“It’s probably one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball. I think it's going to be a really great game. It's bad blood against both of us," said Coppin State guard Josh Treadwell.
“It's going to be a battle and we're going to come out on top,” said Morgan State guard Tiwian Kendley.
Morgan State vs. Coppin State on the hardwood is always appointment hoops. The Eagles and Bears renew pleasantries on Saturday. Morgan sits atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with a 5-1 record. Coppin is a game behind.
“I think that this is the first time in a long time that both teams have been at the top of the league and we're playing this game. It's meaningful now,” said Coppin head coach Michael Grant.
Bears head coach Todd Bozeman, fresh off becoming his program's all-time winningest coach, has certainly seen his fair share of this rivalry over eleven seasons. Bozeman collected win No. 167 as Morgan State Head Coach last Monday when the Bears beat South Carolina State.
“It's Morgan-Coppin. It's always intense. It's always fun,” said Bozeman. “A lot of times it comes down to the wire. The game's always packed.”
This year there's a new wrinkle to this matchup as two of Coppin's best players from the past will go against each other on opposite benches. We're talking about the Stewart brothers.
Larry, the former Washington Bullet who has his jersey retired at Coppin, is now in his second season as an assistant with Morgan. Stephen is in his first season in his second stint as an Eagles assistant. This is the first time the brothers will oppose each other in organized basketball.
“Quite honestly I haven't even spoken to my brother since last week,” said Larry. “I don't know if he's avoiding me. I don't know if he's getting focused or what.”
“I've been trying to avoid him. I haven't really much called him or text him,” said Stephen. “We're going to give them 40 minutes of hell. You root for those guys against any other team that they play against except for that night when they play against us.”
That happens 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Coppin.