#125 Oral Roberts Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #125
Conference Rank: #2 Southland
Oral Roberts Men's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
Oral Roberts Team Page


Oral Roberts leaves the Summit League after dominating the conference yet again by tallying a 17-1 record. However, the Summit League got the last laugh as ORU was upset in the conference tournament and had to settle for the NIT. Now the Golden Eagles are off to the Southland Conference where the competition will be a little tougher. Even though it may be tougher, Oral Roberts has the personnel to dominate their new conference as often as they did their old.

2011-12 Record: 27-7, 17-1
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Scott Sutton
Coach Record: 250-162 at Oral Roberts, 250-162 overall

Who’s Out:
Oral Roberts had six players who averaged over 25 minutes per game last season. That is not much of a bench. And three of those players are gone. The absence of forward Dominique Morrison hurts the most on paper. He averaged 19.8 points per game and shot an impressive 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. His size combined with his dynamic offensive game made Morrison nearly impossible to stop. Fellow forward Michael Craion spent more time in the paint and led the Golden Eagles with 6.3 rebounds. He was no slouch in the scoring department either, averaging 10.9 points per contest. As big of a loss as Morrison and Craion are, Oral Roberts may miss point guard Roderick Pearson the most. He was a decent scorer and had enough of a jumper to keep the opposition honest, but he was the leader on the floor and replacing him will be difficult.

Who’s In:
The new point guard will have to come from this list and having a newcomer running the show is always a little worrisome. D.J. Jackson, a 5-11 freshman, is well suited to run the point and will be thrown right into the fire. Korey Billbury is another freshman who could find himself running the point. Caleb Tannehill, Corbin Byford and Brandon Conley will add more depth on the perimeter, but Coach Scott Sutton will be content to find a couple players who can contribute and let the rest of the youngsters gain their experience on the sidelines instead of on the floor. The frontcourt will add even more freshmen to what is a very young team. Kris Obaseki is a 6-9 Texan and Jordan Kaufman, at 6-11, will likely need some time to add strength, but Coach Sutton may need one of them, likely Obaseki, to play a role this season. The freshmen will make an impact, but Shawn Glover is who Oral Roberts fans are waiting for. The last time they saw the transfer from Utah, he was dropping 30 points in a scrimmage. Glover is a big, versatile wing who will make a huge impact right away. His versatility will also be a huge benefit for the rest of the newcomers, since now Coach Sutton can move Glover to the four if he finds more depth on the perimeter or keep Glover on the wing if the frontcourt freshmen are ready for significant playing time.

Who to Watch:
While three of ORU’s big six from last year are gone, this is a team that can quickly rebuild around the three returnees. Warren Niles should emerge as the team’s new top scorer. He is a great three-point shooter, but has also developed a game around the basket. Niles’ leadership and ability to score in a variety of ways will make life much easier for the new point guard. So will having Damen Bell-Holter and Steven Roundtree under the basket. Bell-Holter is not a great scorer, but he can stretch out the defense a bit and he is the best rebounder on the team. A fellow junior, Roundtree is a slightly better post scorer than Bell-Holter after averaging 9.8 points per game last season. Roundtree has the potential to develop into a relatively dominant post scorer, but he does need to stay out of foul trouble now that he will likely be a full-time starter.

Final Projection:
Mikey Manghum and Jake Lliteras are the only other two returning players. Manghum did average 13.7 minutes per game last season and is a possibility to run the point, likely as a backup. This is an Oral Roberts team that could be very, very good with a little development from the freshmen. Coach Sutton does not need a lot of depth as we saw last season, but he needs some. He also needs a consistent point guard and that is the one thing that could keep Oral Roberts from being on top of the Southland Conference during their debut campaign.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
D.J. Jackson, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Warren Niles, Senior, Guard, 12.1 points per game
Shawn Glover, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Steven Roundtree, Junior, Forward, 9.8 points per game
Damen Bell-Holter, Junior, Forward, 7.9 points per game