No headline provided

No headline provided

Sam Thomas

The Tulane men’s basketball team has been struggling. Sincewinning 11 of its first 12 games, the Green Wave has won only threeof its last eight. And with the conference season now underway,Tulane’s schedule will only get tougher in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Green Wave is coping with injuries to two ofits top players – junior forward Kendall Timmons and junior centerTomas Bruha. Timmons was a preseason all-Conference USA selectionand was leading the team in scoring and 3-point shooting before hehurt his right Achilles tendon against Southern Miss Jan. 7.Timmons recently underwent surgery to repair the tendon and willmiss the remainder of the season. Bruha hasn’t played since earlyDecember because of lingering problems with his right knee. The7-footer is still recovering from the two reconstructive surgerieson his ACL in the past year. Bruha is listed as day-to-day, and itis not certain when he will return to the court.

With its leading scorer and its 7-foot center unable to suit up,the Green Wave will have to get increased production from someother players. Leading the pack of players who will have to step uptheir games is freshman guard Ricky Tarrant. Tarrant’s stellar playhas been the biggest surprise of the season for Tulane. Hisaccurate 3-point shooting, ability to score around the basket andconfident leadership have established him as the Green Wave’spremier guard of the present and future. Without Timmons, Tarrantwill also have to assume the role of the No. 1 offensive option, ashe did Wednesday night to the tune of 33 points in an 80-74 winagainst SMU.

Sophmore forward Josh Davis will also be called on to help fillin the gap left by Timmons. Davis is nearly averaging adouble-double at 10.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, and hisrelentless energy on both ends of the floor has definitely giventhe Green Wave a boost. The only knock against Davis is that hisshooting is not always on the mark – he’s shooting only 38.9percent from the field, 29.4 percent on 3-pointers and 57.8 percentfrom the free throw line. Davis will have to be a more efficientscorer in order for the Green Wave offense to produce at the levelit did before Timmons’ injury.

Without Bruha, Tulane has few options in the low post. Sophomorecenter Kevin Thomas is slumping and has barely scored during thelast five games. In limited minutes, freshman forward LotannaNwogbo has also been unproductive. The only player on the rosterwho can come close to matching Bruha’s size – 6-foot-10 freshmanGrant Fiorentinos – has fallen out of coach Ed Conroy’s rotation.Because of the poor play of Tulane’s big men, Conroy has beenforced to use a small lineup, with 6-foot-6 freshman Tre Drye andthe 6-foot-8 Davis as the tallest players on the court. Though thisgives Tulane more scoring options, it hurts the Green Wave’sability to defend in the low post. Until Bruha returns, though,this small lineup will probably give Tulane the best chance ofkeeping a respectable record in conference play.

 

Leave a comment