Tulane Men’s Basketball Faces First Road Test at East Carolina

Sports

NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane men’s basketball team plays its first road game of the season on a trip to Greenville, N.C., to face East Carolina on Tuesday, December 22. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ as Patrick Kinas delivers play-by-play of all the action and Jay Sonnhalter provides color analysis.

STARTING FIVE

1. Tulane (5-1, 0-1 AAC) embarks on its first road trip of the season for its second conference game, as the Green Wave searches for its first win in the last six meetings with East Carolina (6-1, 0-1 AAC). Last season, the Wave won two road games in league play at Temple and UCF.

2. Last time out, Jaylen Forbes led all scorers with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a personal-best five 3-pointers made while Gabe Watson added 18 points for the second straight game. Jordan Walker also chipped in 11 points, five assists and no turnovers. As a team, Tulane dished out 20 assists – the most under second-year head coach Ron Hunter and the most since February 24, 2018.  The Green Wave also connected on a program-record 10 3-pointers in the first half., while the team’s 14 treys tied for the third most in a single game in program history.

3. Tulane has won the turnover battle in five of its first six contests this season while also forcing opponents into at least 15 mishaps on five occasions. Last season, 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).

4. Head coach Ron Hunter earned his 460th career win on December 9 against Southern Miss and currently has the 34th most victories among active NCAA Division I head coaches.

5. Jordan Walker has scored in double-figures 16 times in his career, and the Green Wave own a 10-6 record when he compiles at least 10 points. Tulane is 6-1 when he hands out at least five assists.

TULANE-EAST CAROLINA CONNECTIONS
» 
ECU associate head coach Steve Roccaforte was an assistant coach at Tulane from 1994-98 under former head coach Perry Clark. Roccaforte was part of a staff that guided the Green Wave to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 1995 and the Final Four of the 1996 NIT.
» Tulane redshirt freshman Ibby Ali and ECU sophomore Tremont Robinson-White were teammates at Maumelle (Ark.) High School.
» Tulane redshirt junior Jordan Walker and ECU freshman Noah Farrakhan both attended The Patrick School in New Jersey, but graduated three years apart.

SCOUTING ECU
•  The Pirates enter Tuesday’s contest coming off a 73-64 home win over James Madison in their non-conference finale on Saturday.
•  East Carolina suffered a 70-55 road loss at SMU in its conference opener on Dec. 16.
•  The Pirates are led by Preseason All-AAC First Team selection Jayden Gardner who is averaging 18.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game on 47.1 percent shooting from the field this season.
•  East Carolina ranks second in The American in assists per game (17.7) and 3-point field goal percentage (.373) this season.

BY THE NUMBERS
•  10 – Tulane connected on a program-record 10 first-half 3-pointers in the win over Grambling State on Dec. 19. The Green Wave finished the game with 14 which tied for the third most in a single game in program history.
•  210 – Tulane has made at least one 3-point field goal in 210 consecutive games. The last time the Green Wave failed to do so occurred on January 16, 2014 at home against Louisiana Tech when they shot 0-for-14 from outside.
•  362 – Tulane scored 2,050 total points last season but return just 362 of those from one year ago. That means more than 82.3 percent of the Green Wave’s total offense will be replaced in 2020-21 and that is the seventh most among NCAA Division I programs this season.

LAST TIME THEY MET – FEBRUARY 8, 2020
Christion Thompson filled the stat sheet with 23 points, nine rebounds, a career-high six assists and a game-high five steals, while K.J. Lawson scored 20 points and made four 3-pointers but Tulane (10-13, 2-9 AAC) suffered an 81-67 defeat as East Carolina closed the game on a 20-6 scoring run. The American’s leading scorer, Jayden Gardner, led ECU (10-14, 4-7 AAC) with 20 points over eight rebounds. The Green Wave finished the night 23-for-61 (.377) from the field and 9-for-34 (.265) beyond the arc, while the Pirates went 29-for-55 (.527) on the floor and 20-for-24 (.833) at the foul stripe.

AAC WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
• Tulane sophomore Jaylen Forbes earned a spot on the first American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 30  after averaging 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in a a pair of wins over Lamar and Lipscomb. Additionally, he averaged four made 3-pointers made per game and converted at a 47 percent clip from beyond the arc.
• Redshirt junior Jordan Walker earned his first Weekly Honor Roll nod of the season and third of his career on December 14. He averaged a team-leading 15 points per game on 50-percent shooting from the field while recording 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals per contest in a 2-0 week for the Green Wave.

FINAL FOUR HEADED BACK TO NOLA
• In an announcement made on Nov. 10, 2016, the NCAA and the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced the 2022 Men’s Final Four will be played in New Orleans with Tulane serving as the host institution. 
• New Orleans will host the Final Four for the sixth time overall and the first time in 10 years. New Orleans traditionally has been one of the most popular Final Four cities and has provided several iconic championship moments that will be celebrated as anniversaries in 2022.

SEASONED COACHING STAFF
•    Head coach Ron Hunter has assembled a veteran coaching staff featuring two former NCAA Division I head coaches – Ray McCallum (Ball State – 1993-2000; Houston 2000-04; Detroit Mercy – 2008-16) and Kevin Johnson (Centenary – 1999-2005), as well as Claude Pardue.
•    The Green Wave are one of just five schools nationally to have three of its four coaches currently or previously holding head-coaching titles, along with Pittsburgh (4), Iowa (4), Michigan State (3) and Washington (3).

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA
For behind-the-scenes coverage, follow Tulane men’s basketball (@GreenWaveMBB) on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

{Courtesy: Press Release from Tulane Athletics}

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