#84 Tulsa: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #84
Conference Rank: #5 Conference USA
2009-10: 23-12, 10-6
2009-10 postseason: NIT
Coach: Doug Wojcik (104-65 at Tulsa, 104-65 overall)
Coach Doug Wojcik has led Tulsa to four straight 20 win seasons, but his toughest coaching job may be in 2010-2011 after one of the most dynamic inside-outside duos in the country has run out of eligibility. Jerome Jordan and Ben Uzoh finished off their collegiate career with a disappointing trip to the NIT and replacing those two will not happen very easily. However, there was some talent around them and even more talent heading in, so another 20 win season is not out of the question.
Key Losses: C Jerome Jordan, G Ben Uzoh, F Bishop Wheatley
The most important newcomers are Scottie Haralson, a transfer from Connecticut and D.J. Magley, a transfer from Western Kentucky. Haralson, a 6-4 wing, never saw much playing time during his one season in Storrs, but he is a superb athlete and will likely step into a starting job right away. Magley has a little more experience under his belt and provides the team with some much needed size at 6-9 and 270 pounds. Incoming freshmen Kodi Maduka and Blondy Baruti will look to add more depth to the frontcourt. The most highly touted freshmen are shooting guards Jordan Clarkson and Tim Peete. Clarkson may not be able to cracking the starting five as a freshman, but he should play a big role off the bench.
Clarkson will have to compete with Justin Hurtt, Glenn Andrews and Bryson Pope for minutes in the backcourt. Hurtt was the third scoring option last season behind Jordan and Uzoh and ended the season averaging 14.5 points per game. Hurtt has always been a solid outside shooter, but as an upperclassman last season he started attacking the basket more often and became a dynamic scoring threat. Andrews was a part-time starter in 2008-2009, but missed all but two games last season due to an injury. Andrews is not much of a shooter, but he did average 7.1 points per game two years ago and should provide a nice spark off of the bench. Pope, a 6-6 wing, had a relatively successful freshman campaign and should be a valuable player off the bench at the small forward position, especially if he can start connecting on his mid-range jumper more consistently.
The wings are in good shape, but obviously replacing Jordan is an issue. Steven Idlet did a superb job complimenting Jordan in the paint. Now the 6-11, 242 pound center will be the main force inside. He has bulked up a bit and that should be helpful on both ends of the floor and now that he has the opportunity, Idlet should be able to average more than 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He does need to make sure he stays out of foul trouble, which is one reason he only averaged 21.0 minutes per game last season. Joe Richard has proven to be a tough forward who can do the dirty work around the basket. He may lose his starting job to Magley, but Richard is only 6-6, so it may make more sense to start Richard and have Magley come in for either Idlet or Richard.
Who to Watch:
While Idlet tries to make up for the production lost by Jordan, it is up to Donte Medder to take over the point guard duties from Uzoh. Medder did not do anything special during his freshman campaign, but he has potential. He averaged less than 13 minutes per game, but proved to be a capable scorer and defender. His outside shooting ability will keep the opposing defense honest. Yet, Medder had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio during his freshman campaign and that has to change.
Tulsa will have to take a step back, but this team was better than there 10-6 conference record indicated. There will still be an adjustment period, but the addition of Haralson and Magley is huge and those two will keep the Golden Hurricane above the .500 mark. And as long as somebody can provide some consistent point guard play, there is no reason Tulsa cannot make their third consecutive NIT appearance.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Donte Medder, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg
Justin Hurtt, Senior, Guard, 14.5 ppg
Scottie Haralson, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Joe Richard, Junior, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Steven Idlet, Junior, Center, 6.4 ppg
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