Nevada basketball has added a home game against Texas Southern for the upcoming season, which also will serve as a homecoming for four members of the Wolf Pack's 2018 Sweet 16 team, according to a source with knowledge of the move.
Texas Southern is coached by Johnny Jones, who was Nevada's associate head coach in 2017-18. Also on the Tigers' staff is Brandon Chambers, who was Nevada's director of operations before taking an assistant job at Texas Southern this offseason. Jones' son John, who was a freshman on Nevada's 2017-18 team, also plays for Texas Southern. And Derek Saich serves as Texas Southern's video coordinator, the same job he held at Nevada in 2017-18.
The Nevada-Texas Southern game is scheduled for Dec. 18 and is the 11th known non-conference game on Nevada's 2019-20 slate. That leaves the Wolf Pack with up to two more games to add to finalize its schedule. Nevada has five known non-league home games next season, including contests at Lawlor Events Center against Utah, USC, Texas Arlington, Santa Clara and now Texas Southern.
Texas Southern went 24-14 last season in the first year under Jones. That included a 14-4 record in the SWAC, good for second place. The Tigers made it to the semifinal of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where it lost to Green Bay, 87-86, in overtime.
To raise money for the athletic department, Texas Southern is forced to play a load of money games, meaning they go on the road for one-game agreements in exchange for a healthy payout. The financial details of this contact aren't known. Last season, the Tigers played 24 road games, including 11 of the team's 13 non-conference contests. Texas Southern played the hardest non-conference schedule in the nation last year, a slate that included seven games against Power 5 opponents, three of which the Tigers beat (Oregon, Baylor and Texas A&M).
Texas Southern ranked 195th in KenPom's advanced metrics last season and 205th in the NET rankings, so this game will most likely be a Quad 4 contest. The Tigers lost their top five scorers from last season. The team's top returning scorer is Jones, who was a walk-on at Nevada in 2017-18. Jones, a 6-foot guard, averaged 7.7 points, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting 37.5 percent from the field, including 34.7 percent from three.
Nevada's 2019-20 schedule
Nov. 5: vs. Utah
Nov. 12: vs. Texas-Arlington
Nov. 16: vs. USC
Nov. 22: vs. Fordham (Paradise Jam, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 23/24: vs. Valparaiso or Grand Canyon (Paradise Jam, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Nov. 25: TBD opponent (Paradise Jam, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Dec. 4: vs. Santa Clara
Dec. 10: at BYU
Dec. 18: vs. Texas Southern
Dec. 21: vs. Saint Mary's College (Chase Center)
TBD dates: Road game at Davidson