By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat February 7, 1997
Honeycutt paves way for TulaneThere are few basketball players in the country that mean more to their team than Tulane's Jerald Honeycutt.
Last season, Honeycutt became the first player in school history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists. This year, the 6-foot-9 senior forward has also added the category of steals and three-pointers to his team-leading arsenal.
"When Jerald came in this season, we knew the talent that he had. But, we did not expect him to gracefully accept the leadership role like he has," Tulane coach Terry Clark said. "He is much more active vocally this season, and he has still raised his level of play on the court."
As a pre-season All-America candidate, Honeycutt knew he would be the focal point of the Green Wave's offense coming into this season. Yet nothing could have prepared him for the different defensive sets that opposing teams would throw at him.
"In the past I faced a lot of double-teaming, and being keyed on in zones," Honeycutt said. "But this season, I've had to face some strange defenses like the box-and-one, and that's been a bit of an adjustment for me."
After a three-game period of adapting to the new styles of defense, Honeycutt has gone on to lead the team in scoring in 15 of their 17 games.
"I think Jerald had to get used to mentally staying in every basketball game," Clark said. "He had to get more acclimated to our offense and realize that teams were not always going to let him play one-on-one."
One other big factor in Honeycutt's success this season has been the return of senior forward Rayshard Allen from a projected redshirt season to the Green Wave's lineup. At 6-foot-7, Allen gives the team another inside presence to take the pressure off of Honeycutt. Allen's return also allows Honeycutt to play the three-man position, where he can post-up or shoot from the outside, depending on the situation.
"With Rayshard out there, I feel I can play more my style of the game," Honeycutt said. "I don't have to worry about being the team's main inside guy. Instead, I can roam the perimeter."
At the midway point of the season, Honeycutt is the only player in Conference USA to rank in the league's top 10 in scoring, steals, assists and blocked shots. The Grambling, La. native currently ranks second in the conference in scoring (20.3 points per game) and has scored over 20 points in 11 of his last 15 games.
"Honeycutt is one of the most gifted scorers in the conference," said Cincinnati coach Bog Huggins, whose team saw Honeycutt score 17 points in their 65-64 win over the Green Wave last night.
After a 38 point effort in Tulane's 87-85 win over then-No. 15 Xavier, Honeycutt assumed the reigns as the team's all-time leading scorer with 2,017 points.
"Jerald is a great guy to play with," Allen said. "He is unselfish with the ball, but still can score for you when you need the basket."