15 March 2009

Better Know An Opponent: Tulsa

The first installment in the (potential, annual) 344 part "Better Know an Opponent" series (series title and description inspired by and credited to eminent fellow NU alum Colbert, Stephen of The Colbert Report. All associated royalties will be remitted to Mssr. Colbert)...

Get your kicks on Route 66 and learn about NU's first round NIT opponent:

University of Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, OK
Type: Private
# of Undergraduates: ~3K
Campus: "Urban" (ahem)
Motto: Wisdom, Faith, Service (don't they teach Latin in OK?)
Nickname: Golden Hurricanes (Ummm, how many hurricanes do they get in Tulsa? Perhaps they got confused and meant the Golden Tornadoes -- Tulsa is located in Tornado Alley)
Mascot: Captain Cane (this guy?)Official Colors: Old Gold, Royal Blue, Yellow, and Crimson (with so many, why not jump in with both feet and go with ROYGBIV?)
President: Dr. Steadman Upham (name sounds snooty enough for NU!)
Conference: Conference USA (USA! USA! USA!)
Notable Alums: Paul Pressey, Hank Haney, Steve Largent, Nancy Lopez, Lovie Smith, Gus Frerotte, Ray Rhodes, Dennis Byrd

Basketball Team:
University of Tulsa (24-10, 12-4)
2008-09 Regular Season Finish: 2nd (1st: Memphis)
2008-09 Conference Tournament Finish: (2-1, 2nd place: L 39-64 Memphis)
Sagarin: #61, 0-6 vs Top 25, 1-7 vs Top 50 (NU: #54, 3-4, 6-10)
RPI: #53 (NU: #76)
Pomeroy: #58 Overall, #101 AdjO, #33 AdjD, #299 Consistency (NU: #66, #55, #83, #305)

Drilling down into the Pomeroy statistics, Tulsa is very good at eFG% defense (#5!) especially 3P% defense (#1!), is a good rebounding team (20th best at protecting the defensive glass), likes to play at a slow pace (#252 pace), and is a good shot blocking team (#32). Tulsa also appears to attack the rim as they are good at getting to the charity stripe (#47 in nation FTA/FGA).

On the flip side, they don't appear to be very good at protecting the ball. On offense, they are susceptible to ball pressure as they are the #229 worst team in turning the ball over and #271 in giving up steals. On defense, it's a similar story with an abysmal #329 ranking in forcing turnovers and #284 ranking in steals.

Sounds to me that Tulsa is a slow, tall team that doesn't take many risks on defense and is very deliberate about forcing the ball inside or driving the lane on offense.

Individually, they are led by Jerome Jordan, a 7'0" 240lb Junior center who is a rebounding, shot blocking, foul drawing, good free throw shooting fiend. Jordan is complemented by Ben Uzoh, a 6'3" 195lb Junior guard who is a workhorse with decent range and draws his fair share of fouls, too. Tulane has a couple long range bombardiers in Ray Reese and Justin Hurtt. The 5th player of note is Bishop Wheatley, a 6'6" Junior who does most of his work on the interior. Jordan subs out for Steven Idlet, a 6'10" frosh who isn't shy about shooting the ball but isn't nearly as efficient from the field or the charity stripe. Glen Andrews, a 6'3" sophomore, is their 7th man but does not shoot particularly well for a guard.

No comments: