The last time Tulane went to Orlando, it was a pleasant trip for the Green Wave.
They rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes, prevailing 75-74 over the UCF Knights in February.
On Wednesday night, Tulane (5-2, 0-2) will be back in Orlando to face UCF (3-2, 1-1) in an American Athletic Conference game.
The Green Wave, still looking for their first conference win of the season, are led in scoring by Jaylen Forbes (15.3 points per game), Jordan Walker (12.7), Gabe Watson (9.8) and R.J. McGee (8.2).
Only Walker was with the team last season, and he had a career-high six steals when Tulane rallied to stun UCF. Walker, who ranked seventh in the league in steals (1.7) in 2019-20, leads the Green Wave in assists (4.3) and steals (1.6) this season.
Within the AAC, Walker is tied for fourth in assists per game and tied for eighth in steals per game. He is also tied for third in assists-to-turnover ratio (2.5).
Forbes leads the conference in minutes per game (36.4) and ranks second in in 3-pointers made and sixth in scoring.
“When this group peaks,” Tulane coach Ron Hunter said of his team, “we’re going to be pretty good.”
UCF leads the all-time series against Tulane 16-4, including winning seven of eight played in Orlando.
The Knights are led by Brandon Mahan, who is first in the AAC in scoring (20.6). Darin Green Jr. (12.6) and Isaiah Adams (11.8) are UCF’s other double-figure scorers.
Mahan, though, is not a volume scorer. He is efficient as evidenced by his field-goal percentage (58.9), which is fifth in the league. He is also second in free-throw percentage (93.3) and sixth in 3-point percentage (47.4).
Adams is second in the league in steals per game (2.0) and 10th in field-goal percentage (51.2).
“He’s going to be terrific,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said of Adams. “He has played well so far.”
Green ranks ninth in the league in 3-point percentage (41.4).
UCF is also looking to better utilize the talents of 6-foot-8 sophomore C.J. Walker, a transfer from Oregon. He ranks second in the league with 1.8 blocks but is scoring just 4.8 points per game.
“We’ve only played five games, and I’m still trying to learn (the new players), and their skill sets,” Dawkins said. “We’ve had four different starting lineups in five games.”
–Field Level Media
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