Tulsa Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
American (22-10, 10-4)


Following last season’s NCAA Tournament appearance, many figured Tulsa would take a step back with a new coach and a new conference. Danny Manning split for the ACC and the Golden Hurricane brought in Frank Haith. Coach Haith has plenty of experience and took no time continuing the success of the program. And that success came in the American Athletic Conference, which is a significant step up from Conference USA.

Big Wins: 1/10 at Temple (63-56), 2/22 Temple (55-39), 2/28 at Memphis (74-72)
Bad Losses: 11/15 at Oral Roberts (68-77), 2/12 at Connecticut (45-70), 3/4 Cincinnati (47-56)
Coach: Frank Haith

Why They Can Surprise:
Tulsa wins games with their defense. The opposition rarely gets a clean look at the basket and as a result shoots below 40 percent from the floor. The Golden Hurricane also finish those defensive possessions by hitting the glass effectively. Guard Rashad Smith, who plays at the four spot, and forward D’Andre Wright spearhead the effort on the glass, but everybody in the regular rotation has pretty solid rebounding numbers, including guards James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison. Those two are a couple of the best scorers in the AAC and are a tough duo to stop.

Why They Can Disappoint:
However, Woodard and Harrison can occasionally stop themselves. Consistent shooting has been an issue for this team. Woodard does shoot 38.5 percent from long range, but the team as a whole knocks down just 33.1 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Tulsa does want to attack the basket more often than not, which is what Harrison does amazingly well, but somebody needs to knock down shots to open up space for the slashers. Rashad Ray is an option. He spent some time in the starting lineup over Marquel Curtis in large part due to his ability to stretch out the defense with his shooting. But it is not a bad thing to have a shooter like Ray come in off of the bench either. No matter who starts, Tulsa is going to need somebody besides Woodard to hit some outside shots or this team will struggle to score enough points to beat a quality opponent.

Probable Starters:
Shaquille Harrison, Junior, Guard, 13.2 ppg, 3.7 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.9 spg
James Woodard, Junior, Guard, 14.5 ppg, 1.1 apg, 4.7 rpg
Rashad Ray, Junior, Guard, 7.4 ppg, 2.9 apg
Rashad Smith, Junior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
D’Andre Wright, Junior, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Marquel Curtis, Junior, Guard, 6.9 ppg, 1.5 apg
Brandon Swannegan, Junior, Forward, 3.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 bpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.2 (229th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.5 (38, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (252, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (31, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (238, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.1 (219, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 64.4 (317, 9)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (120, 6)
Assists Per Game: 11.1 (278, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.5 (65, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round loss to UCLA
2013    CBI    First Round loss to Wright State
2010    NIT    First Round loss to Kent State
2009    NIT    First Round win over Northwestern
2009    NIT    Second Round loss to Alabama
2009    NIT    First Round win over Northwestern
2009    NIT    Second Round loss Auburn
2008    CBI    First Round win over Miami (OH)
2008    CBI    Second Round win over Utah
2008    CBI    Semifinals win over Houston
2008    CBI    Finals win over Bradley
2003    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Dayton
2003    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Wisconsin
2002    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Marquette
2002    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Kentucky

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules