No. 4 seed Tulane (19-9, 8-8 C-USA) at 2000 OCG Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship
March 8-11, 2000, Memphis, Tenn.
The Pyramid (20, 142)
Tournament Data: Tulane (18-9, 8-8 C-USA) enters the 2000 Ohio Casualty Group Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship as the tournament's No. 4 seed ... The Green Wave is looking for its first-ever win in C-USA postseason tournament action ... Tulane is 0-6 all-time in conference tournament play in the city of Memphis.
On the Air: The Tulane Basketball Network will broadcast every Green Wave postseason 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.
The Schedule: Here is the schedule of play for the first two rounds of the 2000 Ohio Casualty Group Conference USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn. (all times CST):
Wednesday, March 11
Game 1: No. 8 Southern Miss (17-11, 7-9) vs. No. 9 Saint Louis (15-13, 7-9), Noon
Game 2: No. 5 Marquette (15-12, 8-8) vs. No. 12 Houston (8-21, 2-14), 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: No. 6 South Florida (17-12, 8-8) vs. No. 11 Memphis (14-15, 7-9), 6 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 UNC Charlotte (15-14, 7-9) vs. No. 10 UAB (14-13, 7-9), 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 12
Game 5: No. 1 Cincinnati (28-2, 16-0) vs. Game 1 winner, Noon
Game 5: No. 4 Tulane (19-9, 8-8) vs. Game 2 winner, 2:30 p.m.
Game 7: No. 3 DePaul (19-10, 9-7) vs. Game 3 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 8: No. 2 Louisville (19-10, 10-6) vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Tulane Head Coach Perry Clark: Perry Clark is in his 11th year as the Green Wave head coach with a record of 184-143 (.563). 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 2-10 in conference tournament play, including 0-4 in C-USA championships.
Last Time Out: The Green Wave used a 32-14 run in the second half to turn an eight-point deficit into a 10-point lead in Saturday's 73-68 win over Marquette. Tulane shot 57.9 percent from the floor in the second half and limited the Golden Eagles to just 27.3 percent in picking up the come-from-behind win. The Tulane seniors combined to score 56 points and shoot 58.8 percent from the field. Sterling Davis led all Green Wave players with 20 points.
On the Rise: With the five-point win over Marquette on Saturday, Tulane finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-9. It is the best mark for the program since 1996-97, when the team went 20-11. The 19 wins this season represent a seven-game improvement over last season's record (12-15) and a 12-game improvement over 1997-98 (7-22). Tulane's 19 wins overall and eight Conference USA victories this season equal the totals in those categories for the last two years combined.
Finding the Range: Tulane broke out of a shooting slump Saturday vs. Marquette as the squad shot 50 percent for the game against the Golden Eagles (57.9% in the second half). Entering Saturday's game, the Wave was 82-of-248 (33.1 percent) over its last four games. It marked the seventh time this season that Tulane has shot 50 percent or better from the field and the team is undefeated in those contests.
The Experience Factor: Credit Saturday's win to senior leadership. Coach Perry Clark started all five seniors in honor of "Senior Day" and the quintet of Sterling Davis, Morris Jordan, Wade Mason, Marlo Miles and Dylan Osean responded by scoring 56 of the Wave's 73 points and shooting a combined 20-for-34 (58.8 percent) from the floor. It was the first time all five had started as a unit.
Second Half Surges: Tulane's 32-14 second-half run against Marquette continued a season-long trend. It is the seventh time this year that the Green Wave has used a big second half run to secure a victory. Tulane used a 20-10 vs. Texas A&M (Dec. 8), 17-3 at Lamar (Dec. 11), 19-6 vs. N.C. State (Dec. 22), 37-14 vs. Howard (Dec. 29), 26-11 at Southern Miss (Jan. 15), and 15-3 vs. Saint Louis (Feb. 19) in addition to Saturday's effort.
Displaying an All-Around Game: Senior shooting guard Dylan Osean continues to enjoy his finest collegiate campaign. In addition to equaling a Tulane single-game record for three-point marksmanship vs. Marquette and posing a 42.3 three-point field goal percentage for the season, Osean has been one of Tulane's most complete players. Not only has he posted a career-best 10.5 points per game average, but his 60 assists rank third on the squad and his 1.67 assist:turnover ratio in C-USA play is the best on the team. He has passed out at least four assists in a game six times this season and all have come against Conference USA opponents.
Assisting the Cause: Sophomore Waitari Marsh is the engine that drives the Green Wave. The Chicago native has collected 120 assists this season, which is tied for seventh on the school's single-season assist chart. Additionally, Tulane is 12-1 this season when Marsh collects at least five assists in a game.
Pouring in On: Sterling Davis closed the regular season with his team-leading 19th double-figure scoring effort this season. He also posted his fourth 20-point scoring effort of the year to tie for the team lead (Jordan). The 19 games in double figures nearly equals his career total entering the season (21) and his four 20-point games is far better than his three-year total of one.
Aiming for the Top: Ledaryl Billingsley is aiming to be just the third player in the Perry Clark era to lead the team in rebounding in consecutive seasons. The forward ended the regular season ranked second on the squad with a 5.3 rebounds per game average. Only Anthony Reed (1990-93) and Jerald Honeycutt (1996-97) have accomplished the feat.
A Positive Ratio: Saturday's regular season finale marked the eighth time this season that Tulane had registered more assists than turnovers. The Wave is 7-1 in those games. Tulane also registered 11 steals in the game and is 12-3 on the year when collecting 10 or more steals.
The 70-point Plateau: With a 68.6 points per game average, it's not surprising that the 70-point barrier is a good indicator of Tulane success. This season the Wave is 13-4 when scoring at least 70 and 6-5 when it doesn't. Twenty-three of the Wave's 31 wins over the past two years have come when scoring at least 70 points.
Opening Night Jitters: Tulane is looking for its first C-USA tournament win in its fifth appearance. Such a win would buck a trend of first game defeats for the Wave. In the 10 previous conference tournament appearances under Perry Clark, the team has won its opening game just twice (1992, 1995). Additionally, Tulane has a 12-30 record (.286) in 42 previous conference tournament debuts.
Elite Company: Should the Green Wave win at least one game in the 2000 OCG Conference USA Tournament in Memphis, it would give Tulane a 20-win season. It would also be Perry Clark's sixth 20-win season and Tulane's ninth 20-win campaign in 90 seasons of basketball.
Out of Position: One of Tulane's strengths all year had been its ability to rebound. Through 21 games, the Wave had a +1.8 rebound margin and had outrebounded 12 opponents. But Tulane has been outrebounded in each of the last seven games by an average of 40.1-34.6. Despite that fact, Tulane is 4-3 in that span. Tulane is 9-3 this season when outrebounding the opposition.
287 and Counting: Tulane has hit at least one three-point field goal in 287 consecutive games. The last time the Green Wave went without a trey came on Jan. 12, 1991, in a 66-64 loss at Memphis.
Leading to Victory: Tulane is 12-4 this season when Morris Jordan grabs at least six rebounds.
Interdivisional Play: Since Conference USA moved to a two-division format for the start of the 1997-98 season, playing against the opposite division has been a tall order. In the last three years, Tulane is 4-14 (.286) against the American Division, including 2-4 this season.
Winning the Close Ones:
The Green Wave continues to do a good job of winning the close games. Tulane has
won eight of 10 games decided by five points or less this season. Incidentallly, four of the
team's last five wins have been by five points or less.