Fall Report: Tulane
NEW ORLEANS – David Pierce knows building a program back to elite status is a process, not an overnight fix.
The former Rice assistant made waves during his tenure at Sam Houston State by consistently guiding the Bearkats to the NCAA tournament. However, guiding the Green Wave back to the postseason would be a different, and more difficult, chore altogether. But he and his staff accomplished that goal, too.
Pierce is the first to admit it: The Green Wave didn’t have a great 2015 campaign, but it was one that at least put the program back into the discussion, something that hadn’t happened since last making an appearance in an NCAA regional in 2008.
Tulane got off to a roaring start last season, even joining the D1Basebal.com Top 25 rankings at a point. And though there were some ups and downs throughout the year, they managed to compile a respectable 35-25 overall record and a 13-11 mark in the American Athletic Conference, both worthy of a postseason appearance.
Fresh off that potentially tide turning season, Pierce and his Green Wave want and expect more.
“When you look at what we dealt with coming in, just from a personnel and relationship standpoint, we were trying to figure out the team, and they were trying to figure us out, too,” Pierce said. “Those guys got on the learning curve pretty quick and we had a solid year.
“I definitely would not call it a great year, however,” he continued. “But now, we just have totally different expectations from a coaches and player standpoint. There’s no newness here, and guys are competing for jobs. From that perspective, I think we’ve got an opportunity to do something pretty special in 2016.”
The Green Wave had an impressive fall that had at least some area scouts buzzing about their potential in the spring. There’s a healthy crop of returning arms despite the loss of hard-throwing Ian Gibaut, while the offense is in terrific shape with the return of several key cogs, including shortstop Stephen Alemais and catcher Jake Rogers, along with athletic outfielder Richard Carthon, who had a strong fall with somewhat surprising offensive production.
Which players have the coaching staff, scouts and others excited about Tulane’s potential in 2016? We break it all down.
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