Men's Basketball Hosts Preseason C-USA Favorite, Memphis

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Coach Finney needs Waitari Marsh to spark the Green Wave on Saturday against Memphis.
Coach Finney needs Waitari Marsh to spark the Green Wave on Saturday against Memphis.

Jan. 11, 2002

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University men's basketball returns to action on Saturday afternoon at Fogelman Arena, hosting preseason Conference USA favorite Memphis at 2 p.m.

Official Game Notes in PDF Format.

Limited tickets remain for Saturday's game by calling the Tulane Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or by visiting the Tulane Box Office at the Wilson Center. The box office will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The game will also be available on the radio on WTIX 94.3 FM, as well as on WTIX 690 AM, through a new simulcasting arrangement. Jim Freeman provides the play-by-play. All Tulane radio broadcasts are available on the internet as well, by visiting www.TulaneGreenWave.com.

Tulane enters Saturday's game with a 9-4 record, including 1-1 in Conference USA play. The Wave is also looking for its 500th victory in Fogelman Arena. Memphis, meanwhile, owns a 12-4 record, including a perfect 2-0 league mark. The Tigers have topped Southern Miss and TCU in C-USA action.

The Wave will look to counter one of the most potent inside-outside attacks in the nation. Senior Kelly Wise has matched the Conference USA record for career double-doubles, while freshman DeJuan Wagner is second in the league in scoring with 21.6 points per game. Wise leads the league with his 11.7 rebounds per outing, while also scoring 12.8 points a night. He is shooting 57.7 percent from the field. Wagner, widely recognized as the top recruit in the nation, is a scoring threat from anywhere on the court.

"Memphis brings two excellent offensive weapons to the table with Wagner and Wise, who are both NBA prospects," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "Wagner is a phenomenal scorer who is starting to share the ball, making his game more versatile and tougher to defend. Wise is a outstanding post player with unbelievable quickness, scoring and rebounding ability. He is also an excellent defender on the perimeter as well as in the post.

"Our guards are going to have to make shots for us to win," Finney continued. "Excellent guard play will be a big thing. Wat [Waitari Marsh] and B. Spann [Brandon Spann] need to come out and make some shots and get us going offensively as well as defensively.

Marsh averages 13.8 points per game and is coming off his best three-point shooting performance of his career against Houston. He connected on three-of-four long-range efforts, not including his baseline trey that came just after the buzzer in the loss. Spann, meanwhile, ranks among Tulane's all-time leaders in three-pointers. He has hit 19 this year and is averaging 13.6 points per game. The other top weapons for the Wave are big man Brandon Brown and Nick Sinville. Brown leads the team in scoring (15.8) and rebounding (7.0) and is atop the league in field-goal percentage at 62.6, while Sinville has notched three double-doubles this year and averages 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Memphis ranks second in Conference USA in scoring with 82.8 points per game, while the Green Wave is seventh with 76.8. The Wave, meanwhile, is second in the league in shooting percentage at 48.9 while the Tigers hit 45.9 percent of their shots, sixth in C-USA. Behind the efforts of Wise and junior college transfer Chris Massie (8.9 rebounds per game), Memphis is the top rebounding team in the conference, with 45.6 per game and a rebound margin of 10.1.

Following the Memphis game, the Wave will be on the road for a pair of games. The team plays at Southern Mississippi on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and then next Saturday at Conference USA newcomer TCU. The next home game will be Wednesday, Jan. 23 against South Florida.