Tarleton State University has had its share of big wins under veteran head coach Lonn Reisman. One of his favorite to recall is the last year’s 95-85 defeat of Baylor.
It was only an exhibition, but the victory was the third for Tarleton against NCAA Division I competition and first against a Big 12 opponent. The Texans also knocked off Lamar in an exhibition and TCU in a regular-season contest, both in 2005-06.
Reisman, who says competing well against Division I competition both helps prepare his team for the regular season and is a great recruiting tool, will again take a team to Waco that features major college transfers, giving the Texans an added advantage over most Division II schools in such meetings.
“When you have seniors on your team who have played in Division I arenas and competed in that atmosphere, that helps,” Reisman says. “Those guys aren’t intimidated.”
The Texans had D1 transfers Avery Patterson (St. John’s), Limar Wilson (Minnesota) and Jeffrey Henfield (New Mexico) last year. This year, Tyrone Cole-Scott (Bradley) and Jean-Marc Melchoir will play with the Texans in Waco. Tarleton also has 6-10 center Monquel Pegues (New Mexico), who won’t suit up Saturday due to a sprained wrist suffered in last weekend’s 84-57 defeat of Division III Austin College.
Baylor, which has reached each of the last two NCAA?Division II championship tournaments, will certainly be better than Austin College.
The Texans will have to rely on preseason honorable-mention All-American pick Eric Williams, athletic junior college transfer Jeremiah Wilson and Wale Ogunoye to step up in Pegues absence.
Look for Reisman, who prides himself on defense and rebounding, to challenge his team to improve its work on the boards after AC out-rebounded the Texans, 43-34.
Tipoff Saturday is set for 7 p.m. at the Ferrell Center.