#124 Tulsa Men's Basketball 2012-13 Team Preview

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #124
Conference Rank: #6 Conference USA
Tulsas Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Tulsa Team Page


Tulsa made a splash by hiring Danny Manning as their head coach. Former coach Doug Wojck had some decent years with the Golden Hurricane, but failed to take them to the next level or develop any sort of consistent success. Tulsa had a nice 10-6 record in Conference USA play and was 17-14 last season, but there is some rebuilding to do. The good news is Coach Manning is a fine recruiter and the newcomers should come in and make an immediate impact. With only three players returning who saw significant action last season, they will have to.

2011-12 Record: 17-14, 10-6
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Danny Manning
Coach Record: First year at Tulsa, 0-0 overall

Who’s Out:
The transfer of Jordan Clarkson to Missouri hurts the most. The do-it-all guard averaged 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season and his ability to shoot and attack the basket will be missed immensely. The news in the backcourt does not get any better with the loss of Eric McClellan, who is transferring to Vanderbilt. McClellan was just a part-time starter, but he was another player who could get to the basket and finish…or at least take a trip to the free-throw line. The frontcourt was hit by graduation, but at least the Golden Hurricane were prepared for those losses. Center Steven Idlet quietly had a fine career at Tulsa, finishing it off by averaging 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. D.J. Magley and Joe Richard earned a handful of starts last season and take with them all of Tulsa’s experienced frontcourt depth.

Who’s In:
Tulsa may need a starter out of this group, but they will definitely need a lot of depth. The player who should be ready right away is Kauri Black. The transfer from Northeastern will be playing immediately after graduating with a year left of eligibility. He never put up big numbers for the Huskies, but he is a good rebounder and has the ability to do some scoring. More importantly, his experience will get him plenty of opportunities to play major minutes. But the freshmen will not stay at bay for too long. Power forwards Zeldric King and D’Andre Wright are both physically capable of playing Division I basketball right now and eventually they are expected to emerge as solid interior players. Brandon Swannegan is not as highly regarded, but the lanky 6-7 small forward could fill a need on this team. However, it is more likely that, when needed, Coach Manning will play a smaller lineup and fill in with one of the newcomers on the perimeter. Shooting guards Shaquille Harrison and James Woodward lead the class and either one of them could find themselves in the starting lineup sooner or later. Rashad Ray will join junior college transfer Pat Swilling Jr. battling for minutes at the point guard position. Swilling, the son of the five-time pro bowler who played in the NFL with Detroit, New Orleans and Oakland, turned down football scholarships to play basketball at Tulsa. He brings a football mentality to the point guard position and his toughness on defense should earn him playing time at either guard spot.

Who to Watch:
The newcomers are very good, but the cupboard is nowhere near bare. Scottie Haralson, Tim Peete and Kodi Maduka all played a big role on last year’s team and will be the leaders this time around. Haralson is the shooter of the bunch. He knocked down nearly three three-pointers per game during the 2011-2012 campaign at a 40.7 percent clip. It would be great if Haralson used his 6-4, 236 pound frame to attack the basket more often, but if he keeps shooting like he did last season it is tough to complain too much. Peete will take over the point guard duties, assuming he can hold off the newcomers. The 6-4 junior brings great size to the position and has some starting experience. He is not a big scorer, but he does all of the little things and can defend a variety of positions. If he does end up running the show full-time, keeping the turnovers to a minimum will be his most important job. The return of Kodi Maduka is what has Tulsa eyeing a postseason berth of some sort during Coach Manning’s first year at the helm. Maduka, a 6-11 junior, is a superb rebounder and shot blocker. He is the difference maker on the defensive end, but he could emerge as a major scoring threat inside as well. With Idlet gone, the ball will move through Maduka and he has the potential to drastically increase his 8.1 points per game average of a year ago. However, he does need to stay out of foul trouble.

Final Projection:
The key to success for Tulsa will be getting everything sorted out relatively quickly. There is a lot of turnover on the roster and, of course, in the coaching staff. But there are a couple more pieces to be added to the puzzle that could muddle up the situation even more. Rashad Smith averaged less than five minutes per game as a freshman, but he is an athletic 6-7 small forward who can do a bit of everything. If he lives up to his potential, Smith will be a solid contributor this season. The return of Blondy Baruti, a 6-8 sophomore who redshirted last season, will provide Coach Manning with another option in the paint. Two years ago Baruti did not play much, but he is another player who is capable of making a splash in 2012-2013. Coach Manning should have a lot of options. Some of them may not pan out as well as hoped, but right now there are options and that is never a bad thing. Those options should turn into quality depth by January and the Golden Hurricane could be a surprise team in Conference USA.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Tim Peete, Junior, Guard, 5.3 points per game
Scottie Haralson, Senior, Guard, 11.1 points per game
Rashad Smith, Sophomore, Forward, 0.8 points per game
Kauri Black, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Kodi Maduka, Junior, Forward, 8.1 points per game