TSU preps for NCAA opener against Cal Poly

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by Jacqueline Crea / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 17 at 10:09 PM

HOUSTON – For the fifth time in its history, Texas Southern made it to the “Big Dance.” Led by Coach Mike Davis, the Tigers have won nine games in a row. Davis calls on a wealth of experience, as he's taken teams, like Indiana, to the Final Four.

While Davis said he understands the magnitude of how big of a deal this all is, he doesn't think it's quite set in with his players.

"We won the championship and they had the opportunity to go eat at Pappadeux, but they wanted Wendy's. No one in their right mind would turn down Pappadeux and go to Wendy's," Davis said.

On Wednesday, they will play Cal Poly in Ohio to kick off the NCAA March Madness tournament. With school on Spring Break, things are pretty quiet on campus.

"We are all just hangin’ together you know, being a family. Hang with each other, talk about the game. No distractions," said Jose Rodriguez, a TSU basketball player.

They say though, they still feel plenty of support.

"Every time she calls is woo! woo! Go! Congratulations, go get ‘em. Everybody's excited for us," said Aaric Murray, the SWAC Player of the Year.

The women's team has some advice for them:

"I told them just stay humble. I know they're SWAC champions, but just stay humble. Stay as a team and work harder than ever. It won’t be as easy. I know that much," said Morgan Simmons, a TSU women's basketball team player.

Davis said keeping them focused is exactly what he intends to do.

"It's my job to make sure and get them as close as I can to that mindset. It's going to be difficult to get them there. But after the first five minutes, I want my guys to settle down and play really good basketball," said Davis.

And whether or not they fully get just how big a deal this game is, they know they can't do it without each other, as a team.

"We all look up to each other. Whenever someone is going through something we all confront each other. No one is boss," said Murray.

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