Maverick Maniac's Musings

November 16, 2012

2012-13 Omaha Men’s Basketball – Game 4 Preview – Tulane

Filed under: College Sports,Men's Basketball,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 10:39 am

So Texas Tech was an encouraging game in some ways and a discouraging game in other ways. There were the same problems that have been there all along flaring up and keeping Omaha from making it a game, but I did feel the Mavericks played better and harder. Tulane is up this afternoon and provides a slightly better chance at pulling a road upset, but still a big hill for the Mavericks to climb.

This game is at 12:30 because Tulane is having a lot of school children attend the game. A nice idea to fill the arena for an early season non-conference game.

Tulane

Tulane is actually officially “The Tulane University of Louisiana”. I wish we could hear guys saying that on Sunday Night Football’s starting lineups (ala “THE Ohio State University”). The school was founded in 1834 as a public medical college named the Medical College of Louisiana but now is a private school. There was also a period of 37 years where the school was known as the University of Louisiana, pretty impressive. It is the only university in the country to become a private institution after starting a public one. Very interesting. Wonder if we’ll ever see a school follow that path again.

Tulane is in New Orleans, a city slightly smaller than Omaha with 340,000 residents. Yes that fact is true, but when you add the metro areas New Orleans is much bigger with 1,167,000 residents. Tulane has several famous graduates, some running back in the NFL named Matt Forte being one of them. Also James Carville, famed political figure, teaches there. Makes me want to go there, while knowing that Jerry Springer went there does not. Finally I’ll leave this section by noting that New Gingrich got his Masters degree there. I can definitely see a shirtless Gingrich at the basketball games screaming and cheering.

Tulane’s nickname is the “Green Wave” which is probably the best nickname ever. Their original nickname of “The Olive and Blue” was slightly less fun, but still… creative. Tulane of course was a charter member of the…. SEC? Yep, Tulane was an SEC school from 1932 until 1966. It is one of only three schools to ever leave the SEC.

The University of the South, Sewanee was one of them. If you’ve never heard about them it’s an interesting story. They were perhaps the best football program in the south early on. They went 12-0 in 1899 outscoring opponents 322-10 (only one non-shutout). The most amazing statistic is that they took a six-day trip by train, over 2,500 miles, to play five games. And shut them all out. Incredible. They were never competitive by the time the SEC founded and left the SEC eight years later, outscored 1163-84 during those eight years.

The other two were Georgia Tech and Tulane. They left in the mid 1960’s and later reunited in the Metro Conference. The Metro Conference was fairly strong and eventually merged with the Great Midwest Conference in 1995 to form Conference USA, which remains to this day. Tulane is the CUSA West with Houston, Rice, SMU, UTEP and Tulsa.

One final interesting tidbit from Tulane history is that they wanted to form an Ivy League in the south, the Magnolia Conference, with Duke, Rice, SMU, and Vanderbilt. It never came to fruition, but how different the landscape of sports might look if it had!

Tulane has not been a very successful basketball program. They won conference titles in 1944 and 1992, but they may be best known for a point shaving scandal in the 1980s. The program was actually disbanded but eventually was allowed to come back. They made the second round of the NCAA tournament just a few years later in 1992 but haven’t been back to the tournament since 1995.

Tulane has started off 1-1 with a loss at Georgia Tech and a win at home vs. Bethune-Cookman. The offense performed similarly in each game but their defense really struggled at Georgia Tech. They are led by two dominant scorers, Josh Davis and Rick Tarrant, that combine for 40 of their 63 average points. They have played much slower games than Omaha so far. Trevante Drye (6 rpg) and Kendall Timmons (5.5 rpg) help out on the boards. They haven’t given up many free throws this year.

Starters: 
Guard – Ricky Tarrant – 6-2 – Sophomore – Pleasant Grove, Alabama – Averaging 19.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Guard – Jordan Callahan – 6-0 – Senior – Marietta, Georgia – Averaging 4.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Forward – Josh Davis – 6-8 – Junior – Raleigh, North Carolina – Averaging 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Forward – Kendall Timmons – 6-5 – Senior – Fort Worth, Texas – Averaging 5.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.
Forward – Tomas Bruha – 7-0 – Junior – Prague, Czech Republic – Averaging 3 points, 3 rebounds and 12.5 minutes.

Omaha

Omaha is now 1-2 after losing to Texas Tech. The rotation is starting to make itself more clear and they know what they struggle with and hopefully we see some progress in those areas.

Starters:
Guard – CJ Carter – 6-0 – Sophomore from  Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 8.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4 assists.
Guard – Justin Simmons – 6-3 – Junior from Milwaukee, Wis. – Averaging 10 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Forward – Alex Welhouse – 6-7 – Senior from Kaukauna, Wis. – Averaging 10.3 points, 4.7  rebounds and 1 steal.
Forward – Koang Duluony – 6-4 – Senior from Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 5.3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 steal.
Center – John Karhoff – 6-8 – Junior from Omaha, Neb. – Averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

3 Things to watch:
1) Runs – In the Texas Tech game Omaha faced several runs that really put the game way. I think Omaha can play with Tulane for the most part, but if they find themselves giving up several runs where Tulane is 6-8 points better then it will be hard for Omaha to stay in this one. Finding a way to score some baskets and lock down defensively instead of letting a run get out of hand will be important.

2.) Omaha’s Achilles’ Heels (Turnovers and Defensive Rebounding) – One of the reasons those runs can happen is that Omaha tends to let opponents have second chances and turn the ball over leading to quick scores the other way. In the first couple games Tulane did a bad job offensive rebounding against Georgia Tech but looked a lot stronger against Bethune-Cookman. Of course Georgia Tech out rebounded Tulane 45-21… so maybe that one can be slightly written off as being over matched. The good news is that Tulane has given up a lot of offensive rebounds so Omaha will want to be following their shots and crashing the offensive boards. Tulane does a fairly good job of not turning it over and Bethune-Cookman did turn it over 15 times. I think there’s a definite chance Omaha does better in this category today but I won’t count on it.

3.) Defense on Davis/Tarrant – These guys are the offense for Tulane so Omaha will want to make someone else beat them. Playing good clean defense is important because they both shot horribly against Bethune-Cookman but managed to score 19 of their 35 from the FT line. If Omaha could shut these two down, or even limit them, they may have a chance to win. Other players went 7-31 against Georgia Tech and 9-27 against Bethune-Cookman. No one else has scored in double figures so far this year.

Prediction: I think Tulane should still win but I think the Mavericks can keep this one closer. I’ll take the Green Wave 71-61.  Welhouse the leading scorer with 14.

Linkage/MEDIA INFO!!!:
Omavs.com Preview
TulaneGreenWave.com Preview
Live Stats
Live Audio
Live Video ($10)
Radio – 1620 AM (Robert Ford on the call)

Not sure if I’ll be buying the video or just listening…

I’d recommend following myself (@MaverickManiacs) or UNO’s Basketball twitter account (@UNO_Basketball) for updates.

Go Mavs!

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