A day after firing men’s basketball coach Ed Conroy, Tulane lost one of its most valuable returning players.
Sophomore Dylan Osetkowski, a 6-foot-9 power forward who averaged 11.4 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he had been granted a release to transfer. Athletic director Troy Dannen confirmed the news.
“I want to thank everyone at Tulane, but I received my release and am going to be transferring,” Osetkowski tweeted. “I want to thank especially my family, my coaches, my teammates, and the Tulane fans for their support these last two years. Roll Wave.”
Whether Conroy’s firing affected Osetkowksi’s decision was unclear. Multiple players have transferred in the past, including five in 2013, two in 2014 and four in 2015.
Starting all 33 games, Osetkowski had 11 double-doubles, including four in a row against American Athletic Conference opponents in February. He demonstrated the versatility to score inside and outside, developing a decent outside shot to go with his post moves. He also had good court vision for a big man, handing out 53 assists.
His best game came in a overtime upset of Memphis at Devlin Fieldhouse, when he scored a career-high 23 points with 13 rebounds. As a freshman, he averaged 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds, starting four times while playing 22.2 minutes per game.
Conroy was fired Monday after Tulane finished 12-21 overall and last in the AAC with a 3-15 mark in his sixth year as coach. The lone highlight was a run to the AAC tournament semifinals this past weekend, when Tulane beat Central Florida and Houston to become the only double-digit seed in the country to reach a tournament semifinal.
It also was the first time the Wave won two consecutive games in a conference tournament since 1983, but even that success came with a cloud. Right after halftime of the Wave’s game against Houston, reports came out that Conroy would be fired, and fans sitting behind Tulane’s bench informed him of the news.
On Monday, Dannen said he talked to the players and asked them what they wanted in their next coach. Osetkowksi is not sticking around to find out.
Osetkowksi’s mother, Sabina, said her son had no idea where he would end up. With Tulane’s spring break starting this weekend, Osetkowski will return home to San Juan Capistrano, California, and start planning his future.
Without Osetkowski, Tulane’s has no proven scorers returning in the post. Junior center Ryan Smith averaged 2.4 points, and freshman T.J. Oliver averaged 2.1.
Maxwell Starwood, a 6-8 power forward who led Baton Rouge’s University High to back-to-back state championships before attending Reno (Nevada) International Prep, signed in November to play for the Wave next season.