Originally Published: Jan 12, 2010 8:17 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oral Roberts senior Kevin Ford received a pleasant surprise after the IPFW game on Saturday. Ford, unaware that the ORU-IUPUI game was at Conseco Fieldhouse, found out that he would playing in an NBA arena on Thursday.
“Oh, this is going to be fabulous,” Ford said with a smile.
ORU is one of three opponents that IUPUI will play at the home of the Indiana Pacers. Whether players were aware or not, they seemed to be eager about the opportunity.
"I'm very excited,” sophomore forward Dominique Morrison said. "Last year, we played in an [National Basketball Development League] arena twice. But to play in a real NBA arena, that’s nice.”
"That means springs in the floor,” Ford said. “Every time we go on the road, I always ask myself, ‘Do these courts have springs in them?’ It’s going to be great.”
The 18,000-seat arena is a change of pace for the Golden Eagles. The average capacity in Summit League arenas is 7,000 seats and the Jaguars’ gymnasium, also known as “The Jungle,” only holds 1,215.
“There's no question that [The Jungle] is more of a home court advantage for them because it’s so small and it gets loud in there,” head coach Scott Sutton said. “But at the same time, I always thought it was a good shooting gym. Some NBA arenas are hard to shoot in.”
No matter where they are playing, ORU players know it won’t be easy winning on the road, where they are 3-7 this year.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us and we just have to go in like, ‘Hey, we are the underdogs,’” Ford said. “To be a great team, you have to win on the road. I feel like winning on the road is more important than winning at home.”
Tip off on Thursday is set for 6:00 pm CT.
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