Men and women’s hoops release 2014-15 schedule

Jordan Figueredo, Contributing Reporter

Tulane men and women’s basketball released the 2014-15 inaugural American Athletic Conference schedule Sept. 5 and Sept. 16, respectively. Women’s hoops will open its season against Mississippi Valley State 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Devlin Fieldhouse, while the men start the season with seven straight home games and will face their first true challenge against Wake Forest Nov. 11, their second game of the season.

The men’s team tips its season off against Loyola-New Orleans in a preliminary scrimmage Nov. 11 at Devlin Fieldhouse. Their schedule includes 19 home games, a trip to Brooklyn, New York to face St. John’s at the Barclays Center Dec. 28 and a visit to downtown New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center against Memphis Jan. 24.

“This schedule provides our program not only with challenges, but also with terrific opportunities,” head coach Ed Conroy said. “This first season as a part of the AAC will give Tulane University and our basketball team national exposure that is unprecedented.”

The defending men’s national champion, Connecticut, comes to Devlin Fieldhouse Feb. 7 in a game that will be televised on CBS Sports Network. 

“Our home schedule will be exciting for our fans with Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference teams coming into Devlin to go along with a conference schedule that includes some of college basketball’s most respected programs, including the defending national champions,” Conroy said.

The women’s team will also face off against Connecticut, the defending women’s National Champions, as well as eight other teams that finished the 2013-14 season ranked in the top-100. The Wave will also play nine teams that qualified for either the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament or the Women’s National Invitation Tournament last season.

“Playing in the [AAC against] the national champion brings a different type of excitement for us,” head coach Lisa Stockton said. “Playing [against a Connecticut] team that has that many All-Americans is exciting and our players are excited about the challenge.”

Tulane women will play in-state foe McNeese State Nov. 16 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, before facing LSU Nov. 16 in Baton Rogue. The Wave returns to Devlin Fieldhouse to host North Carolina State Nov. 25, and then will compete in the Hofstra Tournament Nov. 28-29 in Hempstead, New York. 

“This is one of the strongest non-conference schedules we have had in many years,” Stockton said. “We wanted to challenge this veteran team early in the season to prepare us for our first year in the American [Athletic Conference].”

Tulane kicks off AAC play against Cincinnati Dec. 28 at Cincinnati and will return to Devlin Fieldhouse to continue its conference play against Houston Dec. 30. The Wave will face conference foe South Florida, a 2014 WNIT semifinalist, Jan. 4 at Devlin Fieldhouse in a game that also kicks off the AAC’s television coverage on CBS Sports Network. 

Stockton said she thinks her team is well prepared despite the tougher schedule this season.

“We’ve added some new and exciting players to our team and we have high expectations [for this season],” Stockton said. “We really hope we can compete within the highest level of this league and one of our goals is the NCAA tournament.” 

Tulane’s home season comes to a close against Memphis Feb. 21 at Devlin Fieldhouse, followed by senior day against Connecticut 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Devlin Fieldhouse. The regular season ends against Tulsa Feb. 28 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The AAC women’s tournament kicks off March 6 and lasts until March 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Senior guard Jamie Kaplan said Green Wave has the talent to make it to the NCAA tournament this season.

“I think we can [make it to the NCAA tournament] this year,” Kaplan said. “I’m just excited to go out there and make some more memories and hopefully get to the ‘Big Dance.’”

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