Men's Basketball: Tulsa
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Monday, March 04, 2013
3/04/13 at 6:09 AM
15-13 overall, 7-7 C-USA
with Rashad Ray
Weight: 175 pounds
Hometown: New Orleans
After missing two games because of concussion symptoms, Ray was a significant figure during Tulsa's 78-66 victory over Tulane. As the Hurricane rallied from a 22-point deficit, Ray contributed 12 points in 27 minutes. His three-point play with 2:40 remaining gave the Hurricane a seven-point cushion. He averages 7.8 points and is among Conference USA's better free-throw shooters (30-of-34 in league play). Away from basketball, Ray is passionate about music. He plays the drums for the band at his New Orleans church.
Beyond basketball, what would you like to pursue as a career?
I'd like to be an entrepreneur. Coaching is one of my top options, but I want to do music mainly. I'd like to have my own studio. I was dealing with music even before I started playing basketball. I just love music and I love being in a studio. I love all of the things you can do. I've always been good with making beats.
What artist's music was most recently added to your iPod?
J. Cole. He's my favorite rapper. I've got all of his stuff.
During a recent practice, you collided with a teammate and wound up sidelined for two games because of concussion symptoms. Were you concerned that it might have been more than a two-game deal?
I missed one game and then I missed a second game, and then I thought that maybe it was going to be a season thing. It kind of scared me. I was concerned that I wouldn't play again this year. It was my first concussion. Bright lights really bothered me. It hurt. I feel much better now. No more headaches.
During each of the Golden Hurricane's last two Saturday home games, Tulsa fans witnessed something memorable. On Feb. 16, in the first triple-overtime home game in program history, the Hurricane defeated Houston 101-92. On Saturday, in the greatest comeback in program history, the Hurricane rallied from a 22-point deficit and rocked Tulane 78-66. During the first half, Tulsa shot 25 percent from the field. During the second half, there was 59 percent shooting. Never before had a Tulsa team won a game after trailing by as many as 22 points. During the final 12:16, the Hurricane outscored Tulane 41-14.
The week ahead
Wednesday: vs. SMU, 7 p.m.
Saturday: at Rice, 7 p.m.
The Hurricane is undefeated this season against Conference USA opponents from Texas Tulsa swept UTEP and Houston. The Hurricane opened league play with a Jan. 6 victory at SMU (48-47 on Pat Swilling Jr.'s 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left). On Jan 12 at the Reynolds Center, Tulsa defeated Rice 64-51.
The big picture
A comeback for the ages
In Conference USA home games against UAB and East Carolina, Tulsa was dealt significant first-half deficits. The Hurricane rallied but lost by seven points to UAB and by nine to East Carolina. Against Tulane on Saturday, Tulsa trailed by as many as 22 points. With 12 1/2 minutes remaining, the deficit was 15. Tulsa responded with its best 12 minutes of the season, outscoring the Green Wave 41-14 and rolling to a 78-66 triumph. Tulsa has two memorable comeback victories. In December, TU rallied from a 17-point, second-half deficit and prevailed 72-68 at Oral Roberts.
Tuesday finale for seniors
Tulsa's three seniors - Scottie Haralson, Kauri Black and Jamie Booker - play their final Reynolds Center game on Wednesday. The Senior Night ceremony begins at 6:40 p.m. Kodi Maduka, who would have been a junior center this season but quit the game because of health issues, will be honored along with the seniors. In three seasons since transferring to Tulsa from Connecticut, Haralson has started in 89 of the Hurricane's 91 games. He has scored 976 points in a Tulsa uniform. The Hurricane is assured of playing only three more games - against SMU and Rice to end the regular season, and at least one contest in the Conference USA Tournament (March 13-16, BOK Center). With 24 more points, Haralson becomes the 35th Tulsa player to reach the 1,000-point mark in career scoring.
Stats define Woodard's rookie season
With 12 points and eight rebounds against Tulane, Hurricane guard James Woodard climbed to No. 2 on Tulsa's single-season freshman scoring list and No. 3 on the single-season freshman rebounding list. Shea Seals scored 470 points in 1993-94. Woodard currently has 318. "James has done really well," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "We don't just worry about him putting points on the board. He has been our leading rebounder on multiple occasions when he hasn't shot the ball well or scored it well. (Against Tulane), he got into the paint and drew fouls. He gets eight free-throw attempts tonight. We need that. We need him to always be in attack mode."