#130 Tulsa Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #130
Conference Rank: #8 American
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Tulsa had a surprising 2017-2018 campaign, finishing a solid fourth in the AAC with a 12-6 record. They missed out on the postseason, but it was still something to build upon. With six players from Coach Frank Haith’s ten player rotation returning, there are reasons to expect another good year from the Golden Hurricane. However, losing Junior Etou and his team high 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per game is a concern. And so is losing three-point shooting specialist Corey Henderson.
2017-18 Record: 19-12, 12-6
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Frank Haith
Coach Record: 77-52 at Tulsa, 282-181 overall
Key Departed Players:
Junior Etou, Forward, 15.0 ppg
Corey Henderson, Guard, 10.5 ppg
Jaleel Wheeler, Guard, 4.5 ppg
Geno Artison, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Sterling Taplin, Senior, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Martins Igbanu, Junior, Forward, 9.4 ppg
Lawson Korita, Junior, Guard, 2.8 ppg
DaQuan Jeffries, Senior, Guard/Forward, 9.7 ppg
Curran Scott, Junior, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Elijah Joiner, Sophomore, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Darien Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 0.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Chris Barnes, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from UTEP
Simon Falokun, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Peter Hewitt, Sophomore, Forward, JC Transfer
Jeriah Horne, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Nebraska
Zeke Moore, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Saint Louis
Reggie Jones, Junior, Guard/Forward, Transfer from Western Michigan, not eligible
Sterling Taplin is the star of this team. The senior point guard averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists last season and he will need to be the player who holds the team together and finds some new scorers to help replace Etou and Henderson. Martins Igbanu will certainly be one of those scorers. The 6-8 junior averaged 9.4 points per game and ranked second on the team with 5.1 rebounds. DaQuan Jeffries should be a consistent scoring threat too. The senior wing is a capable scorer from everywhere on the floor and he should increase his 9.7 point per game total of a season ago. All five of the eligible newcomers are transfers. Simon Falokun and Peter Hewitt come from the junior college ranks and will attempt to replace Etou in the paint. Jeriah Horne, a 6-7 sophomore, comes to Tulsa from Nebraska where he proved to be a decent stretch four during his freshman campaign two years ago. Zeke Moore and Chris Barnes both began their collegiate careers at the Division I level before redshirting last season at the junior college level. Coach Haith should be able to find a few players from the group of newcomers to fill in the rotation, but the key will be if this team has somebody who can become a consistent scorer in the paint and somebody else who can consistently knock down three-pointers.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.5 (180th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.9 (138, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.6 (234, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.0 (66, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (144, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (185, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (132, 3)
Rebound Margin: 3.0 (77, 4)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (251, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (171, 7)