Conroy signs top big-man prospect from Washington D.C.

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Tulane men's basketball huddles before the exhibition game against Loyola. Counting the two graduating seniors in guard Jay Hook and forward Tre Drye, eight players are leaving head coach Ed Conroy's program. 

Jonathan Harvey, Online Sports Editor William Potts

Tulane Green Wave men’s basketball scored its first recruit of the season Monday, as Taron Oliver signed a National Letter of Intent.

The 6-9, 240 pound forward/center is currently ranked by ESPN as the top overall prospect in Washington D.C. He will play this season at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Maryland. 

Oliver, who last year played for Riverdale Baptist, helped lead the Crusaders to the Maryland private school state championship. In the 16 game season, he averaged 6.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Basketball head coach Ed Conroy, in his fifth year at Tulane, is excited for the dynamic abilities Oliver will provide next season. The addition runs in accordance with an apparent theme of Conroy’s, adding height. Three of Tulane’s 2014 recruits are listed as 6’7 or taller.

“We are thrilled about the scoring, skill and versatility [Oliver] can bring to our program,” Conroy said. “He is a very talented offensive front court player that can score around the basket in a variety of ways, but he also has the ability make plays on the perimeter facing the basket.”

Oliver can score in a plethora of ways, and could dunk as a sophomore in high school. He brings a front court presence the Wave haven’t had in quite some time. Senior forward Trye Drye, at 6’6”, is the top rebounding forward Conroy has, and he will be gone next year.

Pairing Oliver and sophomore center Ryan Smith could be an interesting combo as they complement each other’s offensive games. Smith plays with his back to the basket, and loves his go-to right handed hook shot where Oliver can play in the post, face-up or shoot the midrange. 

Drye’s offensive game isn’t consistent and most of the scoring comes from the guards. With Oliver on the floor next season, the Wave’s offense could look completely different. 

In addition to his experience at the high school level, during this past summer Oliver played AAU basketball with the premier Nike Team Takeover program as well participated in the Ty Lawson and Victor Olapido All-American camps. The experience has prepared Oliver well for the transition to the next level. 

“We like that Taron has competed and succeeded against the best High School and AAU competition,” Conroy added. “He is eager to begin his development at Tulane University and compete in one of the top basketball conferences in college basketball.”