Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series. Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days. This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days. We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
With four straight twenty-plus win seasons, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane have re-established a program that saw a great stretch of success from the mid-nineties to early 2000’s. However, a NCAA Tournament bid has still evaded the program for nearly a decade. Another twenty wins could be on the horizon if Tulsa can find a way to replace Justin Hurtt. Will that be enough to get them back into the Field of 68?
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TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE
Last Season: T-2nd, 11-5 in C-USA, 19-13 overall
Predicted C-USA Finish: 4th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Steven Idlet (Sr)/Kodi Maduka (So)/David Wishon (Fr)
PF: Joe Richard (Sr)/D.J. Magley (Sr)/Blondy Baruti (So)/Brandon Swannegan (Fr)
G/F: Scottie Haralson (Jr)/Rashad Smith (Fr)
SG: Jordan Clarkson (So)/Tim Peete (So)
PG: Donte Medder (So)/Eric McClellan (Fr)
Gone: G-Justin Hurtt, G/F-Bryson Pope (transfer-Kent State)
There are a pair of candidates vying to take over for Hurtt at point guard. Donte Medder has undergone a Robbie Hummel-like recovery. Medder tore his ACL in the 2010 C-USA Tournament and then re-tore the same ACL in early December, missing most of last season. He saw quality minutes off the bench as a freshman and should be the favorite to replace Hurtt. 6-4 freshman Eric McClellan is also in the discussion. He has great size for a point guard and can be a true floor leader but also knows how to score the rock.
There are scorers on the wing to help replace Hurtt’s offense as well as the transfer of wing Bryson Pope. Jordan Clarkson was primarily used as the team’s sixth man last season but still finished third on the team in scoring. Former UConn transfer Scottie Haralson is a physical guard who can light it up from deep. Sophomore Tim Peete saw little playing as a reserve last year and figures to be the first wing option off the bench. Freshman Rashad Smith is known for his athleticism and can guard multiple positions.
Doug Wojcik has a lot of options with his front line. Steven Idlet made the most of his first year as a full-time starter and is the top returning scorer and rebounder. Joe Richard and D.J. Magley shared the power forward position last year and figure to do so again in 2011-2012. Neither player provides much on the offensive end but both bring added physicality and can clean up the glass.
Kodi Maduka is a long, athletic big who gives the Golden Hurricane a shot blocker off the bench. At 7-2, 260 pounds, freshman David Wishon adds even more size inside. Blondy Baruti played sparingly last season and figures to once again be the odd man out of the rotation. Freshman Brandon Swannegan, a cousin of Vanderbilt’s Jeffery Taylor, will likely redshirt this season as he needs to add muscle to his thin frame.
Everybody will be chasing Memphis in Conference USA this season. It is unlikely that more than two C-USA teams get into the NCAA Tournament so Tulsa will have to win their key non-conference games and finish no worse than third in the C-USA standings if they hope to get back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2003.
Player to Watch: Scottie Haralson
When Haralson catches a hot hand from distance, watch out. However, there were too many times last season where he disappeared on the offensive end when his shot was not falling (i.e. when he was held scoreless in back-to-back games against SMU and Marshall.) He needs to become more of a well-rounded scorer for Tulsa to reach their potential this season.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/17 vs. Western Kentucky (Charleston Classic)
11/18 vs. Northwestern/LSU (Charleston Classic)
11/20 vs. VCU/Seton Hall/Georgia Tech/St. Joseph’s (Charleston Classic)
11/26 vs. Missouri State
11/30 at Oklahoma State
12/3 vs. Arizona State
12/7 vs. Wichita State
12/19 vs. Creighton
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs
#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.