Sunday was Senior Day at Tulane, where Louis Dabney played his final game at Devlin Fieldhouse.
But was it also Green Wave coach Ed Conroy’s last game there as well?
That remains to be seen.
Conroy, in his sixth season, said the program is going in the right direction, despite a second straight losing season.
This losing season, the fourth under Conroy, has 21 losses so far, the most of his tenure.
“I like where our program is headed,” said Conroy, now 90-102 at Tulane. “I know people want instant success, but it’s a process, especially at a place like Tulane. I like where we are in that process. I feel really confident that we are going to be one of those teams in contention next year.”
New Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen wasn’t in attendance Sunday because he was watching the women’s team play UConn in its American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.
But Dannen said two weeks ago in an interview with Fox 8 television what he thought about where the program is as far as meeting expectations.
“There isn’t any question it’s not meeting anyone’s expectations,” Dannen said. “If it’s meeting someone’s expectations, then that person needs expectations that are significantly higher, because mine are.
“For me, if we’re not in the top half of the league, then it bears a careful evaluation of why not, and what it’s going to take to get there.”
Tulane was far from the top half this season.
In fact, the Green Wave finished dead last and will be the No. 10 seed in the AAC tournament that starts Thursday in Orlando, Florida.
The Wave will also go in on a five-game losing streak.
The small crowd Sunday didn’t seem to be too fired up. Most were perhaps watching the Tulane baseball team play, missing out on the 64-56 loss to Temple.
Tulane finished 3-15 in conference play and is 10-21 overall.
A Cinderella run through the AAC tournament, followed by what would be the March Madness of all March Madnesses in the NCAA tournament, would still have this team a game short of a .500 record. (Not that anyone would actually care about records if that miracle happened).
Barring a miraculous four wins in four days stretch, the Green Wave will miss the NCAA tournament for the 21st straight year.
The Wave has been to the postseason just twice under Conroy. Tulane played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament in the 2012-13 season and the CBI the following year.
The next season, they left Conference-USA to join the AAC, where the competition is a tad stiffer.
“Just a couple of years ago, we were in a one-bid league where you have to win the tournament,” Conroy said. “We never made it out of C-USA.
“Now we are in a league where if you finish in the top half, you’re battling for an at-large berth or automatic berth (in the NCAA Tournament). You saw the competiveness throughout the season, although you didn’t get the wins. I think now what this program needs to take the next step is just consistency.”
And that’s what has been the biggest issue for the Wave.
Going back to the C-USA days, Tulane is just 2-50 against conference teams that finished the season with a winning record.
“I think you’ll see those results start to pay off next year when we have a third (recruiting) class who knew we are in this league and know what this league means,” Conroy said. “You can’t erase the last 50 years of Cincinnati and Temple and Memphis overnight. I think we are headed towards that.”
Dabney, the first local player Conroy signed, agrees.
“(The program) is in a great spot,” Dabney said. “We have young guys. I feel like next year this team going to be a force to reckon with. We get all of these guys coming back and they all know the system with the great coaching staff they have. I think its going to be a scary team.”
Conroy, whose best record at Tulane was 20-15 in the 2012-13 season, says he doesn’t feel any outside pressure.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he said. “I came here because I thought Tulane basketball could win at the highest level. I believe that now more than I did when I first came. I love the city, love this university. I don’t think there is any question. I think success is right around the corner.”
Conroy is optimistic about the program’s future.
I’m not as optimistic about his.