Men's Basketball: Oral Roberts
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Monday, February 18, 2013
2/18/13 at 5:45 AM
16-10 overall, 11-3 Southland
with Obi Emegano
Weight: 215 pounds
A transplant from Western Illinois, Emegano was named to the Summit League's all-newcomer team last season. The former Edmond Memorial standout returned to his home state and is sitting out this season per NCAA transfer rules. He played on a team that ousted ORU from the Summit League tournament last season. He said enough time has passed that he can kid his new teammates about what happened last March, but he also said it's still a sensitive subject.
You have the same first name as former Oklahoma State basketball player Obi Muonelo and you are both from Edmond. Is everybody from Edmond named Obi?
I think it's more of a religion thing. Me and him are close relatives, and it's a common name in Nigerian families.
You say it's a religion thing?
There are a lot of Obis. Obi, for me, is short for Obinna. Obi is short for something else in (Muonelo's) name. I have another cousin named Obinna. It's just a run-in-the-family type of thing. The heart of the father. That's what it means.
Now that you have gotten to know ORU's players, do you feel badly for them that you knocked them out of last year's Summit League tournament?
In a sense I do. If they had gone to the tournament last year and I transferred here, that would obviously help us as a program collectively. So I feel some remorse for them sometimes.
ORU held serve in Southland Conference home games against Sam Houston State and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi last week. The Golden Eagles played without third-leading scorer Shawn Glover, who underwent surgery to repair a lacerated eyelid and torn tear duct.
The week ahead
Tuesday: vs. Central Arkansas, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Weber State, 7:30 p.m.
Central Arkansas is the only Southland Conference opponent ORU hasn't faced yet. They'll see each other twice in the final five games of the regular season. The Golden Eagles will step out of league play for an ESPN BracketBusters game against Weber State (19-5 overall, 14-2 Big Sky Conference).
The big picture
Iron Man III
Senior guard Warren Niles, who ranks 23rd nationally in 3-point percentage, has been an iron man. He leads the Southland Conference in minutes played and, over the course of the last three games, has played 119 of a possible 120 minutes.
Where does ORU stand in the league race?
With four Southland Conference games remaining, ORU is one game behind co-leaders Stephen F. Austin and Northwestern State. Stephen F. Austin was alone at the top before being ambushed Saturday at Southeastern Louisiana. "Crazy things happen," ORU coach Scott Sutton said when asked about Stephen F. Austin being an upset victim. "They still have a couple of tough games left and Northwestern has been beaten at home before. All you can worry about is taking care of your own games." The top two teams will get byes into the semifinal round of the conference tournament.
Which contender has the most user-friendly schedule?
ORU plays eighth-place Central Arkansas at home before ending the league season with a three-game road trip against seventh-place McNeese State, last-place Lamar and Central Arkansas.
Stephen F. Austin plays a road game against fifth-place Sam Houston State before ending the league season with a three-game homestand against co-leader Northwestern State, Sam Houston State and ninth-place Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Northwestern State plays road games against ninth-place Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and co-leader Stephen F. Austin before ending the league season with home games against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and fifth-place Sam Houston State.
ORU's Damen Bell-Holter shoots against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi during Saturday's game. JOEY JOHNSON / For the Tulsa World