POSTED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2009:
The Match Game
ORU B-Ball shoots high, while MMA hits higher
Powerhouse Build. Head Coach Scott Sutton built many championship caliber teams around undersized big men and long, athletic perimeter players. This year is no exception.
The Mayor's Cup pits the University of Tulsa against Oral Roberts in a battle for city supremacy. The Golden Hurricane holds a firm 29-15 advantage over the Golden Eagles in the cross-town rivalry.
Four of the past six match-ups have gone to ORU. Last year, the teams combined to score 93 points in a regulation game. TU was victorious, but a dearth of points was a precursor of things to come for both squads.
The teams differ on and off the court. The contrasts are abundant.
TU filters the offense through a legit seven-footer. Oral Roberts last seven-foot post player was Charlie Ludwig in 2002.
TU battles Houston, UAB and Memphis for C-USA's top spot. ORU plays the Dakotas in the Summit League.
Even the promotional videos are different.
ORU has an emotional piece while TU has several light, entertaining videos.
However, ORU's video is front and center when you visit their Web site, while TU's are hidden in the bowels of the Reynolds Center. Advantage: Golden Eagles.
College basketball does one thing better than any other sports organization out there--tournaments.
March Madness is widely regarded as one of the best weekends in sports. (The first weekend, of course.) Early season NCAA tournaments hit the mark as well.
ORU participates in early season tournaments on a regular basis. The Cancun Challenge provides the landscape for stiff tests against Stanford and Virginia in late November this season.
Head Coach Scott Sutton built many championship caliber teams around undersized big men and long, athletic perimeter players. This year is no exception.
Forwards Dominique Morrison (6'6", 190 pounds) and Kyron Stokes (6'5", 210 pounds) burst on the scene a year ago. Each freshman averaged more than 24 minutes per game. Hopefully, they worked on their field goal percentage, which was slightly below average.
First-year transfer and current senior Kevin Ford (6'9" 250 pounds) is a lively big man. He led the Golden Eagles with 25 blocks last year to go along with respectable averages in points (9.4) and rebounds (7.2).
The young team plays the type of pre-conference schedule that will either give them confidence or break them down mentally.
A trip to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a showdown with Wake Forest opens their road schedule on Nov. 13. As if an ACC opponent was not enough, they travel to Louisville on Dec. 16. Any game against Rick Pitino should make for interesting theater this season.
The highlight of the home schedule comes by way of a Big 12 powerhouse. The Mizzou Tigers pounce on the Mabee Center Dec. 9. Major props to Missouri for scheduling the contest. It is not every day that you see a BCS school play a road contest against a have-not.
The anticipated Mayor's Cup is a home contest for ORU this season. TU plays visitor on Jan. 20. Once again, the intercity battle should speak volumes for both teams' post-season chances.
For the record, ORU lists the dates and location for the Final Four. The University of Tulsa does not. Just another difference between our home teams. Visit orugoldeneagles.com for more information.
This is the spot where we would normally plug Golden Hurricane football. However, something is missing from this year's team. The offensive line holds their blocks like an 80-year-old man holds his bladder. A little leaky, if you will.
Oklahoma State fans should not snicker. Without derailing this column further, let me say this: If I were a multi-billionaire, I would find a suitable coach worthy of my money.
Instead, let me highlight some good ole fashion MMA action coming to a cage near you. This weekend, Nov. 7, Freestyle Cage Fighting brings "Mr. International" Shonie Carter to T-Town.
Carter is known throughout the MMA community for his highlight-reel KO of Matt Serra via a spinning back fist and for his cage attire. He has also hit up locals for a place to lodge while in various towns.
Expect another packed house at the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino in T-Town. Once again fighters from across the country trek to Tulsa for cage fights. Contact the Osage Box Office for ticket information.
Not to be outdone is Dale Cook's XFL promotion. The XFL "FINAL FURY" card takes place at the SpiritBank Event Center on Nov. 27. A perfect way to unwind after Turkey Day.
Featured on the card are Aaron Lofton and Levi Avera. Avera looks to bounce back after a disappointing Strikeforce bout in September.
The night also features a special guest appearance by Dan Henderson. Hendo is a grizzled veteran. He'll host a seminar at Apollo's Martial Arts the Saturday after the event.
The two-time Olympian and former Pride and UFC champion represents the working-man in the cage. Plus, he disconnected Michael Bisping from consciousness in his last bout, which raised his heroism to new heights in America. Call 627-7070 for ticket info.
Both promotions are running TV ads. Each provides value for your entertainment dollar. Unlike other sporting events in town, you are guaranteed to watch someone come away with a victory.
Now, can't we all just get along?
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