Location: Tulsa, OK
Nickname: Golden Hurricane
Last Year’s Record: 25-11
Key Returners: Ben Uzoh (14.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg), Jerome Jordan (13.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg), Justin Hurtt (9.6 ppg)
Top Newcomers: Donte Medder, Bryson Pope
Strengths: Tulsa probably has the two best players you’ve never heard of in Ben Uzoh and Jerome Jordan. Uzoh is an explosive guard who can score and rebound. Jerome Jordan is an experienced seven-footer who has NBA scouts watching closely. The two of them will lead the Hurricane in transition year in Conference-USA. The two of them will have banner seasons and, with the help of Justin Hurtt, will make Tulsa difficult to beat this year.
Weakness: Any team with 25 wins should’ve made the NCAA tournament right? Well, the Golden Hurricane would’ve come away with even more wins had it not been so turnover-prone. The Golden Hurricane turned the ball over 14 times per game on its way to having 106 more turnovers than its opponents on the season. The fact that it even had 25 wins with that stat speaks to Tulsa’s talent. However, if it expects a different result, it will have to take better care of the basketball this year.
Outlook: Coach Doug Wojcik probably spent all off-season banging his head over why his team didn’t make the NCAA tournament last year. He knows he has the talent, but mistakes cost his team. Don’t expect history to repeat itself and Tulsa should break Memphis’ stranglehold on this conference.