Game Notes: TU Faces Illinois For First Time Since 1996
THE GAME . . .
• The Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-3) and the Illinois State Redbirds (4-2) meet on the court for the first time since March 1996, when the two schools were members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
• In the 15 meetings in Tulsa, this is the first time the teams have played at the Reynolds Center.
• Tulsa dropped it's last game, while Illinois State has won its last three games, all coming at home.
THE SERIES . . .
• This is the 32nd meeting in the series.
• The Hurricane leads the series 17-14, while having posted an 11-4 mark on its home court, with all the previous home games being played at the Tulsa Convention Center.
• Tulsa won the last meeting between the two schools on March 3, 1996 in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament by a score of 69-52.
• Before that Tulsa win, Illinois State had won the previous four games in the series, including both regular season meetings that year.
• Tulsa's longest winning streak in the series was also four games.
QUICK HITS . . .
• Tulsa is playing its 106th season of basketball in 2016-17.
• Tulsa Head Coach Frank Haith is in his third season at Tulsa and averaged 21.5 wins in his first two seasons while leading Tulsa to an NIT in 2014 and the NCAAs in 2015.
• Tulsa features only three players on its roster that appeared in a game at TU prior to this season – Pat Birt, TK Edogi and Sterling Taplin.
• Tulsa has 10 newcomers on its roster, including two juniors, one sophomore and five freshmen.
• Tulsa is in its third season as a member of the American Athletic Conference.
• In two seasons as a member of The American, Tulsa finished second and tied for third place in the regular season, respectively.
• For the third straight year, all of Tulsa's conference games and non-conference home games will be televised on an ESPN network or CBS Sports Network.
IN THE EARLY GOING . . .
• Ten players have made their Tulsa debuts this season . . . they have accounted for 71.1 percent of Tulsa's total points, scoring 298 of Tulsa's 419 points thru six games.
• Tulsa has outrebounded 4 of its first 6 opponents this season, and has a 4.9 rebounding margin.
• After allowing 80+ points in the first two games (82.0 ppg), both losses, Tulsa held its next three opponents to 65.7 points per game for a difference of 16.3 points.
• Tulsa has used 3 different starting lineups through 6 games this year.
THE LAST TIME OUT. . .
• Tulsa dropped a 72-62 decision at Little Rock.
• The Hurricane jumped out to a nine-point lead at 27-18, but Little Rock closed out the half on a 27-4 run for a 45-31 halftime lead.
• Tulsa had 15 first-half turnovers.
• Tulsa got as close as 4 points at the 14:04 mark on a Pat Birt layup, but could not get any closer.
• Jaleel Wheeler had a new season-high of 17 points, while Will Magnay also had a season-best of 13 points.
SINCE HIS ARRIVAL . . .
• Junior College transfer Jaleel Wheeler missed the first two games for the Hurricane, but since he has been on the floor has averaged a team-leading 15.8 points and ranks second in rebounding at 6.0 per game, in 34.2 minutes of playing time per game.
• Wheeler has scored at least 15 points in his four games played.
• He had a season-best 17 points at Little Rock, and a personal-best 9 rebounds at Oral Roberts.