Tulane men’s basketball opens season with victory

Jeremy Rosen, Staff Reporter

Green Wave men’s basketball tipped off the 2020-21 season with a tight 70-67 victory over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. Newcomer Jalen Cook led the way with an impressive 28 points, while three other players scored double digits. Tylan Pope’s 13 rebounds gave the team a crucial advantage on the glass to help push the team over the top. 

After a middling 10-13 record in the 2020-21 season, the team will look to build off of this win with a maturing roster and several transfer additions to move their way up the American Athletic Conference standings this season. 

The transfer portal bolstered the team’s roster this offseason, with several new players looking to make key contributions to the team this season. Former Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year Cook transferred from LSU and will be a foundational piece for the team this season. The young guard shot 44% from the three-point line in his 20 games at LSU, becoming a valuable floor spacer for the Olive and Blue. 

Devon Baker transferred from University of North Carolina at Asheville, providing an additional scoring punch for this team. Graduate transfer Scott Spencer will add size and shooting to a team that severely lacked both last season.

Sophomore guard Jaylen Forbes will continue to be the leader of Tulane University basketball this season. Forbes had a very impressive first season with the Green Wave last year, one that earned him a spot on the AAC third team

Forbes averaged 16.4 points per game and led the team in scoring 14 times last season, including a career-high 37-point game against University of Cincinnati. Forbes was named to the preseason all-conference second team, projected to be among the best of the conference this season.

Ron Hunter will enter his third season as head coach of Tulane basketball. He helped to change the perception of a mediocre Georgia State program, leading them to six postseason appearances under his leadership. He will look to do the same here in New Orleans.

The Green Wave is projected to finish ninth in the AAC this season. The top teams of the conference, like Memphis and Houston, will be difficult to compete against as they look to be contenders this season. 

Tulane had a disappointing 4-12 record against AAC opponents last season, which will need to improve this season if they want to climb up the standings this season. Key matchups against Temple University, SMU and the University of Central Florida down the stretch of the regular season will determine Tulane’s spot in the standings.