The Tennessee State University Tigers men’s basketball team call the Ohio Valley Conference home. The TSU Tigers have had 22 players chosen in the NBA Draft. The top NBA players from Tennessee State University include three former NBA All-Stars: Dick Barnett, Truck Robinson, and Anthony Mason.
All-Star guard Dick Barnett was one of the greatest NBA players from Tennessee State University. The highest ever draft pick in school history, Barnett was chosen fourth overall in 1959 after averaging more than 20 points and ten rebounds with the Titans. He remains the Titans’ all-time leading scorer. In 14 NBA seasons from 1959 to 1974, Barnett scored 15,358 points for an average of 15.8 per game. He was a major player on the Knicks’ championship team in 1970 and he won a second title with the team in 1973. Barnett’s top statistical season came in 1965-66 when he averaged 23.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.
All-NBA forward Truck Robinson had a strong 11-year career as one of the top NBA players from Tennessee State University. Robinson Averaged more than 20 and ten at TSU and was drafted by the Bullets in 1974. He had three double-double years with his best season coming with the Jazz in 1977-78 when he averaged 22.7 points and 15.7 boards per game. Robinson was named an All-Star in 1978 and 1981. He accumulated career averages of 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds with the Suns, Knicks, Bullets, Jazz, and Hawks.
The most recent NBA player from Tennessee State University was one-time All-Star forward Anthony Mason. Though he took a few years to catch on with a team, Mason became an NBA regular with the Knicks in 1991. In 1995, he was named Sixth Man of the Year and in his final year with the Knicks he became a full-time starter. With the Hornets in 1997, Mason earned All-NBA and All-Defensive honors with a breakout campaign that included 16.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. Near the end of his career, he became an All-Star with the Heat in 2001.
One of the best NBA players from Tennessee State is Lloyd Neal, a former star forward for the Blazers. Neal averaged 22.1 points and 15.5 rebounds for the Titans and entered the NBA in 1972. Neal’s rookie season was a great one as he collected 13.4 points and 11.8 boards per game. In 1977, he was a member of Portland’s first NBA Championship team. He played his entire seven-year career with the Blazers and after his career, Neal’s number 36 was retired by Portland.
Former ABA All-Star guard Ted McClain was one of the best NBA players from Tennessee State. McClain averaged 25.7 points in his four years with the Titans. He began his career in the ABA in 1971 and enjoyed the majority of success in the old rival league. McClain was an All-Star and All-Defensive player in 1974 and he was a member of each of the last two ABA Championship teams, first with the Colonels in 1975 and then with the Nets in 1976. He finished fourth on the ABA’s all-time steals list before entering the NBA in 1976. He played three seasons in the NBA with averages of 5.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per contest.
NBA & ABA Players Who Attended Tennessee State University. Basketball-Reference.com