Tulane (10-1, 0-0) at Louisville (7-3, 0-0)
Mon., Jan. 3, 2000, 6:30 p.m. CST
Freedom Hall (18,865)
Game Data: Tulane (10-1, 0-0) puts its nine-game win streak on the line this evening against Louisville (7-3, 0-0) in Freedom Hall (18,865) in the Conference USA opener for both squads ... This is the 20th consecutive season that the Wave and Cards have met, the second-longest active streak ... Tulane is 5-5 in conference openers under Perry Clark, including 1-3 in C-USA play ... The Green Wave is forcing an average of 20.3 turnovers per game.
On the Air: The Tulane Basketball Network will broadcast every Tulane regular season game. The flagship station is 50,000 watt WWL-AM 870 in New Orleans. ?Voice of the Green Wave? Ken Berthelot is in his 11th year of calling the action. Joining Berthelot on the home broadcasts will be color analysts Curtis Amann or Rob Koonce. Tonight?s game will also be televised by WDRB/WFTE-TV in Louisville. Don Russell (play-by-play) and Robbie Valentine (color) will handle the call.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his 11th year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 175-135 (.565). Clark has guided Tulane to five 20-win seasons, six postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 3 NIT) and the Metro Conference championship in 1992. He was the 1992 National Coach of the Year and a two-time Metro Conference Coach of the Year (1991, 1992). Only one other coach in school history has more wins or a longer tenure. He is assisted by Anthony Anderson, Greg Gary and Brock Kantrow. Clark is 5-14 against Louisville.
The Series: Tonight?s contest is the 39th meeting of the two schools with Louisville holding a 32-6 series advantage. U of L has won three of the last four meetings in the series, including last year?s 80-75 triumph on Feb. 18 in New Orleans. Tulane hasn?t won in Freedom Hall since a 68-65 win on Feb. 8, 1996. Tulane has a 4-12 record in series games played in New Orleans, 2-15 in Louisville, and 0-5 in neutral-site games. Prior to Perry Clark?s arrival in 1989-90, Tulane had just one win in 19 meetings.
Last Time Out: Sterling Davis proved to be the difference in the contest, as the senior forward scored a career-high 25 points and led the Wave to its ninth consecutive win. Davis came up big in the second half, scoring 14 of his 25 points after the half, including four of Tulane?s last five field goals. He was also 8-of-11 from the free throw line. Tulane limited SMU to just 36.4 percent field goal shooting for the game and forced 14 first half turnovers.
Scouting Louisville: Louisville (7-3) returns to the court tonight after an 11-day layoff. The Cards have won seven of their last eight games, including a 97-80 win over North Carolina on Dec. 23. Louisville has been a team that capitalizes on the opponents miscues, forcing 23.9 turnovers per game and converting those into points. Thirty-four percent of Louisville?s scoring this season has come from points off turnovers. Individually, Nate Johnson, a preseason all-conference pick, leads the Cards with a 17.4 points per game average.
Streaking: Tulane has now won nine consecutive games, its longest streak since January 1997. The current win streak is also Clark's fourth winning streak of eight or more games. Before Clark resurrected the program in 1989-90, Tulane had not had a win streak of at least eight games since 1949. Tulane also finished the month of December with a spotless 6-0 record. It was Tulane's first undefeated month of more than five games since January 1997 and just the eighth time in school history a team has accomplished that feat.
Take Note: With 10 wins prior to Jan. 1, the 1999-2000 edition of the Green Wave accomplished something that no other Tulane team could. It is the first time in school history that a Tulane team has won 10 games prior to Jan. 1.
Finding It Hard to Score: Credit good defense in the win over SMU. Tulane held SMU to just 36.4 percent shooting from the field on Saturday and forced the team into 14 first half turnovers. On the year, Tulane opponents are shooting just 39.2 percent overall, and six of the 11 opponents have failed to shoot at least 40 percent vs. Tulane. Incidentally, only two opponents have reached the 70-point plateau against the Wave this season.
Making a Difference: It?s not hard to imagine what would have happened to Tulane against SMU had Sterling Davis not put together his 25-point, four-rebound performance. Not only was the 25 points a career high for Davis, but it was the highest total for a Tulane player in 39 games. On the year, Davis leads the team in scoring (15.3) and field goal percentage (.529).
Playing Consistently: Senior center Morris Jordan continues to be one of Tulane?s most consistent performers this season. The New Orleans native leads the team with a 6.7 rebounds per game average and ranks second in scoring at 11.2 ppg.
On The Perimeter: While Tulane has rolled to a +13.9 scoring average this season, the majority of its scoring punch has been seen in the second half. Tulane has led at the half seven times this season and has a +5.1 scoring margin in the first half. That margin improves to +8.4 in the second half, as the Wave has outscored the opposition 425-332 in 1999-2000.
Tulane closes out its first week of conference play with a road game at the University of
Houston on Sat., Jan. 8. Following that game, Tulane will return home to face No. 3
Cincinnati on Wed., Jan. 12 in the New Orleans Arena.