Sports writer Daryl Turner says this looks to be a fantastic season for both our men’s and women’s teams.
Tulsa basketball is steadily getting closer and closer, and as the season comes nearer the anticipation becomes greater amongst the players, coaches and fans themselves. Tulsa men’s basketball team is coming off a pretty good year after going 13-5 in conference games and going 21-10 overall. This landed them second behind Houston in the American Athletic Conference. However, they sadly did not do well enough to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
Now, in the 2021 season, it seems the team has somewhat of a new look. Players like Elijah Joiner, Brandon Rachal, Emmanuel Ogboh and more have left either through transfer or graduation, giving room for more newly acquired transfers like Sam Griffin, Ladavius Draine, Nikita Konstantynovskyi and Tim Dalger to make a name for themselves. Hopefully, coach Frank Haith can get this team to work together and flow as a unit, so they get to the NCAA tournament this year.
When asked what his predictions for the team this season were,one of the newest transfers, Sam Griffin, a 6’3 guard coming from UTSA,answered, “Hopefully when it’s all said and done, we finish the season above 20 wins and below 5 losses .“ That sounds like a team that’s ready to win a lot of games this season and all the Tulsa basketball fans and supporters are totally ready for it.
The men’s first game is on Nov. 3 at our very own Reynolds Center against Northeastern State. Come and have your popcorn ready, because this year’s men’s basketball team is going to come out of the gate on fire!
Now, while the men get ready to begin their quest to a excellent season, the women’s basketball team gets ready to rock and roll with their new head coach, Angie Nelp. Nelp previously coached as an assistant coach at Arizona State for three years and then was promoted to associate head coach in her fourth. Coaching with ASU’s head coach, Charli Turner Thorne, they led the ASU women’s basketball program to a couple of very good seasons. Hopefully, with coach Nelp’s experience on very good teams, she can prove to be beneficial to getting Tulsa women’s basketball to their own NCAA Tournament. For the women, there are a lot of returning players, as well as some very impressive freshmen, that could make a solid impact if given the chance.
One returning key contributor that will definitely look to come to play this season is Maya Mayberry, a 5-8 guard with a quick first step and a very nice jumper. Mayberry averaged 14.3 points per game last year and along with that she had 23 steals. Tulsa’s women’s basketball team is sure to be on the rise with the addition of coach Nelp along with the stepping up of returners like Maya Mayberry and others. The women will look to play against Duquesne on Nov. 11 and the game will be here on campus at the Reynolds Center. Tune in, because we’re going to see the beginning of what may turn out to be one of the best coaching careers here at Tulsa University.