Fort Hays State men’s basketball will open the 2019-20 season on Friday, November 8 when it takes on Arkansas Tech University at 5:30 pm in Russellville, Arkansas. On Saturday, the Tigers face Southwestern Oklahoma State University at 3 pm. The Tigers enter their 19th season under head coach Mark Johnson, who owns a record of 359-172 (.676).
Fort Hays State meets Arkansas Tech for just the second time in school history. The only other meeting dates all the way back to the 1951-52 season when FHSU won 76-59. There is a bigger sample of history against Southwestern Oklahoma State with the last meeting occurring in 2010-11. This will be the 25th time in history the Tigers and Bulldogs meet. FHSU claimed the meeting in 2010-11 by a score of 83-68 in a neutral site contest in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
The Tigers finished 18-11 overall in 2018-19, while finishing fourth in the MIAA with a 12-7 mark. The Tigers are receiving votes in the NABC Division II Preseason National Poll.
Aaron Nicholson is the top returning scorer from last season, who averaged 9.0 points per game. Devin Davis was right behind him at 8.6 per game. Jared Vitztum is the top returning rebounder after pulling down 5.3 per game last year, while adding 7.3 points per game.
Arkansas Tech is coming off a 12-16 season in 2018-19. R.J. Glasper is the top returning scorer for ATU after averaging 18.4 points and 4.9 assists per game last year. Southwestern Oklahoma State finished 5-23 overall in 2018-19. Kamden Gipson is the top returning scorer for SWOSU at 8.4 points per game, while dishing out 3.7 assists per game.