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Tulane Basketball: Jaylen Forbes Is a Dark Horse for AAC Player of the Year

Jaylen Forbes
(Parker Waters/The Tulane Hullabaloo)

Tulane Basketball: Jaylen Forbes Is a Dark Horse for AAC Player of the Year

Prior to the 2022-23 college basketball season, I wrote about the potential of this year’s Tulane Basketball squad. The Green Wave have been pretty solid thus far, staying competitive with the upper tier of the AAC. Head coach Ron Hunter’s group isn’t quite in position for an at-large bid, but their 6-3 record in conference play has them in the mix. One of the biggest reason’s for Tulane’s success is the play of junior guard Jaylen Forbes. He should be in consideration for AAC Player of the Year.

The favorites for AAC Player of the Year are pretty easy to identify. Houston’s Marcus Sasser is the best player on the best team in the conference. Kendric Davis has stuffed the stat sheet as the lead guard for Memphis. Not enough people are talking about Jaylen Forbes. Coming off a season where he averaged 16.5 points per game, shot 38.7% from long distance, and earned All-AAC Second Team honors, Forbes has taken things up a notch.

In conference play, Jaylen Forbes ranks second to Kendric Davis in scoring average with 21.9 points per game. He gets those points efficiently too, ranking fifth among all AAC players in field goal percentage (48.7%), fourth in three-point percentage (42.2%) and seventh in free throw percentage (85.7%). Expand the slash line to the entire season and Forbes is shooting 42.9/38.6/88.7.

Behind Forbes’ production, Tulane scores more points than anyone in the conference. Given that Hunter’s system is designed to get everyone involved rather than feature one player, Forbes’ emergence is especially notable. He leads Tulane Basketball in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares, and Box Plus/Minus. It certainly doesn’t hurt to share the backcourt with another dynamic scoring guard like Jalen Cook, who commands plenty of defensive attention in his own right.

Maybe another way to say “dark horse for AAC Player of the Year” is just “First Team All-AAC.” All the same, Jaylen Forbes has been balling and deserves more attention for it.

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