Key Losses: G Ben Benfield (4.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg), G Marcus Kinzer (10.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.6 apg), F/C Ivan Pjevcevic (4.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Pittsburgh, PA/Transfer from Pitt
To order your 2005 Athlon Sports annual and receive $1 off plus free shipping courtesy of SI.com, click here.
It doesn't actually seem like that long ago when Tulane was making waves nationally. The little gym. The Posse. Perry Clark. Jerald Honeycutt.
All together, it created something special in New Orleans. But it's now been 11 years since Tulane last played in an NCAA Tournament.
Consequently, the six-year Shawn Finney era is over, doomed by last season's 10-18 campaign that featured just four Conference USA wins. In to fix the program is Dave Dickerson, a Maryland graduate who has been on Gary Williams' staff for the past nine years. He's been an assistant for 15 seasons, yet never a part of a team that lost more than it won.
That's a good sign.
"If I had to pick a perfect job for me, it would be a school with a profile like Tulane -- a great academic institution in a great city with the potential for tremendous athletic success," Dickerson said on the day he was hired. "My goal is to build the reputation of the basketball program to match the level of the academic reputation of Tulane."
Lofty goals, indeed, considering Tulane is one of the better academic institutions in the nation. Still, Dickerson probably shouldn't be doubted, and his turnaround could start quickly, thanks to a depleted C-USA and four returning starters.
Headlining that group is Quincy Davis, a 6-foot-9 bruising post player who started all 28 games last season. He averaged 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest as a junior, including a 28-point, 11-rebound effort against Memphis at FedExForum. Up front with Davis is David Gomez, a 6-7 post player who gives the Green Wave a nice duo in the paint, one of the better combos in the league.
In the backcourt, it's Taylor Rochestie, who took over the point guard duties last season and averaged 30.5 minutes per game as a freshman. Though many first-year point guards struggle, Rochestie was better than average, dishing out 103 assists compared to 77 turnovers. Granted, those aren't All-America numbers, but they're respectable considering Rochestie was thrust into the role because of an injury to Marcus Kinzer and the academic casualty of Vincent Camper.
The other returning starter is sophomore Donnie Stith, a 6-6 wing. That means Dickerson has a young nucleus to build around, and by the time they are seniors the Green Wave should be ready to make a run at another NCAA bid.