Glover could be ORU's X-factor
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2013
2/28/13 at 6:02 AM
Can Oral Roberts maximize what remains of the college basketball season and charge toward an NCAA Tournament trip?
The X-factor could be Shawn Glover.
During a discussion about Glover, ORU assistant coach Sean Sutton indicated the 6-foot-7 junior has something in common with players he coached while at Oklahoma State.
"We had a lot of guys like Desmond Mason and Joey Graham and those type of players that were tough match-ups, especially when they played at the four position because they were quicker and faster than most four players," Sutton said.
"And then, if (opponents) tried to guard them with a smaller player, they could power over the top of them."
Sutton isn't saying Glover is the same caliber player as Mason and Graham, who were first-round NBA draft picks.
"But at the same time Shawn is a very good basketball player at this level. He is a real challenge for opponents because of his versatility and he presents, I think, a really difficult matchup for teams."
During the next-to-last week of the regular season, ORU will play road games against McNeese State (Thursday) and Lamar (Saturday). Glover scored 24 points in consecutive home games against Lamar and McNeese State in January, converting 22-of-32 field goal attempts.
Is Glover the key to the rest of the season?
That's tough to emphatically declare since two teammates - Damen Bell-Holter and Warren Niles - are Southland Conference player of the year candidates.
But Glover will be a significant figure down the stretch because he isn't easily collared.
For instance: Opponents can take measures to neutralize ORU's top two scorers by double-teaming Bell-Holter in the post or by blanketing Niles at the 3-point stripe. Dropping a clamp on Glover is trickier because he can score from many places on the court. Take something away from him and he'll go to something else in his repertoire.
"He is an excellent mid-range shooter," Sutton said. "He can post up. He can drive. He can get to the free throw line. Like a Joey Graham, he has got the strength and athleticism to post up smaller players, but he has got the speed and quickness to take bigger players out on the floor and cause problems for them."
The mismatch factor is why, with an early-season home game against Oklahoma coming down to a late possession, ORU coaches put the ball in Glover's hands. His possible game-deciding shot didn't fall, but it sent a message about the Golden Eagles' belief that Glover can get the best of a defender at crunch-time.
Guess who was a designated go-to guy when ORU played a Feb. 9 game at Stephen F. Austin, which leads the nation in scoring defense.
"We got Shawn 14 clean looks in the first half just because of stuff that we are talking about," Sutton said. "He had one of those nights where the ball didn't go in, but he got great looks."
Glover was 4-of-14 in the first half of a 77-67 defeat and took a quick seat after halftime because he sustained a lacerated eyelid and a torn tear duct. He missed the next two games, then returned to average 15 points in two games last week.
A transfer from Utah, Glover is developing into the kind of player ORU's coaches envisioned him being and will continue to get better, according to Sutton. Glover's 15.8 scoring average in Southland games is third-best on his team and sixth-best in the league.
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389