Tulsa’s new head coach Danny Manning has made a couple of late additions to his roster heading into the 2012-2013 season.
It started yesterday, as Rashad Ray — a 5-foot-11 point guard from New Orleans that was first-team all-state in Louisiana — committed to the school for this upcoming year. Ray didn’t receive a star-ranking from Rivals and had offers from schools like Arkansas-Little Rock and Tulane, but he is a point guard. With the injuries that Donte Medder has had to deal with throughout his career with the Golden Hurricane, depth at the point guard spot has been an issue for the program.
Manning followed up Ray’s commitment by landing Northeastern graduate transfer Kauri Black. Black averaged just 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds last season for the Huskies, but he will provide some experience and depth in the front court for Tulsa as Manning tries to build a program.
Neither player will be a difference maker for the program, but with the Golden Hurricane losing Jordan Clarkson, Steven Idley and DJ Magley and a new regime coming in, Manning needs bodies. In addition to returnees Kodi Maduka, Scottie Haralson and Eric McClellan, Manning brings in a now-seven man recruiting class, headlined by St. Joseph’s transfer Patrick Swilling.
Manning has a long way to go to get Tulsa back to being one of the best mid-major programs in the country — particularly with Conference USA becoming less and less relevant with each passing cycle of realignment — but you can see him starting to build the framework.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.