Will Tulane finish with a losing record?
It’s quite possible. While the Green Wave had an overall record 20-11 with a schedule that had SEC and ACC opponents, this year’s slate starts with four teams that made last year’s NCAA tournament. Those teams are N.C. State, LSU, Western Kentucky, and Florida State. Tulane, which made the WNIT last season, will also play two participants that made that tournament: SMU and East Carolina. Also UConn, the two-time defending national champion, plays Tulane twice in February.
How are the new recruits?
Great. John Curtis product Kolby Morgan and Caylah Cruickshank, both point guards, joined the team. Cruickshank was a two-year letter winner at Dawson College in Montreal. She was invited to the 2013 Canadian Junior National Team tryouts. Morgan graduated as Curtis’ all-time leading scorer with 2,229 points. She also guided the team to a state title as a sophomore.
How many are back from last season?
The Green Wave returns 10 of 12 letter-winners, and this represents 97.9 percent of their scoring. This includes seniors Danielle Blagg, Tiffany Dale, Jamie Kaplan, and Adesuwa Ebomwonyi, who accounted for nearly half of the team’s scoring since the 2011-2012 season. Blagg (923), Dale (757), and Kaplan (729) could also reach 1,000 points by the end of the season.
Will being in the AAC be a boost for the NCAAs?
Yes. Tulane has not been to the NCAA tournament since the 2009-2010 season, when it won the Conference USA title. With the tougher conference, there should be close to four teams making the NCAAs.
Is there anybody familiar on the schedule?
Yes. Those teams include Tulsa and East Carolina, which followed Tulane to the American Athletic Conference. Former Conference USA members Houston, SMU, UCF, Cincinnati, USF and Memphis all return to this year’s schedule.
-- Ben Ledbetter