Men’s basketball travels to Sunshine State to participate in Tire Pros Invitational

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Men’s basketball travels to Sunshine State to participate in Tire Pros Invitational

Sophomore guard Von Julien dribbles around a UNC defender as the teams clashed on Nov. 11 in the Smoothie King Center. 

Sophomore guard Von Julien dribbles around a UNC defender as the teams clashed on Nov. 11 in the Smoothie King Center. 

Sophomore guard Von Julien dribbles around a UNC defender as the teams clashed on Nov. 11 in the Smoothie King Center. 

Sophomore guard Von Julien dribbles around a UNC defender as the teams clashed on Nov. 11 in the Smoothie King Center. 

Susan Fanelli, Sports Editor [email protected]

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Tulane men’s basketball (1-1, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) traveled to the warm shores of Orlando, Florida this week as it plays in the yearly Tire Pros Invitational. The tournament kicked off on Thursday, Nov. 17 and will go until Sunday, Nov. 20 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

This will be the first tournament for men’s basketball under the Mike Dunleavy, Sr. era, as well as the team’s first tournament since the Cure UCD Classic back in the 2013-14 season.

“This tournament coming up…we’re trying to make a statement,” senior center Ryan Smith said. “We’re trying to get our season started off on the right foot.”

The invitational will host eight teams, among them Tulane, Xavier University, and the University of Missouri. The Green Wave will start the tournament in a four-team bracket against the University of Oklahoma and, win or lose, will either play the University of Northern Iowa or Arizona State University. The overall winner of that bracket will then go on to face the winner of the other four-team bracket in the invitational championships.

Tulane, having started their season on Nov. 11 at the Smoothie King Center with a 75-95 loss to No. 6 University of North Carolina, is currently at 1-1 overall after a 93-76 victory over Southeastern Louisiana University. Smith had a career night against the Lions as he posted his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He was one of the Wave’s five double-digit scorers on the night.

Tulane and Oklahoma have met twice before, and the series between the two schools is currently tied at 1-1.

The teams first met on Dec. 30, 1947 in the Sugar Bowl Classic, where Tulane won 49-32. The Wave and the Sooners have not met since Nov. 25, 2000 in the Big Island Classic in Hilo, Hawaii, a game that Tulane lost 83-69.

“I think we’re going into this season on the right step,” Smith said. “Coach has been putting in the work for us. I think we’re getting into the flow of things. We’re going to be absolutely fine this season.”