The Tulane men’s basketball team, which just finished its first 20-win season in more than a decade, is facing a major challenge. Six players have decided to leave the Green Wave program, but head coach Ed Conroy says “prospects are bright” thanks to a good recruiting class and his remaining team members.
Men's basketball head coach Ed Conroy, right, and athletics director Rick Dickson remain upbeat in a press briefing as they discuss the program’s future prospects. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber)
Conroy and Rick Dickson, Tulane athletics director, talked with news media on Friday (April 5) at the Wilson Center on the Tulane uptown campus. A video of the briefing is available online
Dickson said some of the players’ requests to leave were expected but others were not. “We’re disappointed in some of those decisions,” he said. “It presents a challenge but one we can deal with.”
The team “made great strides” in its recent 20-14 season, including a victory in a postseason tournament, Dickson said, and “those expectations have not changed.” He said there are firm commitments from the seven remaining players.
Conroy spoke highly of those team members, who attended the press briefing, and of the success of last season. “I don’t want to diminish the accomplishments of that team,” he said. “Now there’s a new team to be assembled. I can’t wait for next season.”
The head coach currently has three signees for next year. “The prospects are bright for the recruiting class and these guys,” he said, gesturing to the players in the room.
Tulane will be losing its second-leading scorer, sophomore guard Ricky Tarrant, from Pleasant Grove, Ala., who led the team in steals this past season and was the Conference USA Freshman of the Year in his first season. Tarrant requested and was granted a release to transfer, citing as his reason that he wanted to play “closer to home,” Conroy said.
The other players on the 2012-13 roster
who are leaving Tulane are Lotanna Nwogbo, sophomore forward; Marc Eddy Norelia, freshman forward; and RaAnthony Sanders, freshman guard. Junior forward Josh Davis and senior guard Ben Cherry are graduating from the university but have a year of eligibility left.