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Men's Basketball Announces 2007-08 Schedule

Courtesy: ORU Media Relations
          Release: 08/01/2007
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Scott Sutton and ORU will play on national television at least three times in 2007-08.
TULSA—At least three nationally televised games – including a compelling match-up with in-state rival Oklahoma State – highlight Oral Roberts University’s 2007-08 men’s basketball schedule, which head coach Scott Sutton announced today.

ORU’s potential Division I non-conference opponents owned a collective .610 winning percentage last season. Seven non-conference opponents were 20-game winners a season ago, and at least six opponents played in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT last spring.

“This is the most challenging schedule we’ve faced in my 13 years associated with the program,” said Sutton. “I think I say something like that every year, but it’s been true every year, too. And this year it’s a really tough schedule.

“The last two seasons, our non-conference schedule has helped toughen us up for conference play and for March. This schedule should do the same thing, plus it’s obviously not going to hurt our RPI.”

Following exhibition games against Rogers State (Nov. 3) and Upper Iowa (Nov. 9), the Golden Eagles open the 2007-08 season at the Mabee Center against Southwestern Oklahoma State on Nov. 9.

The Golden Eagles will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off, Nov. 12 and 13 with opponents and location to be announced at a later date. Regardless of opponent, both games are scheduled to be televised on ESPN’s family of networks. It will be ORU’s first appearance in the preseason NIT event since 1987.

Should the Golden Eagles win their two-game bracket, they will advance to the NIT semifinals, Nov. 21-23 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“The NIT is one of the most prestigious early-season tournaments in the country,” said Sutton. “We’ve been fortunate to play in some great early-season events in the past. The possibility of playing in New York on Thanksgiving weekend is very exciting.”

ORU returns to the Mabee Center to face Louisiana-Lafayette (Nov. 20), before heading back to Texas for a match-up with Lamar (Nov. 24).

The annual Mayor’s Cup game with Tulsa (Nov. 27) returns to the Mabee Center this season, with ORU looking to win back the cup after Tulsa ended the Golden Eagles’ three-year stranglehold last season.

A trip to likely SEC West favorite Arkansas (Dec. 1) is ORU’s final tune-up before play in the newly-named Summit League begins when the Golden Eagles host conference newcomers North Dakota State (Dec. 6) and South Dakota State (Dec. 8).

Following a break for Final Exams, the Golden Eagles visit Texas on Dec. 18, ORU’s first visit to the Erwin Center in Austin since Feb. 28, 1994.

The most high-profile game on ORU’s schedule awaits after the trip to Texas when the Golden Eagles square off against in-state rival Oklahoma State at the 72nd annual All-College Classic at Oklahoma City’s Ford Center. The made-for-TV event is the first-ever meeting between head coaching brothers, Scott and Sean Sutton. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

“Personally, I don’t like playing this game,” said Sutton. “I never like playing close friends or relatives. But this is a great opportunity for our program and our school to once again be featured on national television against a quality opponent. I owe it to the team and the program to play a game like this.”

It will be ORU’s first appearance in the All-College Classic since 2000, and the first meeting between the Golden Eagles and Cowboys since Dec. 2, 1997.

After a short break for the holidays, the Golden Eagles return to action when they make their second visit in two years to Logan, Utah for a contest with Utah State (Dec. 29). The game is a return for Utah State’s trip to Tulsa last season for the ESPNU Bracket Busters.

Summit League play resumes when the Golden Eagles visit Centenary (Jan. 5). Other key conference home games include IUPUI (Jan. 17), Oakland (Feb. 7) and UMKC (Feb. 21).

The Summit League Tournament ends its four-year run in Tulsa this season. It will be held once again at the John Q. Hammons Arena, March 8-11.

ORU returns three starters and six letterwinners from last season's 23-11 squad which captured its third straight Mid-Continent Conference regular-season crown and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season by winning its second straight conference tournament title.


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