POSTED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2012:
Hitting the Boards
Tulsa basketball rides the rim
A positive mindset goes a long way. Everyone has bad days at work and at home. Do you let it keep you down or do you flip the switch and change your mind set? After all, it is your brain. Own it. Show it who is boss.
This is not to say everyone should channel their inner Tony Robbins. The last thing we need is more people telling us how to live.
All of this to say our basketball situation stinks. As we mentioned last week, the ORU Golden Eagles rep the entire state with class and wins. They clinched the regular season Summit League championship last week. Congrats, now do not slip up in the postseason tournament.
The Oklahoma City Thunder continues to shine. They might earn a finals appearance if the shots continue falling. Who knew the team would miss their lockdown Swiss two guard this much?
But we can only toot their horns so much. At some point we need to focus on the TU Golden Hurricane and the Thunder-owned Tulsa 66ers. Ok, we get it. The Big 12 released the football schedule for the fall. Hooray!
So forgive the negative tone here, but honestly, discussing these two teams at this juncture of the season, what do you expect?
Let's start with our good friend, TU Head Coach Doug Wojcik.
The "good friend" moniker might be a stretch. As you have read here in the past, he is such a nice guy he makes everyone feel like part of the family.
This is not exactly true. It is mostly the media that loves him. Fans have a different feeling about TU's winningest coach of all time.
But look at the facts. On the illustrious list of Golden Hurricane coaches, he has won more games than the rest. You say he's been here longer? Ok. You say universities in general play more games each year? Sure, but still.
Now for the other truth. His squad had a chance to take sole possession of first place in Conference USA a week ago. They squandered the opportunity.
It would not have guaranteed the team a spot in the Big Dance. However, the boost for players, fans and alumni would have been enormous.
Checking the standings seeing the home team above the Houston's, Memphis' and UTEP's of the world would have been refreshing. Now they are two games back (as of this writing).
The question is old but it remains. Will this regime ever get over the hump?
Do we even want this squad entering the Big Dance? Can this unit compete against the nation's elite?
I do not know about you but I would sure like to find out.
People still do not realize we have a professional basketball team in Tulsa. It amazes me.
Next time you discuss the Thunder around the coffee pot or in a bar, segue into the 66ers. Ask for an opinion. See if they have ever attended a game. Figure out if they know where the team plays.
Please check out tulsa66ers.com for a schedule and ticket information. But while you are there, check out the lead stories and the photos accompanying them.
What is missing? It is a glaring omission but not one the players and coaches can control.
The seats are empty. These are home game pictures, but you can literally count the fans in the stands on one hand.
There is an old saying. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. But what if no one is leading the horse to water? Will we all dehydrate?
To make matters worse, they are on a horrific skid. They have played their way out of postseason contention (as of this writing).
The head coach to start the season left for an NBA gig. His staff remained behind and things transitioned seamless. Now the ball is not bouncing their way. Who takes the reins and steadies the sinking ship?
The team has two bona fide all stars in Jerome Dyson and Marcus Lewis. "The 66ers organization is extremely proud of Jerome and Marcus for being named D-League All-Stars this season," 66ers head coach Dale Osbourne said. "The honor is certainly well-deserved, as both have been strong leaders both on and off the court for our team this year."
The 66ers is the proverbial tree falling in the forest. A season ago momentum was building on the heels of a solid playoff run. Today no one remembers or cares.
In a roundabout way the team admits to not caring. Well, "not caring" may be too harsh.
The top priority is providing the parent club down the turnpike a breeding ground. If Sam Presti and the Thunder need to season-up a youngster, the 66ers are blessed with up-and-coming NBA talent.
So filling the seats is secondary for sure. I have no idea why, but this bothers me. Then again, judging from the empty arena, maybe I am alone.
Here is a real simple question. If you were offered free Tulsa 66ers tickets would you attend a game? Do you know where they play? Could you talk three friends into going with you?
These are real questions because as we all know "sports" is serious business.
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