Inconsistent play plagues men’s basketball before shutdown

Jeremy Rosen, Staff Reporter

The Tulane University men’s basketball season is temporarily on hold after a string of positive COVID-19 cases inside the program. All basketball operations have been suspended until further notice, and Tulane Athletics canceled their matches against Texas A&M University and Grambling State University. 

Before the team’s shutdown, Green Wave basketball stood at a disappointing 3-6 record. The team competed against College of Charleston twice after returning from their tournament in Nassau, Bahamas, losing both matchups. In the first game of the series in Charleston, South Carolina, Tulane fell just short of completing a strong second-half comeback, losing by just 4 points in the final moments. Their season-high 19 turnovers put the team in a hole that was too deep to overcome this game.

When the two teams met again at home, the Green Wave were unable to stop the Cougar’s offensive scoring. Despite leading by four points at halftime, Charleston went off on a 56-38 run in the second half to blow out Tulane. Jaylen Forbes and Kevin Cross led the team in scoring with 17 points apiece. Freshman guard Jadan Coleman followed them closely by scoring 13 points in just 19 minutes of play.

The team bounced back with a big home win against Alcorn State University. The team shot an incredibly efficient 57% from the field and 40% from behind the three-point line. Forbes led the way with a strong 25-point game performance, his tenth career game scoring over 20 points. 

The unplanned break in the season will give freshman phenom Jalen Cook a chance to recover from a hamstring injury. The injury kept him from playing in last week’s loss to Charleston, and he could have provided the additional scoring punch this team desperately needed. Cook leads the team in scoring with 19 points per game, and he is tied for the most assists on the team with 29.

The team is expected to return to action Dec. 21 when they face off against New Orleans at home. They will begin their series of inter-conference matchups against University of Memphis and University of Cincinnati.