April 6, 2013

Tulane coach Ed Conroy addresses mass exodus

Ricky Tarrant he didn't see coming, or more accurately, going.

The rest of Tulane's mass transfers were less surprising to Tulane basketball coach Ed Conroy, who said Friday the critics who think his program has been gutted don't realize the potential of returning freshmen Louis Dabney and Kajon Mack.

That may be wishful thinking as Conroy prepares to move on without anyone who averaged more than 4.6 points this season, but he stated it forcefully while addressing the early departure of six at a news conference with athletic director Rick Dickson.

Dabney, who averaged 2.2 points while backing up Tarrant at point guard, and Mack, who averaged 2.7 points and started occasionally, figure to be the centerpieces of the team next season.

Dabney played at less than 100 percent this year while recovering from a torn ACL he sustained as a senior at nearby Riverside High, but he scored 18 points in Tulane's two games in the CollegeInsiders.com tournament to end the season.

"Lou needs a month off, but he was actually out there running without his brace on the other day," Conroy said. "I think people are going to see why he was the highest rated recruit we've had next year. He has great versatility, can get to the basket and is going to be sensational for us."

Look for Dabney to replace Tarrant at the starting point guard.

"He's an extremely strong penetrator, a good leader and actually finds people more than probably anybody on our team," Conroy said. "One of Ricky's great strengths was getting to the free throw line. If you look at the last couple of games, Lou can do that as well as anybody (15 free throw attempts in 25 minutes)."

Mack, an excellent athlete, scored 16 points in Tulane's regular season finale against Houston and went

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