NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University men’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, as it faces off against the UCF Knights for an American Athletic Conference matchup. 
 
The Green Wave’s matchup with UCF will be aired live on ESPNU. Fans can watch the game live by CLICKING HERE. Fans also can listen to the game live on the radio by tuning into 104.1 The Spot or by CLICKING HERE. Tulane’s “Voice of the Green Wave” Corey Gloor will call the action live.

STARTING FIVE

1. Tulane’s road contest with UCF will mark the Green Wave’s sixth road contest on the year.

2. The Green Wave enters their meeting with UCF in the hopes of bouncing back from a hard fought 75-66 setback last Saturday at home against SMU. The Green Wave will look to improve to 5-2 in league play for the first time ever since joining the American Athletic Conference for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. 

3. Since joining the AAC in 2014-15, Tulane has only won five conference games on three occassions.

4. This season, head coach Ron Hunter’s staff welcomes back six letterwinners, six newcomers and three starters, including preseason All-American Athletic Conference honoree Jaylen Forbes. Forbes is one of three players on the team, averaging 10-or-more points per game. Freshman Jalen Cook leads the team with 19.6 points per game – a figure that ranks second in the American Athletic Conference. As a team, Tulane is averaging 72.3 points per game and connecting at a 43.9 percent clip.  

5. The Green Wave have won the turnover battle in 12 of their 15 games this season. During the 2020-21 campaign, Tulane won the turnover battle in 19 of its 23 contests last season while also forcing opponents into at least 15 mishaps on 11 occasions. During the 2019-20 campaign, the Green Wave committed equal or fewer turnovers than its opponents in 28 of 30 contests while ranking in the top 15 nationally in turnover margin (+4.3).

THE SERIES

• Tulane’s matchup with UCF will mark the 23rd all-time meeting between the two teams. 

• The two teams met for the first time in program history back on Dec. 8, 1983. In that game, the Green Wave defeated UCF 82-54.

• Green Wave head coach Ron Hunter is 1-3 all-time against UCF.

TULANE BY THE NUMBERS

241 ­- Tulane has made at least one 3-point field goal in 241 consecutive games. The last time the Green Wave failed to do so came on Jan. 16, 2014 at home against Louisiana Tech when they went 0-for-14 from outside.

52.9 – Forward Kevin Cross leads the American Athletic Conference in field goal percentage connecting at a 52.9 percent rate from the floor.

35.2 – Jaylen Forbes’ 35.2 minutes per game lead the AAC.

19.0 – Jalen Cook is averaging 19.6 points per game entering Tulane’s matchup with UCF. The last Tulane player to average more than 19.0 ppg for a full year was Jerald Honeycutt (19.9) in 1996-97. John Williams averaged 19.4 ppg in 1983-84. No one else has averaged 19 or more in the last 40 years.   

11 – Tulane’s meeting with UCF marks the 11th opponent the Green Wave have faced this season that has a .500 record or better. 

– The Green Wave picked up their fourth league win of the year on Jan. 12 at Wichita State which equals its conference win total from a year ago. 

– Tulane’s 36.3 shooting percentage from 3-point range is third in the American.

– For the first time in program history, Tulane has defeated Memphis, Cincinnati and Wichita State all in the same season.

WITH A WIN OVER UCF…

• Tulane would improve to 5-2 for the first time ever in American Athletic Conference play.

• The Green Wave would improve to 3-1 on the road in AAC play for the first time ever. 

• Tulane would capture its second road win over UCF. 

• The Green Wave would move back to .500 on the year.

• Head coach Ron Hunter would collect his second career win vs. UCF.

THE OPPONENT – UCF

• The Knights enter their matchup with Tulane after they posted a thrilling 92-85 win in overtime this past Wednesday at ECU.

• In the win over ECU, the Knights had four players finish in double figures, as Darius Perry, Brandon Mahan, Darius Johnson and Dre Fuller Jr finished with 19, 19, 16 and 12 points, respectively. 

• UCF enters its matchup with Tulane having won two of its last three games. In nine games this season, the Knights have established a strong home-court advantage, as they have posted an impressive 7-2 mark in Orlando.  

• The Knights feature a veteran unit with six seniors. 

• Mahan was selected as a preseason All-American Athletic Conference Second Team member. 

• Darin Green Jr. leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points per game. 

• As a team, UCF ranks in the American’s top five in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage. The Knights are averaging 72.5 points per game. 

• Head coach Johnny Dawkins is in his sixth year on the bench for the Knights. Dawkins is 105-65 since starting with UCF in 2016. His .619 winning percentage ranks second in school history. 

• UCF was picked to finish fifth in the AAC Preseason Poll. 

LAST TIME OUT: TULANE COMES UP SHORT VS. SMU

• The Tulane University men’s basketball team played one of its toughest games yet, as it dropped a hard-fought 75-66 loss to the SMU Mustangs on Jan. 15 inside the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

• With the loss, Tulane moved to 4-2 in league play and 7-8 overall. The Green Wave’s setback also marked the team’s first loss at home in conference play.

• Freshman Jalen Cook had the hot hand for Tulane scoring 23 points, marking the sixth this season he has scored 20 points-or-more. 

• DeVon Baker and Kevin Cross also posted double-digit figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Cross has now scored in double digits in eight straight games.

• Cross and sophomore Jaylen Forbes paced the team with eight rebounds apiece. As a team, Tulane was outrebounded 39-38.

• In the first half, Tulane shot 47.1 percent from the field and an impressive 50 percent from beyond the arch. The Green Wave opened a 41-36 halftime lead over the Mustangs.

MILESTONE WATCH

• With a win over SMU, head coach Ron Hunter would collect his 30th win at Tulane and his 475th overall win. 

• Senior DeVon Baker needs 26 points to reach 1,200 in his career.  

• Sophomore Jaylen Forbes needs 17 points to reach 700 career.

• Sophomore Kevin Cross needs 21 points to reach 600 career.

• Senior Scott Spencer needs 43 points for 500 in his career. 

• Freshman Jalen Cook needs 26 points for 300 in his career. 

COOK MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT

• Freshman Jalen Cook has been named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll three this season, earning a spot on Nov. 15, Nov. 22 and Jan. 17. On Jan. 3, he was selected as the AAC Player of the Week and Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Week on Jan. 3.

• Cook currently ranks second in the American Athletic Conference with 19.6 points per game.

• Cook shined at home in the Green Wave’s league opener, as he poured in 25 points against Memphis.

• In his last outing, Cook was scored 23 points against SMU. 

• Cook has scored 20 points or more in six games this season  

• Earlier this year, Cook was selected to the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship All-Tournament Team. 

FORBES’ THE FLAMETHROWER

• In his two outings from Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, sophomore Jaylen Forbes averaged 22.5 points per game, a figure which ranked second in the American Athletic Conference. On Dec. 6, Forbes was selected to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll. 

• Forbes currently leads the American in minutes played, averaging 35.2 per game.

• Forbes poured in 24 points in an overtime loss at ECU. Most recently at Wichita State, he helped Tulane to its first ever win over the Shockers, as he scored 16 of his team-best 20 points in the second half. 

• Earlier this season against Drexel, Forbes poured in a season-high 30 points in the Green Wave’s 90-87 win. 

• Last season, he poured in a career-high 37 points on 9-of-15 shooting and made his first seven attempts from 3-point range while going 12-of-15 at the free throw line at Cincinnati on Feb. 26, 2021. The Florence, Mississippi, native’s 37 points are the most by a Green Wave player in a regulation game since Jerald Honeycutt had 38 against Xavier on Jan. 16, 1997.

• His seven treys are tied for the second most in a single game in program history with Cameron Reynolds being the last to make seven against Alcorn State in November 2017.

PRESSING PAUSE

•Prior to its meeting with Memphis on Dec. 29, 2021. Tulane had each of its three previous games (at Texas A&M – Dec. 14; vs. Grambling – Dec. 18; New Orleans – Dec. 21) cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.

A PARADISE MARATHON

• The Tulane University men’s basketball team needed over six hours, two courts, two separate pairs of jerseys and an overtime session, but in the end, the Green Wave picked up their second win of the season, as it defeated Drexel 90-87 back on Nov. 22. 

• Tulane overcame a four-hour delay in the first game of the Baha Mar Nassau Championship and finished the game on the tournament practice court after standing water on the primary game court made the contest unplayable. 

30 YEARS THE GREEN WAVE MADE HISTORY

• The 2021-22 season marks the 30th anniversary of the 1991-92 team. Listed below is snapshot of that team’s historical season which put Tulane Basketball on the map. 

The 1991-92 Green Wave Basketball Team…

• Became the first Tulane men’s basketball team to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

• Collected the program’s first-ever victory in the NCAA tournament, as it defeated St. John’s 61-57 to advance to the Round of 32.

• Captured the Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.

• Finished the year with a 22-9 record.

• Opened the year with 13 straight wins.

• Ranked as high as No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll.

• Anthony Reed and Kim Lewis earned NABC All-District and All-Metro Conference team honors.

UP NEXT

• Tulane returns to action on Wednesday (Jan. 26) where it will welcome to Tulsa. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be aired live on ESPNU.

{Press release courtesy of Tulane Athletics}