Why you should care about Oral RobertsPosted: February 3, 2012
Oral Roberts is too good to be talked about this little.
It’s just fact. No way that a team that is 20-5 overall, and 12-1 in the Summit League, should be ignored like the Golden Eagles have been.
But they have been. At least by a majority of the talking heads in college basketball.
All due respect to the boys at Murray State — I’ve got love for any team from my home state that does work — the Golden Eagles has as solid a slate as the Racers, and have four losses to show for it.
Those five losses? West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas-San Antonio, Gonzaga and on Thursday night, South Dakota State. Three of those five are NCAA Tournament teams and the Jackrabbits are the Golden Eagles main competition in the Summit League. Add that in with wins over Missouri State, Arkansas-Little Rock and Xavier (pre-brawl) early in the season, and the other team in Tulsa has a legitimate argument for Bubble talk.
The Golden Eagles are no. 69 in the KenPom Ratings. That’s by no means going to get them in the Dance, but it should stir some around the sport to start taking them seriously.
Or at least they could start taking their best player seriously. His name is Dominique Ferguson, and he’s pleased to meet you.
The 6-6, 210 Senior out of Kansas City has just averaged 19.9 points and 4.2 rebounds to pace ORU. He’s been able to do his thing this season against the best competition, dropping 21 and playing all 40 minutes in their seven-point loss to West Virginia and 19 in the win over Xavier, who was ranked eighth in the nation at that time.
It’s obvious that playing in a perennial one-bid league is killing ORU’s at-large chances. They’re last among the nine 20-win teams in the Pomeroy Ratings as of Thursday night, and their opponents defensive (248) and offensive (150) ratings ranks in the mid-to-bottom range according to the Pom. That means they’re playing mediocre teams. Something that as of the start of league play, the Golden Eagles can’t help.
They’ll certainly get one last chance to make their case with one last big-time (ish?) game, an ESPN Bracketbusters contest at home with Akron at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18, but honestly, who sees a when over Akron at home — even a blowout — as a boost to the selection committee around the time when At-Large selections start being decided?
The Golden Eagles command your attention. Not because they’re good now, but because they’ve been doing this for awhile.
And as ORU forward Damen Bell-Holter can attest, anything can happen come March.
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