Tulane basketball back in action

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Redshirt sophomore guard Cameron Reynolds takes a shot in the Nov. 17 game against Wake Forest in the 2014-15 season. The Wave went 15-16 overall last season.

Chandler Daddario, Associate Sports Editor

Green Wave basketball returns to action Thursday night, kicking off the women’s and men’s seasons with a doubleheader exhibition match against Loyola New Orleans at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively, in Devlin Fieldhouse.

Tulane returns for its second season in the American Athletic Conference. In 2015, the men’s squad finished its inaugural season in the AAC with a 15-16 overall record and a 6-12 conference record, landing the team the No. 7 spot of the 12 teams.

Headed into its 2015-16 season, the American preseason coaches’ poll projected Tulane to finish the season last in the conference. Part of this result could be largely due to the overwhelmingly unfamiliar roster, consisting of seven newcomers.

After the exodus of seven players last season, head coach Ed Conroy had to make several off-season adjustments. His recruitment found an increase in the size and physicality of the team.

“We knew from being in the league for one year that we needed to get bigger and stronger across the board,” Conroy said.

With a roster dominated by newcomers, the coaching staff looks to the returners and their experience to help lead the Wave to greater success this year.

“We have so many new faces on our roster,” Conroy said. “I have been particularly pleased with the returning guys so far just in terms of their leadership and [how they have performed] all throughout the summer … They are in there battling and obviously the influx of the new guys has really energized our program.”

Senior guard Louis Dabney, a native of New Orleans and a three-year starter for the Wave, headlines the returners. Last year, Dabney averaged 13.6 points per game and 3.3 rebounds per game, which is good enough to hold first on the current roster.

This season will show if the Wave can balance the experience of the returners and the athleticism and talent of the newcomers to deliver results.

“This is unlike a Tulane team that you’ve ever seen before,” Dabney said. “There’s going to be a lot of excitement.”