Dannen says Dunleavy’s return is “100 percent”

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. of the Tulane Green Wave reacts during the first half of a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Smoothie King Center on November 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

“It has never been a question for me,” said Tulane director of athletics Troy Dannen when asked if men’s basketball coach Mike Dunleavy would return for next season.

“100 percent,” said Dannen in a phone interview Tuesday night.

Tulane is currently on a 12 game losing streak, and is 0-10 in league play in the American Athletic Conference. Tulane hosts Tulsa Thursday night.

Dannen said that Dunleavy, who is in the third year of a six year contract, is having success on the recruiting trail. And, Dannen said he expected that Melvin Frazier, who declared for the NBA draft, and point guard Ray Ona Embo would be a part of this year’s team. Ona Embo has missed the entire season with a knee injury.

“This season is a matter of circumstance,” said Dannen. “It is not a fundamental problem.”

Dannen said Tulane is having success on the recruiting trail, and that Seton Hall transfer, guard Jordan Walker, is expect to be a big boost next season.

Dannen said Tulane will not use junior college players to quickly bolster its program. “We have to recruit freshman who come here and play for four years.”

Dannen said Dunleavy has already bolstered the team’s grade point average. He said when Dunleavy arrived, the team GPA was 1.99. This year, he said it is 3.15. And Dannen said that when the APR scores are released later this year, Tulane’s APR for men’s basketball for last year will be a perfect 1000.

“Everyone wants to win more,” said Dannen. “But, we knew this would be a huge rebuild.”

And, he said morale on the Tulane basketball is good.

“Nobody’s quitting on each other,” said Dannen. “It is just the opposite in practice, and in games.”


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