Green Wave men’s basketball suffers string of close losses

Jeremy Rosen, Staff Reporter

Tulane University men’s basketball has stalled to a 2-5 record to start the basketball season, including a three-game losing streak since the one-point loss to Toledo. In spite of the team’s mediocre record, they have been competitive in every single game they have played. All of their losses have been by five points or less, which is much better than their record would suggest. 

After an impressive 70-67 win over Southeastern Louisiana University, the team lost back to back games against Southern University and Florida State University. Despite losing to FSU, a close loss by only five points against the 19th-ranked team, at the time, was impressive. 

The team traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to compete in the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship over the Thanksgiving Break. The tournament opened with an exciting 90-87 overtime win over Drexel University. 

Sophomore standout Jaylen Forbes led the team to victory, scoring a game high 30 points while also pulling down 11 rebounds. Jalen Cook, Kevin Cross and Sion James all scored double-digit points to edge Drexel out in this close matchup. 

The next day, the team suffered a devastating one point loss to the University of Toledo in the tournament Semifinals. Despite only leading for a total of 38 seconds the entire game, Cook’s game high 25 points was almost enough to push the team over the edge. The Green Wave went on to play Valparaiso University in the consolation bracket, suffering another close loss. 

After the Thanksgiving vacation, the team traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for a match against College of Charleston. After falling into a five-point hole in the first half, the team fell just short of completing a furious comeback in the second half. 

The story of this season has been about the meteoric rise of the freshman guard Cook. After transferring from LSU last season, he had the opportunity to truly blossom and demonstrate his talents. 

Cook opened the season with a bang by scoring 28 points in the win against Southeastern Louisiana, and he has scored at least 18 points in all but one of his games this season. He is averaging a team-leading 20.7 points so far this season, while also leading the team in three-point percentage with 44.1%. 

Sophomores Forbes and Cross have been the only other consistent sources of offense this season, averaging 15.3 and 13 points respectively.

For the team to improve and come out on top of these incredibly close matchups, the team will need to improve on their three-point percentage and boxing out for rebounds. Scott Spencer and Devon Baker each shoot multiple threes a game, yet their poor shooting from deep is holding the team back. 

The team has allowed their opponents to grab 84 offensive rebounds this season, 25 more than they have pulled down themselves. The additional shot opportunities for the opponents add up quickly, and these close losses may have ended in their favor if they had fought more for rebounds. 

Tulane currently sits at the bottom of the American Athletic Conference basketball standings, just behind Temple University and South Florida. Green Wave basketball will look to bounce back against Alcorn State University this Saturday. They will have a rematch with College of Charleston at home next week, then they will travel to College Station, Texas for a match against Texas A&M University.

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