Originally Published: Oct 29, 2009 5:46 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
TULSA, Oklahoma — After missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in four years, Oral Roberts is aiming to get back in the big dance.
“We all have one goal in common; it’s to start winning again,” forward Dominique Morrison said.
The Golden Eagles, who finished second in the Summit League last season, were picked to finish second in the annual preseason poll.
ORU lost all-league performers Robert Jarvis and Marcus Lewis to graduation. However, the Golden Eagles return a pair of All-Newcomer selections from last season’s 16-15 team, Kevin Ford and Dominique Morrison. Ford averaged 9.4 points per contest in 2008-2009, while Morrison placed second among the league's freshman scorers with 9.6 points per game. Both players were named to the Summit League’s preseason second team.
“We all just went out there and worked hard in conditioning,” Morrison said. “I think we made long strides during the conditioning.”
The Golden Eagles will need to be in good shape for the non-conference schedule. Oral Roberts, which finished 2-10 during last year’s non-conference slate, faces Wake Forest, Stanford, Virginia, Missouri, Louisville, New Mexico, and Tulsa in non-conference play.
“I’m anxious to see how this team fares against some very good competition,” head coach Scott Sutton said. “Not only Wake Forest, but then we go to Stanford and Virginia. We have an outstanding home schedule with Missouri, New Mexico and then Tulsa coming to the Mabee Center. We had to sacrifice some things in order to get some really good home games this year. So I’m excited about those programs coming here and fans being able to watch them.”
Scott Sutton enters his 11th season as head coach at ORU and has an opportunity to eclipse 200 career wins this year. Sutton has a 184-126 record and is second in ORU history in coaching victories, trailing only Ken Trickey (214).
“I think this is the deepest team we have ever had,” Sutton said. “We don’t have the superstars that maybe we have had in the past. But from one to ten or eleven, I feel very comfortable with all the guys on the team.”
Sutton and the Golden Eagles host British Columbia in their exhibition opener on November 2 and kick off season play on November 13 at Wake Forest.
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