Monday, March 14, 2005

Who is Oral Roberts?

Maryland's first round opponent in the NIT will be Oral Roberts(25-7) on Wednesday night at 9pm in College Park. The Golden Eagles were the Mid-Continent regular season champions who were upset on ESPN in their tournament championship game by Oakland(12-18).

In spite of that Oral Roberts(OR) is a dangerous first round opponent for a slumping and injured Maryland team. Their athletic department was quick to point out that the last time a 25 win team that won the regular season but lost in its conference tournament that did not get an invitation was Southern Illinois in 1990. Their players and coaching staff must be annoyed at this and will be looking to prove they were unfairly overlooked. On cue comes Maryland, only three years removed from a national title, with a big bullseye on it's shell. This may be a home game for Maryland but OR has already won 14 away games this year, including a neutral site shellacking of Georgetown in Hawaii.

The are coached by the youngest son of infamous cheater Eddie Sutton, now the head coach of Oklahoma State. Scott Sutton is in his 6th year at OR and ranks second in school history in wins.

They are lead by two first team All-Mid-Con sophomores in Caleb Green (19.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Ken Tutt (17.0 ppg, 40.4% 3pt). Green and Tutt join Luke Spencer-Gardner as 1,000 point career scorers. A perimeter oriented team(15.6 3pt attempts per game) that plays 4 players over 30+ minutes per game they will barrage the Terps from the outside and force them to work for decent looks on the offensive end. With the exception of 6-10 senior Mickey Michalec(Texas Tech transfer), OR is not a very big team but with Maryland's injury issues the Terps may struggle to exploit their size advantage and depth. OR moves the ball every well as evidence by their 17.5 assists per game and 5 players with over 2.0 assists per game.

No comments: