TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin men's basketball will open the 2019-20 year by hosting the GMAC-GLVC Crossover, taking on Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday and Maryville on Sunday.
Tiffin finished 10th in the GMAC a season ago with a mark of 6-14 (10-18 overall), but there will be plenty of room for improvement this season, as second-year head coach Tom Church brings a bevy of fresh faces to the squad with seven transfers and four freshman joining the Dragons.
The Dragons played two DI exhibition games prior to this weekend's action, falling just short of an upset with an 81-77 loss at IUPUI before dropping their second to Bowling Green 94-73. Newcomer Jairus Stevens led Tiffin against BGSU with 21 points, while freshman Wesley Jordan added 12 points and five rebounds.
Scouting the Tritons:
Missouri-St. Louis had a solid season in 2018-19, finishing sixth out of 14 GLVC schools at 11-7 in conference play and 20-9 overall. They faced 3-seed Southern Indiana in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament, where they fell 87-61 to the eventual NCAA Final Four participant.
Jason Towery is the Tritons' leading returning scorer at 7.7 ppg, followed by Jose Grubbs with 6.7 ppg and Shane Wissink with 6.1 ppg. Towery was also second on the team with 4.4 rebounds per game, while Wissink led the Tritons with 3.4 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game. 2018-19 GLVC All-Freshman and All-Defensive Team member Steve Webb also returns after averaging 5.9 ppg and 3.6 rpg.
The Dragons and Tritons met at the beginning of last season as well, with UMSL taking a 96-80 win. Webb led UMSL with 19 points and five rebounds, while Joshua Williams had 14 points and five assists for Tiffin.
Scouting the Saints:
Maryville finished 12th in the GLVC a season ago at 4-14 in conference play and 9-18 overall. Similarly to Tiffin, though, they enter 2019-20 with an extremely new roster, only returning two players to the squad from last year.
Those two returners are Zach Colletta and Dezmond McDaniel, who averaged 10.1 and 6.2 points, respectively, a season ago. The Saints did not play any exhibitions this year, so their game against Walsh on Saturday will be the first look at all of their new faces.
Tiffin and Maryville also met to open last season in Missouri, with the Saints coming out on top 98-84. Of the two returners, McDaniel had the better game with nien points and three rebounds in 22 minutes. Williams had 24 points for the Dragons in the loss.