North Carolina (7-2) vs. Tulane (6-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Dean E. Smith Center
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
ESPN2 (Bob Picozzi, LaPhonso Ellis)
"(Facing North Carolina) is a good opportunity for our program and these guys. In my mind, they may be the best team in the country when it's all said and done. We get a chance to go on their floor and gauge where we're at before heading into conference play." – Tulane head coach Ed Conroy
Season to Date: Tulane enters Wednesday’s contest with a 6-4 record. The Green Wave’s first two games went to overtime, splitting the pair with a 68-67 loss to Alabama A&M followed by a 79-74 win over Drake. Conroy’s squad also dropped games to Southern, Mercer and Georgia Tech. Tulane’s other wins have come over Appalachian State, Stephen F. Austin, Liberty, New Orleans and Prairie View A&M.
Dabney Pacing Offense: Louis Gabney is averaging 14.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game this season, although his shooting percentage is a bit deceptive. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior guard is shooting 34.7 percent from the floor, yet 34.8 percent from 3-point range (23-of-66). He’s also an 83.7 percent free throw shooter.
Hoss Down Low: Dylan Osetkowski provides a viable double-double option for Conroy on the interior. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound sophomore forward is averaging 9.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, including nearly three offensive boards. Osetkowski is the driving force behind Tulane’s plus-4.7 rebounding margin, which is good for 87th nationally.
Stingy on D: Tulane is holding opponents to 39.2 percent shooting (54th nationally), including a 32.3 percent mark from long range (130th). The Green Wave rank 38th in effective field goal percentage defense (44.4) and 39th in two-point field goal percentage defense (42.5), according to kenpom.com. There’s a variety of statistical reasons for that level of defensive success, ranging from blocks (41; 91st nationally) to steals (72; 67th) to the aforementioned rebounding prowess.
Careless with the Ball: A big obstacle to Tulane’s offensive capabilities has been a bumbling nature in holding onto the ball. The Green Wave rank 216th nationally in turnover margin (minus-0.5) and 311th in fewest turnovers (151). They also rank 317th in turnover percentage (21.8), according to kenpom.com. Four starters have committed at least 21 turnovers, led by Malik Morgan’s 33.
Familiar Face on Tulane Bench: Former Tar Heel standout Shammond Williams left his assistant coaching job at Furman to join Conroy’s staff in July 2013. Williams, who played professionally for 13 years after being drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1998, scored 11 points against Tulane during his time at UNC in 1995. He averaged 16.8 points and 4.2 assists per game in helping the Tar Heels reach the 1998 Final Four.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Green Wave, 89-71, in the Diet Pepsi Tournament of Champions at the Charlotte Coliseum on Dec. 1, 1995.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series, 13-1.
00 Louis Dabney (6-3, 210, Sr.) – 14.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
05 Cameron Reynolds (6-7, 215, So.) - 7.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg
13 Malik Morgan (6-4, 205, Jr.) - 10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg
21 Dylan Osetkowski (6-8, 245, So.) - 9.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg
22 Jernard Jarreau (6-10, 235, GS) - 8.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg
11 Kain Harris (6-4, 210, Fr.) - 7.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg
35 Melvin Frazier (6-5, 200, Fr.) - 5.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg
10 Von Julein (6-1, 160, Fr) – 4.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg