Dec. 21, 2007
HONOLULU - The Tulane Green Wave continues the 2007 Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic this Friday at 5:30 p.m. against an opponent it has not faced since Lyndon B. Johnson was holding court as the President of the United States. The year was 1966 and that was the last time Tulane faced Georgia on the basketball court. The two teams will meet in the consolation bracket of the 2007 Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic at 1:30 p.m. HST/5:30 p.m. CST.
The winner of the Tulane/Georgia (Calif.) contest will take on the winner of the game between St. John's and Hawaii on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. HST/5:30 p.m. CST. The losers of each game will face off on Saturday at 11 a.m. HST/3 p.m. CST.
Making its first appearance in the annual event, Tulane turned in a solid defensive performance against Saint Mary's (Calif.) in the opening round, but the TU offense was sluggish in the first half. The Green Wave held the Gaels 16 points under it season average, but fell 64-57. Over the past four games, the TU defense has held its opponents to 63.5 points per outing.
Prior to the Saint Mary's loss, the Wave had matched its longest win streak of the season with three straight wins. (Tulane opened the season with three straight victories) with wins over Gardner-Webb, which upended Southeastern Conference power, Kentucky, Huston-Tillotson and put together its best overall performance of the year in a win over Indiana State.
TU is 1-2 on the road this season and 0-1 on a neutral court. The Wave dropped its last two road contests at Buffalo and to a Syracuse team, who was receiving votes, and had been previously nationally ranked.
Tulane is averaging 69 points and 37.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 31.4 percent from behind the three-point line and 73.4 percent from the free-throw line. Kevin Sims leads three Green Wave players in double figure scoring with 12.1 points per game, while David Gomez is second with 11.8 points per contest and Robinson Louisme is third with 10.2 points per outing. Louisme is also the team's top rebounder with 6.2 boards per game, while Sims leads the squad in assists and steals with 4.6 and 2.3 per contest, respectively.
Friday's game marks the 29th all-time meeting between Tulane and Georgia, and the Bulldogs hold a narrow 15-13 advantage. The contest in the consolation bracket of the Rainbow Classic marks the first meeting between Tulane and Georgia in 41 years. The last time these two teams met was on Jan. 15, 1966, in Athens Ga., and the Bulldogs posted its fourth straight win over the Green Wave, 81-69.
Tulane and Georgia were both Southeastern Conference rivals from 1932-66 before the Green Wave left the conference following the 1965-66 campaign. During its stint together, Tulane owed a 12-11 record against the Bulldogs, including a perfect 3-0 mark on neutral courts in the SEC Tournament (Atlanta, 1933; Baton Rouge, 1938; Louisville, 1949)
The first meeting between the two schools took place on Jan. 16, 1907, and UGA downed TU, 39-21, in Athens. Tulane and Georgia met five times before both became charter members of the SEC, and the Bulldogs owned a 1-4 record.
Georgia (6-2) had its three-game win streak snapped in the opening round of the 2007 Outrigger Hotel Rainbow Classic by East Tennessee State, 76-58. Previously, the Bulldogs opened the season with three straight wins before suffering its first at Wisconsin (68-49). Georgia is 0-1 both on the road and on neutral courts this season.
The Rainbow Classic marks Tulane's fourth appearance in a tournament played in the Hawaiian Islands. Previously, the Green Wave participated in the 1994 Maui Classic (2-1), the 1997 Power Bar Invitational (0-2) on the island of Oahu and was among the field in the Big Island Classic (1-2) on the big island of Hawaii in 2000. TU has an all-time record of 3-6 in games played in Hawaii. The Green Wave has played a game on three of Hawaii's eight islands.
1994 Maui Classic 1997 Power Bar Inv. Big Island Classic Michigan: L, 73-75 Hawaii: L, 63-75 Hawaii-Hilo: W, 88-76 Texas A&M: W, 76-74 Long Beach State: L, 55-57 Oklahoma: L, 69-83 Indiana: W, 86-68 Long Beach State: L, 74-79
Keep An Eye On:
Senior David Gomez has already achieved one career landmark this month and is staring down another milestone this week. In Tulane's game against Huston-Tillotson on Dec. 5, Gomez became the 29th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Entering Friday's night game against Georgia, Gomez is on the cusp of becoming the 15th player in the 98-year history of Tulane basketball to registered career marks of 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds.
Gomez currently has 492 career boards and needs eight to reach the distinction. He is also just 19 rebounds shy of breaking into Tulane's Top-25 list for career rebounds.