clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Scouting Report: Tulsa Golden Hurricane

James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison are combining for 43% of their team's points this season. Will that be enough to guide the Golden Hurricane to their third straight win?

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 10-6 (2-2 American)
Head Coach: Frank Haith
Kenpom Rating: 75

Tulsa has won two in a row to even their conference record at 2-2 through their first four games of American play.  After losing to SMU 81-69 and Cincinnati 76-57, the Golden Hurricanes quickly bounced back with an ugly 55-43 win over East Carolina and then proceeded to defeat Tulane 81-67.  In the win over East Carolina, Tulsa had a leading scorer not named James Woodard or Shaquille Harrison for only the seventh time in the past 46 games and the second time this season.  The two senior guards are combining for an outrageous 43% of their team's points so far this season.

With seven seniors who play significant minutes, many thought Frank Haith's squad would be one of the top teams in the American from the get-go.  However, Tulsa and American conference fans were left wanting a little more in nonconference play as the Golden Hurricane went just 8-4 with losses to South Carolina, Arkansas-Little Rock, Oral Roberts, and Oregon State and notable wins over #9 Wichita State and on the road at Oklahoma State.

However, while the four non-conference losses isn't a great look for a Tulsa team that was hoping to make the Big Dance this year, Tulsa started last season 7-5 before winning their first 10 games in the American.  Haith has a squad that knows how to play against this conference and should most definitely be towards the top of the American when the season is over. If the AAC is going to get more than two teams into the tournament this year then Tulsa will have to step up their play.

Statistically, the Golden Hurricane ranks towards the middle of the pack in most major offensive categories including PPG, APG, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage.  However, they rank 91st (of 351) in Kenpom's adjusted offensive efficiency.  In Haith's first season, he emphasized defense as his team ranked towards the top in most defensive categories.  This year, it is a bit of a different script as Tulsa is allowing 69.3 PPG (ranks 140th nationally), allowing opponents to shoot 41.2% from the field (106th) and 35.4% from behind the arc (242nd).  Despite all those statistics, Tulsa still ranks 64th in Kenpom's adjusted defensive efficiency.  All in all, they are a pretty well-rounded team.

Key Players

#3 Shaquille Harrison, Senior, Guard (6-4, 189): 16.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.4 APG, 2.1 SPG, 47.1% FG, 6-25 3PT
Harrison is the definition of a do-it-all guard as he leads Tulsa in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and free-throw shooting.  The senior guard is very good at creating for himself and others and is fantastic getting to the free throw line as he is 82-129 on the season.  Harrison has scored in double figures in all but two games and is averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 5.8 APG in conference play. 

#10 James Woodard, Senior, Guard (6-3, 192): 16.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 45.8% FG, 43-103 3PT
Woodard is an elite three-point shooter who has the ability to get red hot from behind the arc.  The lefty has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and has made a three-pointer in every game he has played in.  Woodard did miss the East Carolina game due to an apparent leg injury and the team really struggled on offense without him.  He is averaging 17.3 PPG in conference play while shooting 49% from the field and 11-24 from three.

#11 Pat Brit, Junior, Guard (6-5, 182): 8.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 34.1% FG, 30-85 3PT
Transfer from South Plains College, Brit is one of the team's top three-point threats.  The lefty has made a three-pointer in all but three games this season but has been inconsistent in conference play.  Brit went for 0 points against SMU, 13 against Cincinnati, 0 against East Carolina, and then exploded for 27 against Tulane, a game in which he went 7-10 from behind the arc.

#1 Rashad Smith, Senior, Forward (6-7, 205): 7.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 60.0% FG, 4-10 3PT
Wing player who can pull opponent's big men away from the hoop.  Smith does most of his work around the rim but has the ability to step out and hit the mid-range jumper.  He is averaging 8.8 PPG in American play including a 20 point performance in the win over East Carolina.

#15 Marquel Curtis, Senior, Guard (6-3, 202): 7.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 44.3% FG, 9-30 3PT
Has really struggled in AAC play and is starting to lose some minutes to senior guard Rashad Ray (4.1 PPG, 13-41 3PT).  Curtis got off to a hot start as he scored in double figures in seven of Tulsa's first 11 games but has really hit a cold streak since then.  He is averaging just 3.8 PPG in conference play.

#40 D'Andre Wright, Senior, Forward (6-9, 245): 6.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 49.4% FG, 0-8 3PT
Haith believed last year that Wright could play at the next level with his skill set but must stop fouling so he can stay on the floor for longer periods of time.  Wright has not fixed that problem.  The senior forward has committed at least four fouls in 9 games this season and has fouled out four times.  In the loss to SMU, Wright only committed two fouls, played 25 minutes, and scored 14 points and pulled down 6 rebounds.  He is averaging 6.0 PPG in conference play.

Tulsa is coached by Frank Haith who is in his second season with the team where he has compiled a record of 33-17.  In his first season as the Golden Hurricane head coach, the team went 23-11, lost in the American semi-finals to UConn at the XL Center, and went on to lose in the second round of the NIT.  Before Tulsa, Haith was the head coach of Missouri for three years where he went 76-28 with two NCAA Tournament appearances.  Before Missouri, he was the head coach of Miami for seven seasons and went 129-101, making the NCAA Tournament just once.  Overall, Haith is 238-146 as a Division I Head Basketball Coach.