NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University men’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, as it faces off against the USF Bulls for an American Athletic Conference matchup. 

 
The Green Wave’s matchup with USF 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. The Tulane University men’s basketball team, winners of two of its last three games, returns home for the first time in 2022 Saturday afternoon as it plays host to USF. Tulane’s home matchup with USF will mark the Green Wave’s first home game in 11 days. The game will be held inside the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

2. The Green Wave enters their meeting with USF in the hopes of bouncing back from a hard-fought 88-80 overtime loss this past Wednesday on the road against ECU. The Green Wave will look to win their first two home league games. The Green Wave have NEVER opened AAC play 2-0 at home since joining the league for the 2014-15 campaign.

3. Prior to its meeting with Memphis, 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.

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 73.5 points per game and connecting at a 45.0 percent clip. 

5.   The Green Wave have won the turnover battle in nine of their 12 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).

TULANE BY THE NUMBERS

238 ­- Tulane has made at least one 3-point field goal in 238 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.

56.3 – Forward Kevin Cross leads the American Athletic Conference in field goal percentage connecting at a 56.3 percent rate from the floor.

35.1 – Jaylen Forbes’ 35.1 minutes per game lead the AAC.

– Tulane has faced eight opponents this season that have a .500 record or better.

– Tulane’s 37.2 shooting percentage from 3-point range leads the American.

WITH A WIN OVER USF…

• Tulane would improve to 2-0 at home for the first time ever in American Athletic Conference play.

• The Green Wave would capture their second straight win over USF.

• Tulane would improve to 3-1 in league play for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.

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

THE SERIES

• Tulane’s matchup with USF will mark the 40th all-time meeting between the two teams.

• The two teams met for the first time in program history back on Feb. 6, 1992. In that game, the Green Wave picked up a 78-70 overtime win over the Bulls.

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

THE OPPONENT – USF

• The Bulls enter their matchup with Tulane after they suffered a 83-66 setback to Houston Wednesday night at home.

• Prior to its matchup with the Cougars, USF had not played a game since Dec. 25, 2021 – a layoff of 11 days. The Bulls had their matchup with Mississippi Valley State canceled and their meeting with ECU postponed due to COVID-19.

• USF’s Caleb Murphy (12.5) and Javon Greene (10.9) are the only Bulls averaging double figures in scoring this season.

• Murphy was named to the AAC All-Freshman Team during the 2020-21 campaign.

• Greene leads the team and ranks second in the American with 2.29 steals per game. 

• As a team, USF ranks third in the American in scoring defense, holding opponents to just 61.5 points per game. Offensively, the Bulls’ 57.5 points per game ranks last in the league.  

• The Bulls have proven to be able to protect the basketball throughout the year, as they are averaging just 11.2 turnovers per game – a figure that ranks third in the AAC and 42nd nationally.

• Head coach Brian Gregory is in his fifth year on the bench for the Bulls. He is in his 18th season overall as a head coach. Gregory spent eight seasons at Dayton where he led the Flyers to five postseason appearances. He then went on to coach five seasons at Georgia Tech.

• USF was picked to finish T-9th in the AAC Preseason Poll.

LAST TIME OUT: Tulane Falls in Overtime at ECU, 88-80

• Sophomore guard Jaylen Forbes scored a team-high 24 points, but it was not enough, as the Tulane University men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 88-80 setback in overtime to East Carolina University Wednesday night inside Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum.

• Tulane’s overtime session was the Green Wave’s first of the season and its first since a 2020 matchup with Memphis. The loss marked Tulane’s first loss in conference play this season. The loss also moved Tulane to 5-7 overall.

• Forbes finished the night by going 7-of-16 from the field, including 6-of-13 from 3-point range. The Florence, Mississippi, native scored in double figures for the 10th time this season and the 30th time in his career. 

• Joining Forbes in double figures were teammates Jalen Cook and Kevin Cross, as they finished with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Cross also pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds and notched his second double-double of the year.

• Tulane lost the turnover battle for just the third time this season. The Green Wave finished with 16 turnovers compared to ECU’s 13.

TULANE TAKES DOWN CINCINNATI ON THE ROAD

• The Tulane University men’s basketball team opened 2022 on a high note, as it picked up a hard fought 68-60 win over the University of Cincinnati on Jan. 1 inside Fifth Third Arena.

• With the win, Tulane improved to 2-0 to start league play for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign. The Green Wave’s win at Cincinnati was Tulane’s first since a 50-49 win over the Bearcats back in 2015.

• The win also served as Tulane’s largest margin of victory at Cincinnati since the Green Wave defeated the Bearcats 70-59 back on Feb. 23, 1991.

• Freshman guard Jalen Cook scored 20-or-more points for the fifth time this season, as he netted a game-high 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He also drilled three 3-pointers. Joining Cook in double figures were teammates Jaylen Forbes and Kevin Cross, as they finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

• Tulane finished the night by shooting 38 percent as a team and finished with just 10 turnovers which equaled Cincinnati’s 10 miscues.

• The Green Wave never lost the lead in the second half and led by double digits for 29 of the game’s 40 minutes.

GREEN WAVE SHINE IN AAC OPENER AGAINST MEMPHIS

• The Tulane University men’s basketball team opened American Athletic Conference play in the win column as it defeated Memphis 85-84 on Dec. 29 inside the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in the Devlin Fieldhouse.

• With the victory, the Green Wave snapped a 12-game losing skid to the Tigers. The Wave’s last win over Memphis was on February 13, 2016.

• The Tulane offense was in rhythm on its home floor as it shot 55 percent from the field and shot a scorching 45 percent from beyond the arc. The Green Wave also dominated the paint outscoring the Tigers 42-32 around the rim.

• Four players finished in double figures for the Green Wave as freshman Jalen Cook led all scorers with 25 points. This marks the fourth time this season Cook has reached the 20-point plateau. Kevin Cross followed with 15 points while Sion James and R.J. McGee rounded out the top scorers for Tulane with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

• On the defensive end, Tulane forced the Tigers into 15 turnovers and 10 steals. The Green Wave converted those Memphis turnovers into 21 points on the other end of the floor.

• The Green Wave had three-or-more players score in double figures for the eighth time this year.

• Six of the opponents the Green Wave have faced this season have had winning records.

MILESTONE WATCH

• Sophomore Jaylen Forbes needs 31 points to reach 600 career points at Tulane.

• Sophomore Kevin Cross needs two rebounds for 300 in his career.

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

• Senior DeVon Baker needs 48 points to reach 1,200 in his career. 

COOK MAKES IMMEDIATE IMPACT

• Freshman Jalen Cook has been named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll twice this season, earning a spot on Nov. 15 and Nov. 22. Most recently, Cook 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 19 points at ECU. 

• 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 35.1 per game.

• In his last outing, Forbes poured in 24 points in an overtime loss at ECU.

• 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.

UP NEXT

• Tulane returns to action on Wednesday (Jan. 12) where it will head to Wichita State. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be aired live on ESPN+.     

{Courtesy: release from Tulane Athletics}