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More experience should boost Tulane basketball in 2021

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 4:27 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Tulane learned some tough lessons in 2021. Sprinkled in with some good wins were plenty of close, single-digit losses as well. But in those setbacks also comes experience. Head coach Ron Hunter believes that the freshmen they played last season will take a step forward with better support for Jaylen Forbes, who could be even better than his 2020-21 campaign where he led the Green Wave in scoring, rebounding, three-point percentage and three-pointers made.

“I think he’s going to have what I call an MVP year,” says Hunter. “I think he’s going to be one of the better players in the conference. He’s gotten stronger with his ball-handling. But most important, we’ve gotten him some help. He doesn’t have to do everything.”

That will be a welcomed change. Last season, it took some heroic efforts from Forbes just to keep the Wave close.

“Last year, if he didn’t score, we had no chance of winning,” says Hunter. “We’ve added some guys to this team, and I think guys like Sion (James) and TY (Tylan Pope) and some of those guys who have gotten better and freshman who have gotten better are going to help his game. I think he (Forbes) can be a better player for us and average less points because we’ve got a better cast of people around him.”

“I feel like I’m more confident in my game,” says Forbes. “I feel like we got better as a team and compete as a team and bond way better than we did last year. So I feel like that will be a great boost for us.”

Part of that bond was built during the team’s time away from campus during Hurricane Ida. Forbes and coach Hunter both say that their evacuation to Birmingham, Ala. brought them closer together. We’ll see how that looks on the court when they open the season on Nov. 9th against Southeastern.

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