ORU Notebook: Report card
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
11/06/12 at 3:23 AM
Oral Roberts completed the exhibition season with a 92-69 win over Oklahoma Wesleyan. Players who attended a postgame press conference were asked to give the Golden Eagles a letter grade for their exhibition performances.
Freshman point guard Korey Billbury quickly said "D." And lack of "D" - alias defense - is the reason.
"Points are going to come because we've got so many people that can put the ball in the hole," he said. "But, defensive-wise, I think we got outscored by eight points the second half. That's terrible."
Billbury said the Golden Eagles have the personnel to play defense.
"We have just got to play," he said. "We have toughness, I think. We have the ability to play defense. We are just being lazy. That's all I think it is. You get lax because we are up by 20 points and we think we can go in cruise mode, but we can't."
Missing persons: Sophomore Jake Lliteras and freshmen Corbin Byford and Jorden Kaufman sat out.
Lliteras aggravated a heel injury in ORU's exhibition opener last week and may return to practice Tuesday, according to coach Scott Sutton.
Byford has a sprained ankle. Kaufman, who dealt with mononucleosis during the offseason, has been ill.
"They got him checked out and they don't think it's mono," Sutton said. "Hopefully we'll get him back by Friday."
He's back: Junior guard Mikey Manghum missed ORU's first exhibition because he was recovering from a concussion, but he came off the bench to play 26 minutes.
Quick learner?: Billbury started practicing at point guard only recently, but started his second consecutive exhibition game and scored a team-high 19 points against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Does Billbury consider himself a point guard? "I just play basketball," he said. "I am learning still. Coach Sutton is helping me a whole lot with the transition from playing shooting guard ... to being a point guard. It's a learning process, but I am still picking it up as I go."
Sutton said Billbury was "great" in his second recent exhibition game.
"He may make a mistake, but he's not going to stop playing hard," the coach said. "He's not going to stop battling. He has been by far our most pleasant surprise so far."
Internet only: ORU's regular-season opener will not be available on radio because of programming conflicts, but Geoff Haxton's play-by-play will be available to listeners at tulsaworld.com/orusports