Men’s basketball lineup shifts after erratic season

Susan Fanelli, Staff Reporter

The men’s basketball season has been described by many as disappointing overall, but there were highlights.

Finishing with a 12-22 record (3-15 American Athletic Conference), Tulane men’s basketball experienced many ups and downs in a season that was ultimately capped with the firing of head coach Ed Conroy and the subsequent hiring of former NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr.

“I felt like we peaked at the end of the season,” redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Reynolds said. “We picked it up and played a lot better towards the end.”

The Wave started out winning five of their first seven games but as the competition became stronger, the team struggled to keep them in top competition. Opponents like UConn and Cincinnati proved to be difficult challengers in the middle of the season, where the Green Wave only won one game through the month of January.

After their 12-win regular season, however, the Green Wave surprised the school in early March by making it past the first two rounds of the AAC Championships. In Orlando, Tulane beat University of Central Florida and Houston before losing to Memphis.

“As a team, we work together all the time and as individuals, we’re all in the gym everyday just to get better, to bring home a championship,” Reynolds said. “We all want an AAC Championship next year.”

For redshirt junior guard Malik Morgan the real highlight of the year was Tulane’s overtime win over Memphis 94-87 Feb. 13. In that game, Reynolds sank the last 3-pointer of regulation to tie the game at 80 and Morgan hit a 3 of his own to clinch the win.

“I think that was maybe the first time in 16 years that we beat [Memphis] at home,” Morgan said. “That was a great game, great feeling. It was just a great year be able to play with the group of guys that I did.”

Perhaps the biggest story was Conroy’s firing and the subsequent hiring of Mike Dunleavy, Sr., former coach of the year and NBA finalist with the Portland TrailBlazers, as a replacement.

Dunleavy, Sr. hasn’t coached in five years and has never coached on the collegiate level, but the players are already learning from him.

“We got a real professional guy,” Morgan said. “Right now, he’s been great to be around, showing us a lot of things we had no idea about. We’ve switched it up with a new coach, a new mindset. We’re coming in every day with the same intensity to come in and get better.”

Also departing from Tulane are senior guard Louis Dabney, sophomore forward Dylan Osetkowski and redshirt junior guard Kajon Mack. Dabney will graduate having played more games than any other Tulane player in program history and sits at ninth on the all-time leading scorers list. Osetkowski and Mack are set to transfer. Osetkowski will be taking his talents to University of Texas at Austin while Mack has not made an official statement.

Along with Morgan, Dabney and Osetkowski made up two of the top three scorers on the team this year. Morgan finished the year with a total of 409 points.

“[My teammates] are really the ones who look for me, and find me in open spots,” Morgan said. “Credit to my game to be able to knock the shot down but it starts with them and everybody on the court. Everybody has their part.”

Both Reynolds and Morgan praised the team’s camaraderie, commending the hard work of their teammates both young and old. They will prepare for next year as they write a new chapter in Tulane men’s basketball.

“Everyone’s grown,” Reynolds said. “As a team, we work together all the time and as individuals, we’re all in the gym everyday just to get better, to bring home a championship. We all want an American Conference Championship next year.”

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