Wave Men's Basketball Opens Exhibition Season

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Tulane University men's basketball tam will open its 2004-05 season on Thursday evening, hosting Vasda in an exhibition game which tips off at 7 p.m. at Fogelman Arena. Season tickets, as well as single-game tickets, are available by calling 504-861-WAVE.

Vasda is a team of former collegiate players, many currently playing professionally overseas. Included on the roster for Vasda this season are former Green Wave players George Brown (2000-04) and Pointer Williams (1991-94).

"The guys are chomping at the bit to get at somebody new," Tulane head coach Shawn Finney said. "They are ready to go play against someone else; you get tired of practicing against the same guys every day. Game situations are valuable for everyone, coaches and players, down the road."

Tulane opened practice on Friday, Oct. 15 with Midnight Madness at Fogelman Arena. The team then had its first "real" practice on Saturday, Oct. 16. The regular season opens on Nov. 19 as the Green Wave travels to Baton Rouge to play LSU in the first round of the Louisiana Basketball Classic. The home opener for Tulane is Prairie View on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.

"Everybody has shown us some good things, but recently, three returners have been very impressive," Finney said. "Marcus Kinzer has been showing a lot of leadership, doing all the little things we need a point guard to do. Chris Moore has had a great fall which carried over into practice, not just shooting the ball, but rebounding and playing defense. Kory Castine has been a big surprise lately; his work ethic has really boosted his game."

Tulane has three seniors on its roster. In addition to Kinzer, guard Ben Benfield and forward Ivan Pjevcevic will be counted on to provide leadership. Kinzer tallied 10.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last season while Benfield led the Wave with 36 three-pointers least year. Both Benfield and Pjevcevic rank among the top three-point shooters in Tulane history, but Pjevcevic is making his return from a knee injury suffered last year in the season-opener.

Quincy Davis and Vytas Tatarunas are a pair of juniors who had break-out seasons in 2003-04. Both look to improve once again this year. Davis led the team with 10.6 points per game last season, while setting the school's single-season record by blocking 67 shots. Tatarunas had 9.3 points per game and led the team with 7.2 rebounds per outing.

The Green Wave roster is rounded out by three sophomores and five freshmen, all of whom are in the mix for significant playing time this season as Finney talks of having more pieces than at any other time in his four-year tenure at Tulane.

Tulane's 2004-05 schedule includes seven Saturday home games and 13 opponents who advanced to postseason play in 2003-04. The Vasda game is the only exhibition game of the season for the Green Wave.

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