BTH Scout: Young Tulsa team brings a lot of the same qualities as UALR

Tulsa should provide a major test for UALR (7-4) when they meet at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. The Golden Hurricane (6-3) are coming off back-to-back victories over Missouri State and TCU.

Tulsa (6-3) at UALR (7-4)

2 p.m. Saturday
Much like UALR, Tulsa is young. They started three freshmen last Saturday at TCU, all of whom are major contributors.

Tulsa isn’t a big team by any means. Freshman forward D’Andre Wright comes in the tallest Golden Hurricane at 6-8. UALR has four players (6-8 James White and 6-10 Will Neighbour, Michael Javes and Gus Leeper) that size or taller.

“This is going to be the biggest team that we’ve played this far. They have a quite big lineup. They have a lot of length and they’re very athletic,” Tulsa Coach Danny Manning said.

Scottie Haralson
UALR fans should be familiar with senior guard Scottie Haralson (6-4), who has averaged 13 points vs. UALR the past two seasons. Haralson is a big guard who isn’t afraid to let it fly from three-point range. He averages more than six attempts per game and makes 37.5 percent.

Haralson, who played as a freshman at UConn, has range and takes 71 percent of his shots from three-point range. He takes 71 percent of his field-goal attempts from three-point range. Contrast that with his teammates, who combine to take only 24 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.

The other senior in the starting lineup is 6-7 forward Kauri Black, who graduated in three years from Northeastern University before transferring to Tulsa.

Freshman Shaquille Harrison is the point guard and has had some of the same issues that UALR’s point guards have. He has 17 assists and 28 turnovers this season. He’s only made 2 of 11 three-pointers but looked comfortable hitting a transition three against TCU last week. But he’s generally not a long-range shooter. He’s a shifty driver who finds his way to the basket.

Freshman James Woodard (6-4) is Tulsa’s leading scorer at 13.8 points per game. He takes about one-third of his shots from three-point range and is shooting 49 percent from the field. He’s also Tulsa’s shut down defender, holding Missouri State’s leading scorer pointless last week.

The other starter is 6-8 freshman D’Andre Wright, who has a team-high 19 offensive rebounds and has blocked 8 shots.

The Golden Hurricane can go at least nine, possibly more, deep depending on injuries. Pat Swilling Jr. (6-3) has had a nice start to the season, averaging 8.5 points in his first two games back in the lineup.  He’s got a nice shot and is adept at using the glass for the bank. Rashad Ray averages 7.8 points and is a speedster, but has been out with injury. Tim Peete (6-4) has played each of the past two years against UALR and 6-7 freshman Zeldric King adds some size.

The wildcard is guard Rashad Smith, who was averaging 14.5 points before an injury. His immediate status is not known but Tulsa's game notes do not list him as either a starter or coming off the bench. Perhaps he's still out.

One thing to watch for is Tulsa’s secondary break. Against TCU, we saw them have a guard trail the play. When the defense collapsed to stop the ball, they dropped it back for an open three-point shot.

Tulsa also played some zone and box-and-one defense against TCU. Not sure who’d they’d match up with on UALR if they went box-and-one, but it’s something to watch for.
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