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Tulane Basketball Will Be Really Fun This Season, Buy Stock Now

Tulane Basketball
(Image via Tulane University Athletics)

Tulane Basketball Will Be Really Fun This Season, Buy Stock Now

Every college basketball season, I latch on to a few mid-major teams and keep up with them for the whole year. Last season it was Davidson and Toledo. For 2022-23, I’m totally bought in on Tulane Basketball. This team has potential to be loads of fun.

Head coach Ron Hunter is back for his fourth season with the program. You may remember him as the coach who fell out of his chair during the 2015 NCAA Tournament as his son R.J. hit a buzzer-beater to lift 14-seed Georgia State over 3-seed Baylor. Hunter has a proven track record of building winning programs – he turned Georgia State into a consistent tournament qualifier out of a one-bid conference. He’s now bringing his winning ways to New Orleans.

A consistent afterthought in the AAC since they joined in 2014, Tulane Basketball finished with their first-ever winning record in AAC play last season. The catch? The Green Wave return basically everyone from that team. They’re on the rise.

Meet the Green Wave

Tulane brings back their leading scorer in Jalen Cook. The All-AAC First Team honoree scored 18 points per game while shooting 39.1% from three. In addition to his electric scoring ability, the sophomore guard is also an excellent on-ball defender who came away with 1.6 steals per game last season. Junior guard Jaylen Forbes added 16.5 points per game and shot 38.7% from deep on the way to All-AAC Second Team recognition. Playing under a small-ball philosophy that will prioritize their touches, the Jalen-Jaylen backcourt is poised for a big year.

The Green Wave run their offense through junior forward Kevin Cross. He is the primary initiator for a unit that runs a lot of pick-and-roll or dribble handoff sets. Cross is a respectable post scorer who contributed 13.9 points per game last season and was named to the All-AAC Third Team. He also led the team in both rebounds and assists. Cross will be essential for Tulane’s success this year.

Sophomore Sion James is an excellent complementary piece on the wing. He’s a jack-of-all-trades on both sides of the ball. Sophomore guard Jadan Coleman is a major breakout candidate who could be another long-range sniper for the Green Wave. Tulane also has plenty of wing depth with Collin Holloway, Tylan Pope, and R.J. McGee ready to contribute, among others.

The Outlook

One of the main concerns for Tulane Basketball will be their lack of size. The Green Wave were one of the worst rebounding teams in the nation last year and it’s unlikely that changes given their small-ball approach. They will need players like Nobal Days or Percy Daniels to step in when needed to not get abused by opposing frontcourts.

Ron Hunter has tailored this team to function extremely well even without a massive presence on the glass. Their collection of athletic, high-motor wings create an active defense that jumps passing lanes and generates a lot of steals. The spacing on this team will be a sight to behold with all the three-point shooters they have.

Houston is basically a lock to take the AAC crown this year, but Tulane can legitimately compete with Memphis and Cincinnati for that second place spot. The Green Wave’s fate will boil down to how they perform against those three aforementioned opponents, but this is a team that can make a play for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid with their combination of scoring, athleticism, and chemistry.

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