ORU's Sutton feeling better about point guard spot
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, November 05, 2012
11/05/12 at 5:38 AM
Korey Billbury began preseason camp as Oral Roberts University's fourth option at point guard.
The redshirt freshman from Booker T. Washington will make his second consecutive start at the position when the Golden Eagles complete their exhibition season with a 7 p.m. Monday game against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
The preseason plan was for ORU to pick a point guard from a pool of candidates that included junior college transfer Tramel White, redshirt freshman D.J. Jackson and junior Mikey Manghum. An eligibility issue shelved White and a concussion prevented Manghum from playing in an exhibition opener against Missouri Southern.
All of a sudden, Billbury and Jackson were left to handle quarterback chores and coach Scott Sutton saw enough positives that he feels better about the point guard spot than he did before the exhibition debut.
"I thought both of those guys did a good job," Sutton said Sunday.
"Korey, he did a lot of good things. He was really good in transition. Neither one of them turned the ball over (much), which is obviously something you look for. You need to protect the basketball. Halfcourt-wise, we struggled. But it wasn't all their fault. It was everybody. We need to do a better job of screening and a better job of getting open on the wings."
Billbury and Jackson combined for six assists, two turnovers and 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Sutton said both will continue to get better.
"That's what is pretty exciting," he said.
Sutton loves Billbury's toughness. Sutton said it was obvious during Billbury's recruitment and in practices that he has a toughness about him. Scared of competition? No way.
"He is going to make mistakes, but he is going to keep playing hard and he's not going to let that affect how hard he plays," Sutton said. "That's a great quality to have. A lot of kids, especially young kids, make a mistake and they drop their head and they will let that affect the rest of their game. And he hasn't done that."
Manghum, the only point guard on the roster who has played in a "real" collegiate game, might miss the final exhibition so he can be assured of playing in a Friday regular season opener at UTEP.
"It will probably be a situation where we will see how he feels tomorrow," Sutton said. "He is doing more and more. But the last thing we need is for him to go in there (Monday) and inadvertantly get a blow to the head either by trying to take a charge or getting an elbow. We need him back for Friday and that's the most important thing."
Oklahoma Wesleyan at Oral Roberts (exhibition)
7 p.m. Monday
Radio: KYAL, fm97.1
Original Print Headline: Point guards showing potential
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389