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AAC Semifinals: The Scouting Report: No.2 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Tulsa defeated Houston 59-51 in the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 22-9, 14-4 AAC
Head Coach: Frank Haith

Kenpom: 73
RPI: 45
BPI: 82

Tulsa and UConn split their two meetings during the regular season with each team winning on their home court.  In the first meeting, Tulsa defended their home court with a 66-58 win, shooting 46.8% from the field. Three players scored in double figures with James Woodard leading the way with a game high 21 points on 6-12 shooting, and 3-6 from three. UConn shot 43.5% from the field and 6-18 from three but only got 8 points from Ryan Boatright on 3-10 shooting. Daniel Hamilton posted a double-double, scoring 16 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.

The Huskies returned the favor with a dominant effort in a 70-45 victory. UConn shot 51.0% from the field and 9-24 from three while Tulsa was held to just 31.5% shooting and 5-20 from three.  Woodard was hounded by Terrance Samuel for most of the night and finished with 0 points on 0-7 shooting.  For the Huskies, Boatright had a game high 23 points on 8-14 shooting and got some help from Rodney Purvis who scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting.  Hamilton recorded yet another double-double against Tulsa, this time finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

In the quarterfinals of the AAC Tournament, Tulsa was able to hold off the Houston Cougars, ultimately winning 59-51.  The Golden Hurricane shot 45.8% from the field and 4-10 from three.  Shaquille Harrison led the way with 14 points and 9 rebounds while Woodard added 10.

The Golden Hurricane is one of the better defensive teams in the American, and even America.  They rank 16th in Kenpom's adjusted defensive efficiency and allow just 60.2 PPG which ranks 30th in the nation.  On the offensive end, they are not so great, ranking 233rd in PPG with 65.2.  They shoot 42.1% from the field which ranks 258th in the country and shoot just 33.1% from behind the arc.

Tulsa goes with a seven man rotation.

Players

#10 James Woodard, Junior, Guard (6-3, 189): Leads team in points and minutes, averaging 14.9 PPG and 4.6 RPG in 34.2 MPG.  Woodard is the team's main three-point threat, shooting 39.0% from behind the arc while shooting 41.5% from the field.  He has attempted 210 three-pointers on the year, while no one else on Tulsa has attempted over 100.  In the two meetings against UConn this season, Woodard averaged 10.5 points on 6-19 shooting and 3-11 from three.  He scored 10 points on 4-9 shooting in the win over Houston.

#3 Shaquille Harrison, Junior, Guard (6-4, 182): Do-it-all guard who is averaging 13.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.9 SPG in 31.2 MPG.  Harrison is shooting 45.4% from the field but does not rely on the three ball as is he is just 10-47 from deep.  The junior guard has an excellent ability to create for himself and others off the dribble.  In the two games against UConn this season, Harrison averaged 9 points on 6-19 shooting.  He scored 14 points on 6-11 shooting while pulling down 9 rebounds in the win over Houston.

#1 Rashad Smith, Junior, Forward (6-7, 205): Leading rebounder for Tulsa averaging 6.0 per game while also scoring 8.7 PPG.  Smith is shooting 45.8% from the field this season and is 9-36 from behind the arc.  He is very effective at getting offensive rebounds resulting in easy buckets for him and has the ability to step outside the paint and hit a short jump shot.  In the two games against UConn this season, Smith averaged 11 points on 9-19 shooting.  He scored 6 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in the win over Houston.

#5 Rashad Ray, Junior, Guard (5-10, 172): Averaging 7.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG while shooting 34.3% from the field and 38.5% from behind the arc.  Ray has a very quick first step and can be a very good defender.  He averaged just 2.5 points on 2-9 shooting and 0-3 from three in the two games against UConn this season.  He scored 8 points on 2-5 shooting in the win over Houston.

#15 Marquel Curis, Junior, Guard (6-3, 205): Averaging 7.1 PPG and 3.4 RPG on the season while shooting 45.2% from the field and 16-58 from behind the arc.  In the two games against UConn this season, Curtis averaged 11 points on 8-16 shooting and 2-5 from three.  He scored just 1 point on 0-2 shooting in the win over Houston.

#40 D'Andre Wright, Junior, Forward (6-9, 245): Averaging 6.9 PPG and 4.5 RPG while shooting 37.5% from the field and 12-40 from behind the arc.  Haith thinks Wright can play at the next level due to his athleticism and skills around the hoop, but must stop fouling.  He has committed at least four fouls in 17 games this season. Wright averaged 9 points on 6-13 shooting and 2-6 from three in the two meetings against UConn this season.  He scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting in the win over Houston.

#44 Brandon Swannegan, Junior, Forward (6-9, 209): Leading shot blocker for Tulsa averaging 1.6 per game while also averaging 3.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG.  Swannegan is shooting 49.4% from the field.  In the two games against UConn this season, he averaged just 1.5 points on 1-2 shooting.  He had 6 points and 6 rebounds in the win over Houston.

Tulsa is coached by Frank Haith who is in his first season with the team.  Before Tulsa, Haith coached at Missouri where he went 76-28, including a 30-5 record in the 2011-12 season.  He and the Tigers earned a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but lost to Norfolk State in the first round (this was the same year that Lehigh beat Duke!).  Before Missouri, Haith spent seven seasons at Miami where he went 129-101, only making the NCAA Tournament once.  Overall, he has a career record of 227-138.