Tarleton Athletics to honor 2002-03 Texan men’s basketball team at Legends Game Saturday


STEPHENVILLE — One of the greatest programs in Tarleton Athletics history will be rightfully honored at Tarleton State Football’s Legends Game this week.

The 2002-03 Texan men’s basketball team will be recognized on Saturday, as players and coaches from the 21-years past program flock back to Stephenville for the special day.

That Texan MBB team earned the first NCAA No. 1 national ranking in program history, owning the claim of “best team in the nation” for three weeks. The Texans were ranked in the top five nationally each of the final 10 weeks of the season, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.

Tarleton MBB advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament Sweet 16 before falling to the eventual national champions, Northeastern State, 56-46. The Texans went 29-4 overall, with 21 of those wins coming by double-digits, including a 14-game winning streak. Tarleton went 18-1 in home games and 11-1 in conference play.

The leader of that team, current Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman, was named the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Coach of the Year that season. Reisman will lead the coin toss, along with other members of his coaching staff, before Tarleton kicks off against Southern Utah at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Student-athletes and the coaching staff will take the field in the second quarter for a special recognition. Vincent Bridgewater, Nieman Ford, Kris Howell, Marcus Jacobs, Durrell Johnson, Cornell Jones, Danny Jones, Kenan Joyce, Kevin Kuhl, Brandon Lee, Chavis McCollister, Will Moody and Tierrius Thomas were all featured members of that team, along with coaches Lonn Reisman, Chris Reisman, Jason Hooten, Jason Hodges and James Reinhardt.

Jones was flowered with awards that season, named an All-American by NABC, CoSIDA, BB Times, and CCA, plus he was MABC All-Region First Team, team MVP, a preseason All-American, the LSC North Division Player of the Year, and First Team All-LSC North Division. He averaged a double-double at 14.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Also recording big seasons were Lee, who was on the All-LSC North Division First Team, and Bridgewater, named to the All-LSC North Division Second Team.

Before the game, the 2002-03 team will have an exclusive pregame meal with Texan Club members. From 4:30-6 p.m., Texan Club members are invited to “Greet the Legends” and enjoy a free meal at the Tomlinson Pavilion, located on the southeast side of Memorial Stadium.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.