morgan State has six (6) players from the DMV (D.C., Maryland & Metropolitan-D.C.) area. Redshirt junior forward Will Thomas is from Baltimore and was a prep standout at Mervo HS, while sophomore guard Rob Lawson is from Capitol Heights and played at National Christian Academy, and freshman guard Staccardo Washington played at Dr. Henry A. Wise HS and is from Upper Marlboro. East Carolina transfer Wynston Tabbs hails from Suitland and played at St. Mary’s Ryken School. Freshman guard Marvin Brimage is from Washington, D.C. and played at Jackson-Reed HS. Santa Monica College transfer Daniel Akitoby is a product of Fairfax, Va. and played at Falls Church HS.
The Bears won’t ease into the season, opening the schedule Nov. 6 at Arizona. Another trip west comes later in the month with trips to Fresno State (Nov. 15) and Brigham Young (Nov. 18). Another high-profile game comes Dec. 27 with a visit to Virginia.
• “We’re going to be battle tested,” Broadus says. “The key is, we just have to be healthy, we have to be smart, we have to learn how to play together through adversity. I think once we do that, we’re going to be really good.”
• The home opener is Nov. 9 against Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. Among the other highlights will be local foe UMBC visiting Hill Field House on Dec. 6, and James Madison making the trip to Morgan for a pre-Christmas matinee on Dec. 22.
• The Bears’ MEAC opener is Jan. 6 at Maryland-Eastern Shore, followed two days later by a visit from Delaware State. The regular season ends with a four-game homestand, capped by a Senior Day showdown against crosstown rival Coppin State on March 7.
• “We just have to put it together,” Broadus says. “I like what we’ve got. I think we have a good nucleus and I like how we’re doing things.”
PREDICTED TO FINISH FOURTH IN THE MEAC
The Morgan State men’s basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s preseason poll.
• The 2023-24 Bears earned 72 total points in the voting. Howard claimed 11 first place votes and 107 points total as the defending MEAC champions. Norfolk State (96 pts) was selected second, followed by North Carolina Central in third place (79 pts). Maryland Eastern Shore (55 pts), Delaware State (39 pts), Coppin State (30 pts) and South Carolina State (26 pts) rounded out the league’s predicted order of finish.
• Redshirt junior guard Kamron Hobbs and redshirt junior forward Will Thomas were named to the preseason All-MEAC second team.
• The 2024 MEAC Basketball Tournament will be held March 13-16 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.
HOW TO WATCH GAMES: All men’s and women’s basketball home games will be video streamed for free through the MorganStateBears.com website. The latest broadcast and video stream information will always be listed on men’s and women’s basketball schedule pages at MorganStateBears.com.
MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL RADIO: All home games and select away games for MSU men’s and women’s basketball will once again be available through Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN.com). Lamont Germany will handle play-by-play responsibilities and will also host pre-game and post-game shows. Including exclusive interviews with members of the teams and women’s coach Ed Davis, Jr. and men’s coach Kevin Broadus. Fans can download the HSRN app for free and listen to the MSU broadcasts from anywhere. Simply search for HSRN when using the iHeartRadio app.