Tarrant, Davis among four players leaving Tulane basketball program

Advocate staff photo by DERICK HINGLE  -- Tulane's Ricky Tarrant drives past Bethune-Cookman's Ricky Johnson on Nov. 13, 2012, in New Orleans.
Advocate staff photo by DERICK HINGLE -- Tulane's Ricky Tarrant drives past Bethune-Cookman's Ricky Johnson on Nov. 13, 2012, in New Orleans.

NEW ORLEANS — Tulane announced the departures of four players from its men’s basketball team, including all-Conference USA performers and leading scorers Josh Davis and Ricky Tarrant.

They were joined by a pair of reserves, junior guard Ben Cherry and sophomore forward Lotanna Nwogbo. All were granted a release by Tulane to speak with other institutions about future plans.

“Nothing against Tulane or the coaching staff, I had a great two years there,” Tarrant said. “It was just time for me to move on.”

Davis could not be reached for comment.

“We are disappointed to have these young men leave our basketball program, but unfortunately, this is becoming more prevalent in men’s basketball,” Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson said. “Our basketball program is coming off its best season in 13 years, and we have a talented core group of players coming back next year.”

However, that core has been gutted. Davis and Tarrant combined to average 33.3 points per game, over a third of the Green Wave’s offensive production. Davis also led Conference USA in rebounding (10.7 per game) and Tarrant’s 125 assists led the team.

After the litany of transfers and graduation of starters Jordan Callahan and Kendall Timmons, Tulane will not return 58 of its 69.6 points per game scored in 2012-13.

Davis earned first-team all-C-USA honors following the season, and Tarrant was named to the second team a year after winning Freshman of the Year.

The sudden exodus is a crushing blow for a Green Wave program which recently finished its season with a 20-15 record, achieving its first winning season since 2008 and reaching the postseason for the first time since 2000, falling 77-72 to Bradley in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament on March 23.

Davis and Cherry will graduate from Tulane in May. Along with other college basketball options, Davis is expected to explore professional opportunites both with the NBA and internationally.

Tarrant’s departure was rumored across the Internet after he attended an NIT game between Alabama and Maryland in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on March 26, spurring predictions of the Pleasant Grove, Ala. native transferring closer to home to play for the Crimson Tide.

But Tarrant declined to comment about his future plans.

“I’m not ready to talk about where I’m headed at this time,” Tarrant said. “But that’s a decision I’ll need to make.”