January 16, 1999
Game Data: Tulane (6-7) and UNO (10-7) meet for the fifth consecutive season in the Superdome at the Nokia Sugar Bowl Basketball Classic . . . Since the 1975-76 season, Tulane is 11-25 (.306) all-time in the Superdome, but has won five of its last seven in the building.
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 10th year on the men's basketball broadcasts. Additionally, two of Tulane's regular season games will be televised regionally this season. ESPN Regional will carry the Feb. 6 game with South Florida, while ABC-TV will televise the Feb. 21 contest at North Carolina State.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his tenth year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 159-126 (.558). Clark has guided Tulane to five 20-win seasons and six postseason appearances (3 NCAA, 3 NIT). 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 Julius Smith, Greg Gary and Kim Lewis. Clark is 4-4 against New Orleans.
The Series: Tonight's game is the 32nd meeting of the series with Tulane holding a 17-14 advantage. The Privateers have won the last two meetings, including a 66-61 win on Dec. 22 last season. Tulane has won four of the last six games in the series, which dates back to 1973, and seven of the last 11. Tulane is 6-3 in games played uptown, 5-5 at the lakefront campus and 6-6 in neutral-site games. See page 89 in the Tulane media guide for more series information.
Scouting New Orleans: The Privateers enter play this evening with a 10-7 record after Thursday's 70-52 loss at Arkansas State. UNO has played well since the start of December, winning nine of its last 12 games. As a team, UNO shoots 42.9 percent (382-890) from the field, 68 percent form the line (208-of-306) and is being outrebounded by an average of 3.3 boards per game. Individually, the squad is led by the 1998 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, Tory Walker, who averages 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Steal Away: The Green Wave defense continues to do a fine job of forcing turnovers and collecting steals. In Thursday's game at Memphis, Tulane forced the Tigers into 24 turnovers, marking the seventh time this season that an opponent has turned it over 20 or more times. In addition, the Wave collected a season-high 20 steals at Memphis. That figure equals the fourth-best single game effort in Tulane history. Tulane's 11.8 steals per game are tops in Conference USA, while its +3.46 turnover margin ranks fourth.
Off the Mark: One statistic that has plagued Tulane of late has been its shooting percentage. In its last five games, the team is shooting 38.5 percent (116-of-301) from the field. In fact, Tulane has shot less than 40 percent in four of those five games. In its first eight games of the year, Tulane shot 45.3 percent from the field. Overall, the team carries a 42.6 field goal percentage.
Prince of Thieves: Freshman Waitari Marsh continues to make his presence known at both ends of the floor. In Thursday's game at Memphis, Marsh collected a game-high seven steals, which tied him for third on the school's single-game steals list. Marsh is tied for the Conference USA lead with 2.60 steals per game in league play. The Chicago native also contributes on the offensive end, as his 3.40 assists per game average ranks eighth in C-USA play.
Breaking Out: After suffering through a bit of a shooting slump, sophomore Byron Mouton showed signs of coming out of it on Thursday. Mouton hit 7-of-14 shots from the floor en route to a season-high 21 points. He is the third player on the squad to register a 20-point game this season (Jordan twice, Davis once). Mouton also equaled a season high with five boards against Memphis.
Production Off the Bench: Sophomore Ledaryl Billingsley played another strong game on Thursday, registering 14 points and six rebounds. The forward set a career high with six field goals vs. the Tigers and equaled season highs with six rebounds and 23 minutes played. He has scored in double figures in two of his last three games. In that span, Billingsley is averaging 10 points and five rebounds.
On the Glass: Freshman Linton Johnson has proven himself to be a worthy rebounder. In just 11 minutes against Memphis, Johnson grabbed four rebounds (all offensive) to boost his season total to 35. His 35 rebounds rank fifth on the team, and his 21 offensive boards stand fourth. Johnson averages 2.7 rebounds per game and if he played 40 minutes per game, he would average 11.4 boards per contest.
Tulane returns to Conference USA action with a game at UAB on Thursday, Jan. 21. Tip-off at Bartow Arena is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.