Wave guards need to capitalize on 3-pointers, rotate ball against big defense

Junior+guard+Jay+Hook+blows+by+a+defender+in+an+exhibition+game+against+Loyola.+Hook+scored+18+points+in+the+100-61+victory+against+Mississippi+Valley+State+Thursday.%C2%A0

Junior guard Jay Hook blows by a defender in an exhibition game against Loyola. Hook scored 18 points in the 100-61 victory against Mississippi Valley State Thursday. 

Jonathan Harvey, Online Sports Editor

Halfway through the 2014-15 season, Tulane men’s basketball has shown that though it lacks a true inside presence, it can stay in games with three-point shooting and intense perimeter defense.

The Wave has shot 33.6 percent from deep this season, as the trio of guards Jay Hook, Louis Dabney and Jonathan Stark carry the offense. Dabney is shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range and leads the Wave with 13.0 points per game.

Dabney has shown the ability to get into the lane, elevate over defenders and score off nifty floaters and jump shots. Against opponents with greater interior size like Washington, however, Dabney struggles because he does not have a clear shot at the rim.

In the Wave’s 66-57 loss against Washington Dec. 22, Dabney had opportunities to kick it to Hook or other shooters when the defense collapsed but attempted to shoot well-contested shots in the lane. Dabney did not finish with a single assist.

Against better opponents, a lead guard needs to help other players get going.

Tulane’s defense this season has been stifling. Bodies are constantly flying and diving for loose balls. The Wave put forth a tireless effort night in and night out.

Tulane is holding opponents to 62.1 points per game, forcing 14.9 turnovers per game and averaging 6.6 steals per game. This defensive effort can be attributed to the terrific coaching of head coach Ed Conroy, whose in-game defensive adjustments have helped the Wave get to the point it’s at now.

Conroy, however, needs to teach his guards to look for shooters and rely on the hot hand. Conroy has a textbook offensive rotation and should consider utilizing his bench more.

Freshman guard Keith Pinckney has scoring ability, and freshman center Dylan Osetkowski has been a pleasant surprise. No Wave big man has a true post game, but Osetkowski is Tulane’s best option.

Osetkowski is averaging 6.2 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and plays with tons of effort. With more experience, Osetkowski may be able to develop his offensive game even more and continue delivering strong drives to the rim.