2008 Tulsa Golden Hurricanes Basketball Preview
The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (25- 14 overall, 8- 8 Conference USA) had a big season under coach Doug Wojcik last year. No they didn’t win a berth in the NCAA or NIT, but they did go to the CBI. There they defeated Miami (OH), Utah and Houston to play Bradley in the championship series, which the Golden Hurricane won two games to one. Wojcik, who came on board in 2005, inherited a team and program that had become a complete mess. Now he’s got them back on track.
Forward Calvin Walls is gone as is his 7.2 RPG and 8.5 PPG. Tulsa center Jerome Jordan (26.2 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 0.8 APG), a junior, has developed his seven-foot-even frame into a 240-pound blocking and rebounding machine. He had 143 blocks last year! Seeing time upfront will be redshirted freshman Steven Idlet and talented incoming frosh Basset Bawji and Joseph Richard. Senior Ray Reese (22.3 MPG, 7.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.4 APG) is a solid player and junior forward Bishop Wheatley (18.6 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.6 APG) offers depth.
The backcourt, which has lost some scoring with the departure of Brett McDade (7.9 PPG), is led by junior shooting guard Ben Uzoh (32.3 MPG, 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.3 APG); he hit 48.8% from the field. Uzoh has got a fine three-point shot, and he can also drive inside to score. Junior transfer Adrian Hernandez, freshman Brandon Jackson and sophomore long gun Glenn Andrews all have sure hands for the point position.
Tulsa did some extra work over the summer, venturing to Canada to play some teams north of the border. Coach Wojcik thought the trip would get the club ready for its tough non-conference schedule that includes Oklahoma, BYU and Texas A&M. Look for these non-conference contests and other early games with Oklahoma State and Oral Roberts to be indicators of the team’s potential to get back to the Big Dance in 2008- 2009. This club offers a fine mix of veteran and freshman players. The NIT looks fairly certain with the NCAA Tournament being a possibility.