#131 Tulsa Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #131
Conference Rank: #7 American
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Tulsa was beginning to look like a potential NCAA Tournament team in 2020 before the season was brought to a halt. However, the Golden Hurricane failed to ever reach that level of play in 2020-21. They were limited to just 23 games due to cancellations which led to the school’s lowest win total since the 2005-06 season. This year, Tulsa loses their top two scorers from last season, but the Golden Hurricane should still be able to compete in the AAC with their returning depth and incoming transfers. Jeriah Horne is back for his second stint after being a key piece for a good Colorado team last season while Sam Griffin joins coming off a double-digit scoring season at UT-Arlington. Frank Haith’s squad should find a way to get back to being competitive this season.

2020-21 Record: 11-12, 7-9
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Frank Haith
Coach Record: 127-87 at Tulsa, 332-216 overall
Key Departed Players:
Brandon Rachal, Forward, 15.0 ppg
Elijah Joiner, Guard, 11.3 ppg
Austin Richie, Forward, 6.7 ppg
Emmanuel Ugboh, Center, 3.2 ppg
Keshawn Williams, Guard, 3.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Rey Idowu, Senior, Forward, 7.9 ppg
Darien Jackson, Senior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
Keyshawn Embery-Simpson, Junior, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Curtis Haywood, Senior, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Peyton Urbancic, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Josh Earley, Junior, Forward, 1.2 ppg
Key New Players:
Tim Dalger, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Junior College
Gavyn Elkamil, Freshman, Guard
Sterling Gaston-Chapman, Freshman, Guard
Sam Griffin, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Texas-Arlington
Jeriah Horne, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Colorado
Nikita Konstantynovskyi, Center, Transfer from Junior College
Teafale Lenard, Freshman, Forward
Anthony Pritchard, Guard, Freshman
Losing top scorers Brandon Rachal and Elijah Joiner won’t be easy, but Tulsa will still return four players who averaged more than five points per game last season. Frank Haith’s teams have typically been defensive minded anyways, so heavy scorers leaving shouldn’t affect them to the extent it would for higher scoring teams. Rey Idowu, Darien Jackson, Keyshawn Embery-Simpson and Curtis Haywood are all upperclassmen who averaged more than 20 minutes per game last season. Their returning experience in Haith’s system will help mask the loss of the top scorers. Also helping in that department will be the addition of a couple transfers. Jeriah Horne is back at Tulsa after spending a season at Colorado. Horne was at Tulsa in 2018-19 and 2019-20 where he played 63 games and averaged 10.6 points and 5.0 rebounds. Sam Griffin is a scoring guard from Texas-Arlington who averaged 13.3 points and 2.2 assists last season. Tim Dalger and Nikita Konstantynovskyi are both junior college transfers who averaged double-digit points at that level last season. The Golden Hurricane also add four freshmen, led by top-200 prospect Teafale Lenard. Again, Tulsa’s lack of returning scoring should not lead to the assumption that they’ll be a worse team this season. The Golden Hurricane will continue playing strong defense and have a strong core of experienced players to help them compete in the American Athletic Conference in 2021-22.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (245th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.6 (52, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.8 (118, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.9 (43, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (206, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.5 (275, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.8 (265, 8)
Rebound Margin: -1.1 (225, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (95, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.3 (190, 6)