Morgan opens Paradise Jam play Friday night against La Salle

November 22, 2013 | WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. — Morgan State will face La Salle in the first round of the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The Paradise Jam will take place Nov. 22-25, with the games set to be televised by CBS Sports Network.The first game of the event pits Northern Iowa vs. Loyola Marymount at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, with Maryland and Marist following at approximately 5 p.m. The evening session includes Providence vs. Vanderbilt and Morgan State vs. La Salle.The losing teams in the first round will move to the consolation bracket and play on Saturday, Nov. 23, while the winners will play on Sunday, Nov. 24. The championship game is scheduled for 10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 25.



La Salle enters the weekend leading the Atlantic 10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.7), second in offensive rebounds/game (14.8), third in free throw percentage (.752, and fifth in turnover margin (+3.25). Providence is off to a 4-0 start. Bryce Cotton leads the Friars at 20.0 ppg, followed by LaDonte Henton at 17.3 ppg. Vanderbilt is 2-1. Eric McClellan averages 20.0 ppg.



Following the Paradise Jam, the Bears will prepare to face the Maryland Terps at College Park on Friday, November 29. Tipoff at Comcast Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The last time the two teams met the Bears walked out of Comcast Center with a 66-65 victory over Maryland (1/7/09). It marked the Bears first ACC win in school in history. Morgan State will return home for its MEAC opener when they host the Howard Bison on Saturday, December 7 at 4 p.m.


For three of the last seven seasons, all as head coach, Todd Bozeman has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Bozeman set the Morgan State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2007-08 with a 22-11 record and extended it with a 23-12 campaign in 2008-09, followed by a Division I school record 27-11 record in 2009-10. The previous record was back-to-back 20-win seasons under coach Nathaniel Frazier when he guided the Bears to a 20-8 record in 1972-73, followed by 28-5 in 1973-74.



The Bears once again have an ambitious non-conference schedule this season. Morgan State’s non-conference schedule sends the Bears to Ohio State. Also highlighting the non-conference schedule will be home games vs. San Diego (Nov. 14) and Ohio (Nov. 20). The Bears will also participate in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam where they will open against La Salle on Nov. 22. Morgan State will also tip against local teams Towson on Nov. 12 and a Nov. 29 trip to College Park to face Maryland.The Bears will make another west coast swing this year this time to tip-off against Cal State-Northridge (Dec. 27), Oregon (Dec. 29) and California-Irvine on Jan. 2.

» Morgan State will look to improve defensively. The Bears are allowing 79.2 points per game overall, and are just scoring just 62 points during the four-game losing streak. The Bears are holding opponents to just under 50 percent shooting (.478) from the floor this year, while shooting 37.4 percent (95-254) and 22.5 percent (16-71) from beyond the arc.


The Bears will be in search of its first win of the 2013-14 season. Morgan State has started the season by dropping its first four contests and has not posted a win since defeating Bethune-Cookman 82-71 in the Semi-finals of the MEAC Tournament at The Scope Arena on March 15, 2013.



Morgan State was picked to finish second in the 2013-14 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s basketball preseason poll behind defending regular season champion Norfolk State.



Seniors Justin BlackIan Chiles and Anthony Hubbard return with experience and are expected to lead the squad as team captains for the Bears this season. All three saw significat action as starters for Morgan State last year. There are three (3) juniors, four (4)  sophomores and three (3) freshmen on the 2013-14 Bears roster.

Senior guard Justin Black has been one of the most consistent players for Todd Bozeman‘s Bears. Last season, the 6-foot-2 guard, was among the MEAC’s leading scorers a season ago (14.2 ppg – No. 5) and  scored double-figures 24 of 32 games, including 18 of the last 22 contests. The Dunbar HS product  scored 20 or more points eight times last season, and posted a season-high 23 points at Coppin State on Feb. 9, 2013. Black will enter the Paradise Jam averaging 20 points thru the Bears first first games, including a  career-high 28-point performance at Towson.