Nick McDevitt interview on MTSU turnaround

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Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 22, 2022

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Middle Tennessee beat UTEP 77-59 Monday for its 20th win of the season. It’s part of one of the biggest turnarounds in the country in college basketball this season.

The Blue Raiders finished with just five wins a season ago in a COVID-19 shortened year. In Nick McDevitt’s first three seasons as head coach in Murfreesboro, he won just 24 games total. MTSU could surpass that combined number this season with a strong finish.

Despite the success of predecessor Kermit Davis, McDevitt inherited a total rebuild after MTSU’s four leading scorers graduated and multiple players transferred. He had just eight scholarship players his first season, and only nine in year two at the Murphy Center.

But led by leading scorer Josh Jefferson and fellow redshirt senior Donovan Sims Middle Tennessee’s finally developing the type of culture that McDevitt’s wanted all along. The Blue Raiders are still playing good defense, but have moved into the top 100 in the country in offensive efficiency as they’ve won 11 of their last 12 games to move to the top of the East Division standings in Conference USA.

Camryn Westyn chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win over UTEP. He, along with DeAndre Dishman and Eli Lawrence, are three of McDevitt’s recruits that have also played a huge role in the turnaround.

Middle Tennessee closes out the home schedule with games this week against Marshall on Thursday and the annual blackout game against rival Western Kentucky Saturday.

Hear Steve Layman’s entire interview with McDevitt from Sunday Sports Central by clicking on the video player.