SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
Tarleton will take on The University of Texas on Friday at the Frank Erwin Center for a nationally televised exhibition game at 5 p.m. It’s the third exhibition game between the two schools. Tarleton hasn’t played Texas since 2004. The game is open to the public with free admission.
The game will have a live radio broadcast presented by the Tarleton Sports Network presented by North Texas Ford Dealers. The Voice of the Texans, Casey Hogan, will be back calling the play-by-play for Tarleton basketball this season. The broadcast can be heard on KTRL 90.5 FM in Stephenville and surrounding areas or online at TarletonSports.com/ListenLive. The pregame show will begin 15 minutes prior to tip-off.
The game will be broadcasted live on the Longhorn Network. For AT&T U-Verse customers, it is channel 1609. For Directv customers, it is channel 677. For Dish Network customers it is channel 407.
Head coach Shaka Smart will make his coaching debut for the Longhorns after six seasons at Virginia Commonwealth University. Texas made the NCAA Tournament last season with a 20-14 record and fell to Butler in the second round.
While the game does not count as an official meeting, it’s the third match up for the Texans and Longhorns. Tarleton lost to Texas 93-43 in 2002 and 86-53 in 2004.
Tarleton was picked to finish first in the Lone Star Conference during the LSC’s Online Basketball Media Day in October. The Texans are the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, according to the official NABC preseason Division II poll. It’s the highest preseason ranking for the Texans by the NABC since the Texans were ranked first in 2005. Tarleton is ranked the preseason No. 1 by The Sporting News, Basketball Times and HERO Sports, and No. 3 by the Division II Bulletin.
RETURNING FOR MORE
Tarleton returns nine members from last year’s 31-4 squad that reached the NCAA Division II Final Four. Headlining the returning Texans are Michael Hardge (10.7 points, 3.5 assists), Malcolm Hamilton(8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds), EJ Reed (8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds) and Nosa Ebomwonyi (5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds). Also returning is Deshawn Riddick (35 games played), Jakob Damstra (20 games), Jacob Morales (13 games), Curtis Woods (12 games) and Sawyer Kipp (redshirt).
Tarleton added 11 new members in the offseason with five transfers and six freshmen. Charles Hill(TCU) is a projected starter for the Texans, with Xavier Smith (St. Bonaventure), Chantz Chambers(Bossier Parish CC), Louis Baltazar (Bulrington CC) and Romond Jenkins (Moberly CC) all expected to be significant contributors this season.
Head coach Lonn Reisman, who will begin his 28th season at the helm of the Texans, enters the 2015-16 season with 589 career wins at Tarleton (610 overall). Reisman is fifth on the active NCAA Division II head coaches’ win list.
Michael Hardge, a second-team ALL-LSC guard last season, is 11 points away from 600 in his career.Malcolm Hamilton is 15 points away from 300 and Nosa Ebomwonyi is seven points from 200.
UP NEXT FOR TARLETON
Tarleton will officially open the 2015-16 season at home for the Texan Tip-Off Classic against Colorado-Colorado Springs on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.