Preview: Tulane Green Wave
Green Wave face unpredictable season with one returning starter
2013-14 Conference USA Projected Standings1. Southern Miss | 2. UTEP | 3. Louisiana Tech | 4. Tulsa | 5. UAB | 6. Charlotte | 7. Middle Tennessee State | 8. Marshall | 9. Florida International | 10. North Texas | 11. East Carolina | 12. Florida Atlantic | 13. Tulane | 14. Old Dominion | 15. UTSA | 16. Rice
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2012-13: 20-15 (6-10)
In-conference offense: 1.06 points per possession (5th)
In-conference defense: 1.08 points per possession (10th)
Six players decided to transfer out of the Tulane program, and two of them were massive subtractions: first-team All-Conference USA power forward Josh Davis (San Diego State) and point guard Ricky Tarrant (Alabama), the conference's freshman of the year two seasons ago. Tulane enjoyed its first postseason appearance in 13 seasons and won a game in the CIT -- but now, with only one regular starter back, coach Ed Conroy is rebuilding all over again.
Junior forward Trevante Drye started 25 games last season, playing 57 percent of available minutes. Though he averaged only 4.6 points per game, the 6-foot-6 Drye had an offensive rating of 107 and rebounded solidly at both ends. In the backcourt, Louis Dabney -- who battled a knee problem last season -- might get first crack at running the point, with fellow 6-3 sophomore Kajon Mack in line to start alongside him. However, neither player cracked 10 minutes per game last season while playing behind Tarrant and departed seniors Jordan Callahan and Kendall Timmons. Jay Hook, a 6-2 junior, also got on the floor barely enough to register.
The front line has just as many questions. Last season, although Tulane's defense didn't prevent much inside scoring (11th in C-USA play in 2-point percentage), the Green Wave were the conference's best at keeping the opposition off the offensive glass. Without Davis, that won't be the case. Seven-footer Tomas Bruha is back after missing the last 17 games of 2012-13 with a knee injury, but he wasn't much of a factor when on the floor. Conroy's class of eight newcomers includes more size. Josh Hearlihy, a 6-7 forward, signed with Utah out of high school but spent last season at Northfield Mount Hermon prep school in Massachusetts, helping it to the national prep championship. Ryan Smith, a 6-10 two-star recruit, is touted for his shooting range, as is Mikael Herbert, a 6-9 forward from Finland. Ray Barreno, a 6-11, 260-pound one-star recruit, is another big body in the class.
Projected 2013-14 conference finish: 13th
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2013-14 Insider College Hoops Preview
In the lead-up to the 2013-14 college basketball season, Insider is providing preview articles on every Division I team, as well as essays from Insider's analysts and experts.