TU basketball to pick up the pace this season
BY MARK COOPER World Sports Writer
Friday, August 10, 2012
8/10/12 at 4:20 AM
Tim Peete had one message to deliver about what to expect from a Tulsa program that turned over more than half its roster and its coaching staff.
The Golden Hurricane is going to push the tempo.
"Get ready to see a lot of running," said Peete, a junior guard. "A lot of running."
Peete is one of just three players on the TU roster who appeared in any games last season. Between the roster changes and a new coaching staff, led by Danny Manning, this summer's practices have concentrated on implementing new systems and getting to know each other.
The Golden Hurricane heads to Canada for four exhibition games from Aug. 15-18, with one game on the Canada side of Niagara Falls and the other three in Toronto.
Manning, Peete and Scottie Haralson, the leading scorer among TU returnees, spoke to the media on Thursday about preparing for the trip.
"I think it's very beneficial, from the point of view of a chance to see our team in game action," Manning said.
Tulsa ranked tied for 204th in Division I last year in possessions per game, and former coach Doug Wojcik caught flack for the offense's inability to create shots until late in the shot clock. When Peete was asked about the team in its current state, he was quick to say it could run.
The Golden Hurricane may need to push the tempo to create some easy baskets. Tulsa's tallest player is listed at 6 feet, 8 inches.
"Coach Manning's going to try to get that in us early," Haralson said. "Just to run, push the ball under control."
One wrinkle Tulsa will deal with on the trip to Canada is a different shot clock. TU's four games will be played under a 24-second shot clock, a major difference from the 35-second shot clock the players are used to in college basketball.
Tulsa is not using the shot clock by design, but it should only help the Golden Hurricane become a faster-paced team. It's a tool other coaches are utilizing purposely: At Illinois, first-year coach John Groce implemented a 24-second shot clock for his team's practices and pickup games.
"We got to get down the floor and get a good shot off because in college, you get 35 seconds," Peete said of playing in Canada. "That's 11 more seconds than we get, so I think that will help us when we do start playing the real season that we're trying to get a shot off in the first 24 seconds or better."
Although the games are meaningless exhibitions, they are the first games for Tulsa since Manning became coach. He said the team's rotation is free flowing at the moment - it "changes with every mistake" - and perhaps the four games in Canada can contribute toward defining who eventually will become starters.
Manning confirmed Peete and Haralson's sentiments that Tulsa is going to have to be an uptempo team. But he also emphasized that it can't be run-and-gun and sacrifice defense.
"We need to score as many points as we can in fast-break situations," Manning said. "Or play great first-shot defense, rebound the basketball and push the ball up the court. We also need to be a team that is very good defensively and defensively, not giving up open uncontested shots."
Next week, the TU basketball team travels to the Toronto area for a series of exhibition games:
Aug. 15: TU at Brock University
Aug. 16: TU at Ryerson University
Aug. 17: TU at Seneca College
Aug. 18: TU vs. A-Game Hoops Team (at Seneca College)
Original Print Headline: Hurricane to pick up pace
Mark Cooper 918-581-8355
TU coach Danny Manning joins in the team huddle at the beginning of practice Thursday at the Reynolds Center. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World