Know Your (Temporary) Rival: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

Oral Roberts: 5-4

ORU Opp
Points Per Minute
1.73 1.63
Points Per Possession (PPP)
1.01 0.95
Points Per Shot (PPS)
1.20 1.14
2-PT FG% 50.9% 47.1%
3-PT FG% 29.3% 30.9%
FT% 69.6% 63.6%
True Shooting % 52.5% 50.0%
ORU Opp
Assists/Gm 13.0 12.2
Steals/Gm 5.6 6.6
Turnovers/Gm 15.2 12.4
Ball Control Index
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.22 1.51
ORU Opp
Expected Offensive Rebounds 110 116
Offensive Rebounds 106 84
Difference -4 -32


ORU's season thus far:


There have been two main components to the Golden Eagles' season so far: results and injuries.

Results

  • @Wake Forest 76, ORU 56 (L)
  • @ORU 86, NW Oklahoma State 50 (W)
  • Cancun Challenge
    ORU 83, Stanford 81 (W)
    Virginia 76, ORU 51 (L)
    Sam Houston 71, ORU 65 (L)
    ORU 72, Florida A&M 51 (W)
  • @UA-Little Rock 73, ORU 68 (L)
  • @ORU 68, UMKC 57 (W)
  • @ORU 68, Southern Utah 53 (W)

Injuries

  • Roderick Pearson (6'2, 195, Jr., pictured above): ACL - Out for Season
  • Hunter McClinton (6'2, 180, Fr.): ACL - Out for Season
  • Tim Morton (6'9, 240, RSFr.): ACL - Out for Season
  • Javier Nasarre (6'10, 225, Jr.): WRIST - Out for two weeks

Also: guard Beloved Rogers quit due to lack of playing time right before some of these injuries happened...D'OH!  This is a game that could potentially be scary if ORU were at full-strength, but with just seven scholarship players available right now, depth is, to say the least, a bit of a concern.

After the jump: What does Ken Pomeroy have to say?

What Does Ken Pomeroy Have to Say?

Now that we've got a little bit of data in the system, it's time to incorporate Ken Pomeroy's wonderful website into our previews.  Below is a table listing both ORU's and MU's ranks on offense and defense, in both KenPom's Efficiency measure and what are considered the "Four Factors" of winning basketball, shooting, turnovers, offensive rebounds, and getting to the free throw line.

ORU Offense vs MU Defense
ORU Offense MU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 247 12 MU (big)
Effective FG% 201 43 MU (big)
Turnover % 176 3 MU (big)
Off. Reb. % 178 245 ORU
FTA/FGA 222 220 push
MU Offense vs ORU Defense
MU Offense ORU Defense Advantage
Efficiency 23 152 MU (big)
Effective FG% 27 179 MU (big)
Turnover % 98 323 MU (big)
Off. Reb. % 151 14 ORU (big)
FTA/FGA 241 129 ORU (big)


Where the Praying Hands are solid

This is another decent rebounding team, especially on the defensive end, which means they should represent another nice challenge in Mizzou's quest to get better on the boards.  Kevin Ford (6'9, 250) has four double-doubles in nine games this season, and he is exactly the kind of player that would seem to give Mizzou some problems.  If he gets hot and gets Laurence Bowers et al into foul trouble, then the Mabee Center could start rocking.  Plus, ORU is relatively capable of preventing teams from getting to the free throw line, which has been a Mizzou weakness to begin with.

Where ORU is less than solid

BCI, BCI, BCI, BCI and BCI.  The Golden Eagles don't really force many turnovers, and they turn the ball over way too much for a team expecting success against Mizzou's pressure.  Mizzou has been allowing teams to get to the line a bit too much, but ORU isn't very good at getting to the line.  And beyond turnovers, they're still not a very good offensive team.  This isn't a surprise -- thanks to injuries, they are quite thin; plus, of their seven remaining scholarship players, five are either freshmen or sophomores.  This is not a team equipped to go against Missouri's defense right now, and that should make the difference in the game.

Player Stats

Player AdjGS*/Gm GmSc/Min Line
Michael Craion (6'5, 205, Jr.) 15.0 0.49 30.6 MPG, 12.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.9 TOPG
Kevin Ford (6'9, 250, Sr.) 13.7 0.52 26.4 MPG, 12.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 2.4 TOPG
Dominique Morrison (6'6, 190, So.) 13.2 0.42 31.9 MPG, 14.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, 2.3 TOPG
Warren Niles (6'4, 175, Fr.) 8.2 0.31 26.4 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 2.0 TOPG
Damen Bell-Holter (6'10, 245, Fr.) 5.1 0.30 17.2 MPG, 5.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG
Kyron Stokes (6'5, 210, So.) 5.1 0.21 24.0 MPG, 4.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.9 APG
Ken Holdman (6'1, 175, Fr.) 5.0 0.23 22.2 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 2.0 TOPG
Michael Fletcher (5'10, 165, So.) 3.3 0.40 8.3 MPG, 4.0 PPG (Walk-On)
Joe Moore (6'1, 190, Sr.) 1.7 0.38 4.5 MPG, 2.5 PPG (Walk-On)
Mikey Manghum (6'1, 175, Fr.) 1.0 0.34 1 game (Walk-On)

* AdjGS = a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds.  It redistributes a team's points based not only on points scored, but also by giving credit for assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls.  It is a stat intended to determine who had the biggest overall impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

  • One thing ORU is not lacking is length.  Their top five players average out at 6'7.  Consider that another nice challenge for the Tigers.
  • Despite good height, it appears that ORU plays what could be considered a four-guard lineup for the most part, with five of seven players coming in at 205 pounds or smaller.
  • Ford could be the biggest direct threat to Mizzou, especially if the refs are whistle-happy, but the game could hinge on the play of Dominique Morrison, the 6'6 sophomore guard.  He appears to be a primary ball handler (2.9 assists, 2.3 turnovers per game), and he shoots a lot, having taken 14 more shots than anybody else on the team.  He's only 13-for-40 from 3-point range, but if he gets hot, he could carry the Eagles on offense for a lengthy period of time.

Keys to the Game

  1. Tempo.  ORU clocks in at basically the national average in terms of pace, and if Mizzou can speed them up, they simply do not have the horses to compete.  Even if they get hot shooting the ball, they still won't be able to keep it up unless they are able to slow the pace like Richmond did.  Unfortunately for ORU, Richmond was much more experienced and much deeper.  With all the youth ORU is having to go with at the moment, I don't see them slowing things down enough to have a chance at the end, but if they do, look out.

  2. Rebounds.  As with Oregon, ORU's main chance at competing comes on the glass.  They are an outstanding defensive rebounding team, and if Mizzou comes out cold, they could be looking at quite a few one-and-done possessions.  That will allow ORU to both keep things close and slow the tempo down, since Mizzou obviously can't press very well off of missed shots.  But if Mizzou is getting putbacks and second opportunities, ORU really doesn't have a way to stay close.

  3. Laurence Bowers.  Simply put, if he stays out of foul trouble, Mizzou has too many weapons to lose this game.  If he gets two fouls in three minutes, like he did against Vanderbilt in Mizzou's last road trip, they should still have too many weapons, but it's not as much of an absolute.

Prediction

You never like going up against a mid-major team on their home court, where you are their biggest home opponent of the season.  This is their Super Bowl, and they will play like it.  The crowd will be into it as well.  But when all is said and done, I think ORU is just too wounded to keep up for 40 minutes.  Good early shooting by ORU, some one-and-done's for Mizzou, and a hyped crowd could keep this thing close for 20-30 minutes, but in the end Mizzou is just too capable of quick strikes and should be able to put together a couple of nice second-half runs and move to 6-2.  We'll say ORU keeps it close for a while.  Mizzou 76, Oral Roberts 62.

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