Related story: Niles accustomed to waiting his turn.
On Nov. 16, 2010, Scottie Haralson scored 13 points during the University of Tulsa's 83-68 victory over Oral Roberts at the Reynolds Center.
Then a sophomore, Haralson played 29 minutes. Then a freshman, Tim Peete played one minute.
Within the Golden Hurricane program, Haralson and Peete are the only people to have experienced a Mayor's Cup basketball game. Their coaches haven't. Their teammates haven't, but freshman forward D'Andre Wright senses that TU-ORU is much more than a routine date on the schedule.
"We've always known that Oral Roberts would be a big game," Wright said. "Crosstown rivalry. Once we get a feel for the atmosphere, we're going to be pumped up."
Because of a scheduling conflict, there was no Mayor's Cup game last season. The series, which dates to 1974, resumes with Saturday's 2 p.m. clash at ORU's Mabee Center.
"It'll be a fun game (and) a fun atmosphere - kind of a city showdown, if you will," first-year Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "I know TU has had some very good teams in the past, and I know ORU has, as well - especially with the late coach (Ken) Trickey.
"It's a game for bragging rights in the city. It's a game for a lot of interest in our city. We just have to come out and play and enjoy the moment and figure out a way to get a win."
TU takes a 6-5 record to south Tulsa. Since a 4-1 start, the Hurricane has stumbled to losses in four of its last six games. After losing last weekend at Arkansas-Little Rock, Tulsa was beaten 71-54 at Creighton on Wednesday. The Hurricane unraveled with 24 turnovers.
The Golden Hurricane and Golden Eagles collide for the 48th time. Tulsa leads the series 31-16. At the Mabee Center, TU has a record of 13-11.
"It's a rivalry to me," Haralson said. "I know it's an important rivalry to the people here in the community. This is my first time to play in the Mabee gym, but we beat them my sophomore year here. A lot of people showed up. We want to start the rivalry off right with coach Manning here."
While Oral Roberts gets a combined total of 53.3 points per game from a pair of seniors (Warren Niles and Damen Bell-Holter) and a pair of juniors (Shawn Glover and Steven Roundtree), Manning's Tulsa offense is driven mostly by rookies.
For the eighth consecutive game, forwards Rashad Smith and Brandon Swannegan are expected to remain sidelined. Each has a foot injury. Among currently active members of the team, the Hurricane gets 65 percent of its scoring from first-year freshmen. Five freshmen - James Woodard, Wright, Shaq Harrison, Zeldric King and Rashad Ray - average at least 16 minutes per game.
The Hurricane has a two-game losing streak and a pronounced disadvantage in experience, but Haralson seems undaunted: "We feel we're the best team in Tulsa. We've got to go out and prove that."
At Mabee Center / 2 p.m. Saturday / TV: FCSA-272 (live), KGEB-23/53 (11 p.m. tape delayed) / Radio: KYAL fm97.1; KRMG am740/fm102.3
BREAKDOWN: ORAL ROBERTS
Damen Bell-Holter is averaging 9.7 points
and 8.3 rebounds for ORU this season.
MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Senior post player Damen Bell-Holter is flirting with a double-double average (9.7 points, team-best 8.3 rebounds). Junior forward Shawn Glover (12.0 ppg) is versatile enough to present match-up problems. Junior forward Steven Roundtree is ORU's third-leading scorer (10.6 ppg), but the Golden Eagles are 1-3 when he picks up four or more fouls.
D.J. Jackson has taken over as the starting
point guard for ORU this season.
MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Senior guard Warren Niles is capable of putting the Golden Eagles on his shoulders. He has scored at least 21 points in each of the last four games. Redshirt freshman Korey Billbury began the season as the starting point guard, but now brings energy off the bench. He was replaced in the lineup by D.J. Jackson. They combine to average 7.9 points and 4.6 assists.
ORU head coach Scott Sutton is in his 14th
season with the Golden Eagles.
MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Scott Sutton, in his 14th season as head coach, has accumulated more wins (255) than any previous ORU coach. He and his staff have excelled at locating and signing under-the-radar players who became all-conference performers. Sutton has taken the Golden Eagles to six postseason tournaments (including three NCAA Tournaments) in the last eight seasons.
ORU’s Corbin Byford has been sidelined
with an ankle injury, limiting the Golden
Eagles’ depth. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Key stat: minus-110
ORU's bench has been outscored 186-76 in games against NCAA Division I competition. Because Jorden Kaufman (foot) and Corbin Byford (ankle) are injured, the bench is down two bodies.
Freshman forward D’Andre Wright is
averaging 8.7 points per game for the Golden
Hurricane. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
As forwards Rashad Smith and Brandon Swannegan have been sidelined for a month (each with a foot injury), TU's interior depth has been diminished. Freshman forward D'Andre Wright has been solid, averaging 8.7 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 73 shooting from the foul line. Senior forward Kauri Black is an effective defender but has fouled out of five games.
TU freshman James Woodard has a careerhigh
of 28 points in a win over LSU-Shreveport
this year. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
James Woodard is talented - and erratic. The freshman lefty scored 28 points against LSU-Shreveport and 27 against Jackson State, but managed a combined total of only six points in victories over Missouri State and TCU. Having connected on only 30 percent of his shots, senior Scottie Haralson averages 8.9 points.
TU coach Danny Manning will coach in his
first Mayor’s Cup matchup Saturday.
MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Ken Hayes, Nolan Richardson, J.D. Barnett, Tubby Smith, Bill Self, Buzz Peterson and John Phillips - as TU coaches, each prevailed in his first meeting with ORU. The Danny Manning-coached Hurricane is 2-4 away from the Reynolds Center, and now he takes his young squad to the Mabee Center.
Creighton’s Avery Dingman reaches for a
rebound between TU’s Tim Peete (left) and
Pat Swilling Jr. during Wednesday’s game.
REBECCA S. GRATZ/Omaha World-Herald/AP
Key stat: 17.2
Last season, the Hurricane averaged 14.8 turnovers per game. This season's average - 17.2. Ball security has been an issue. At Creighton on Wednesday, TU committed a season-high total of 24 turnovers that led to 32 Bluejay points.
Mayor's Cup history
Mayor's Cup series: Tulsa leads 31-16. The Golden Hurricane has prevailed in four of the last five meetings and in 15 of the last 21.
First meeting: On March 4, 1974, Tulsa defeated Oral Roberts 85-84 at the Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Longest Tulsa win streak: 13 (1980-86).
Longest ORU win streak: 8 (1976-80).
Most decisive Tulsa victory: 45 points (99-54 on Dec. 10, 1994, Convention Center).
Most decisive ORU victory: 44 points (106-62 on Dec. 2, 1976, Mabee Center).
ORU’s Steven Roundtree and TU’s Joe Richard during the 2010 Mayor’s Cup game at the Reynolds Center. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file
TU-ORU series resumes
Because of a scheduling conflict, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts basketball teams did not meet last season. For the first time since 1992, there was no clash of the Golden Hurricane and Golden Eagles.
Officials of the two schools arrived at an agreement - a six-year contract that begins with Saturday's 2 p.m. game at the Mabee Center. Each of the next five Mayor's Cup contests is expected to be played in November.
Canned food drive at Mayor's Cup game
Oral Roberts University, along with PSO and KJRH channel 2, are hosting a canned food drive in the north lobby of the Mabee Center during Saturday's Mayor's Cup men's basketball game between ORU and Tulsa.
Fans attending the game can bring two canned food items to the north lobby of the Mabee Center and will be entered into a halftime drawing for an ORU/KJRH prize pack that includes game tickets, ORU Athletics gear and KJRH collectibles.
Donated food will be sent to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma as part of KJRH's Food 2 Families program. The game sponsor, PSO, will also make a food donation on behalf of its linemen at halftime.
Check the start time
Tip-off for the Mayor's Cup game is 2 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but a change in the start time was announced on Oct. 26.
- JIMMIE TRAMEL & BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writers
Original Print Headline: New experience
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397