Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Men’s conference play continues against Cincinnati

Freshman guard Colin Slater faces off against SMU on Jan. 15. Tulane would lose 80-64, and this loss was one of several conference losses on the season for the Wave.

Josh Christian I Photo Editor

Freshman guard Colin Slater faces off against SMU on Jan. 15. Tulane would lose 80-64, and this loss was one of several conference losses on the season for the Wave.

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With its American Athletic Conference schedule well underway, the Tulane men’s basketball team (4-14, 1-5 AAC) will look to turn its season around at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, when it hosts conference rival Cincinnati Bearcats (16-2, 6-0 AAC) in Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse.

The Wave previously lost 92-56 to the Bearcats, who are currently ranked 20th in the Associated Press Top 25, on New Year’s Day. Going into the game Saturday, Cincinnati is riding a nine-game win streak dating back to Dec. 13.

“[We need to] be aggressive,” Tulane freshman guard Colin Slater said. “Attack these guys. Make them guard us. Give them a different look that they haven’t seen. More often than not, teams are kind of hesitant to be aggressive to them, so we are going to put it to them.”

Tulane has only one conference win this season, a 82-67 win at the University of South Florida on Jan. 11. The Green Wave has not won a conference game at home this season.

“That’s super critical for us,” Slater said.  “We need to get that one under our belt, give our home fans something to cheer about, especially at home.”

Tulane will look to improve in various ways. On the offensive side, the Green Wave is seventh in the AAC in turnovers per game with 13.9, while Cincinnati ranks second in the conference with only 10.5 a game. Defensively, Tulane is the worst defensive rebounding team in the conference, averaging only 22.7 defensive rebounds per game. Cincinnati is third in the conference, averaging 27.4 rebounds per contest.

“We just want to tighten up on defense more, cut down our turnovers and have better execution on the offensive end,” sophomore guard Kain Harris said.

Tulane has lost by double-figure margins in four of its five conference losses this season. In the conference win against USF, however, Tulane managed to outscore its opponent by 15 points.

“I think it’s a breakdown in communication sometimes in the second half,” Slater said. “The first half, we’re always on court. Because the bench is right next to us, we can always talk to each other … But when we go to the other side in the second half, it’s hard for me to yell across the court. That’s the only difference really.”

The Wave has a lot of offensive power to help make up for its defensive struggles. Harris, who is second on the team in points per game with 12.4, has reached double figures in points in the last six games.

“It’s cool, but I’d rather win more games instead of me having individual success,” Harris said. “I want to win. I’m just trying to help my team.”

 

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Men’s conference play continues against Cincinnati