#105 Tulsa Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #105
Conference Rank: #8 American
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Tulsa has been a member of the American Athletic Conference for five seasons now, the same amount of time Frank Haith has been their head coach. The Golden Hurricane have been to the NCAA Tournament just once in that span, a surprising selection to the First Four back in 2016. Tulsa has gone three years without a postseason appearance, and the pressure is growing to get back. Tulsa has two of their top three scorers back this season, but depth will be a concern as the Golden Hurricane look to compete in the AAC.   

2018-19 Record: 18-14, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Frank Haith
Coach Record: 95-66 at Tulsa, 300-195 overall
Key Departed Players:
DaQuan Jeffries, Forward, 13.0 ppg
Sterling Taplin, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Curran Scott, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Chris Barnes, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Martins Igbanu, Senior, Forward, 12.5 ppg
Jeriah Horne, Junior, Forward, 10.1 ppg

Lawson Korita, Senior, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Elijah Joiner, Junior, Guard, 5.2 ppg

Darien Jackson, Junior, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Simon Falokun, Junior, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Key New Players:
Josh Earley, Freshman, Forward
Isaiah Hill, Freshman, Guard
Reggie Jones, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Western Michigan
Brandon Rachal, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Junior College
Emmanuel Ugboh, Junior, Center, Transfer from Junior College
Tulsa returns two starters from last season, along with their third highest scorer who came off the bench. Martins Igbanu is a senior now and will be viewed at Tulsa’s best player entering this season. Igbanu has started 72 games in his career, including all 32 contests last season. Igbanu was second on the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and led the squad with 5.7 rebounds per game. Jeriah Horne was a great sixth man for Tulsa last season, but he will need to take on a bigger role as a junior. Horne averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds while leading the team with 49 threes made on 4.1 attempts per game. Lawson Korita started 25 games last season and averaged 5.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Elijah Joiner will likely become the starting point guard this season. Joiner averaged 5.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while backing up Sterling Taplin last season. Darien Jackson and Simon Falokun will both also be asked to play bigger roles as juniors this year. Reggie Jones will be eligible this season after sitting out 2018-19 as a transfer from Western Michigan. Jones is a 6-6 guard who averaged 10.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a sophomore. Brandon Rachal and Emmanuel Ugboh are both junior college transfers. Rachal spent one season at LSU where he played in 27 games as a freshman. Last year, Rachal averaged 15.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals in junior college. Ugboh is a Nigerian native who spent the last two seasons in junior college. Ugboh is 6-11 and averaged 12.0 points and 9.6 rebounds last season. Tulsa also adds two freshmen in Josh Earley and Isaiah Hill. This will not be an especially deep team, but there is some talent and potential at the top of the roster that could potentially compete in the AAC. An NCAA Tournament appearance seems unlikely, but the Golden Hurricane should be focused on competing in their conference and finding their way back to a postseason invite.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (197th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 71.0 (166, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (152, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.9 (37, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (253, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (204, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.5 (210, 7)
Rebound Margin: -2.1 (266, 9)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (175, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (148, 7)