Hurricane aims to shake off pesky Green Wave
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
1/06/10 at 5:41 AM
Tulane has caused Tulsa many headaches in Conference USA.
The Green Wave has beaten Tulsa in three consecutive meetings. Five nail-biting games between the schools have been decided by a combined 10 points.
Maybe Wednesday's 7 p.m. league opener against visiting Tulane is best for the Golden Hurricane, just to get the Green Wave in the rearview mirror.
"Tulane is a team that's been a thorn in our side," Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said.
For the first time in three seasons, the Hurricane will open C-USA play in the Reynolds Center, where it has won 18 straight games.
"The road hasn't been kind to us yet and it would be nice to get confidence under our belt against a team that we haven't beat," Wojcik said.
Dave Dickerson is in his fifth season at Tulane. He was asked about his program's past success against Tulsa.
"The last three times, we've been fortunate to play well and get three wins," Dickerson said. "In those last three games, we had an inside presence, versus now, we don't have an inside presence."
Tulane (5-8) has been able to be physical with the Hurricane in past meetings, but doesn't have post depth like years past. It only has two players measuring 6-foot-8 or taller and will play at a size disadvantage against Tulsa.
Jerome Jordan, like in most games, is expected to be a focus for the Tulane defense. Tulsa's 7-foot center has seen a variety of "junk" defenses that challenge him to make quick decisions when receiving entry passes.
"There's not a lot of quality big kids in college basketball and not a lot of quality big kids in Conference USA as far as every team having a great inside player," Dickerson said. "Jordan is going to see different defenses every game. He's a first-rounder and a very good player.
"Everyone has to figure out a way to neutralize him to have a chance of winning. If you play him one-on-one, you're exposing a big part of your defense."
Tulsa (10-3) was selected as the C-USA preseason favorites by the league's media. Does Wojcik think the program is feeling any pressure as league play begins?
"It's a long year and I don't feel that way at all," Wojcik said. "As a player and as a coach, you put pressure on yourself either way. All it boils down to is your next game.
"It is a nice compliment (being preseason favorites) ask me that question in the first week of February and we'll see where we're at."
Down to the buzzer
Tulsa and Tulane have met
five times since Conference
USA’s realignment in 2005-
06. Tulane leads the series 3-2
since, and owns a three-game
win streak. A combined 10
points have separated the
programs during the past five
A look back:
Tulsa 63, Tulane 59 (3-4-06):
Tulsa nearly loses 22-point
second-half lead before two
late free throws seal the home
Tulsa 79, Tulane 78 (1-31-07):
Rod Earls connects on a 3-
pointer with two seconds left
to vault Tulsa to the road win.
Tulane 58, Tulsa 56 (3-8-07):
Tulsa’s slow start combined
with a late officiating mistake
lead to a C-USA Tournament
Tulane 67, Tulsa 65, OT (1-16-
08): Tulsa didn’t score in the
final 4:54 of regulation and
never led in the extra period
against the visitors.
Tulane 76, Tulsa 75, OT (1-
21-09): Ben Uzoh’s 25 points
wasn’t enough as Robinson
Louisme snapped a 70-all tie
with 2:13 left.
Eric Bailey 581-8391
Tulsa head coach Doug Wojcik shouts instructions to players during their game against Colorado on Saturday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World