Oral Roberts Selected to Win Southland Conference

By Tim Bade

The 2012-2013 season will be the first year that the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles competes in the Southland Conference and already they have been chosen to come out on top.  The Golden Eagles gathered 7 of the 10 first place votes in the coaches’ poll.  The Golden Eagles earned 77 total points to top the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks who earned 72 points.

Competition between the Golden Eagles and Lumberjacks will be tough this season.  I doubt the Lumberjacks will take kindly to the Golden Eagles attempt at winning the conference their first year in the league.

To add to the match up, the Golden Eagles had senior guard Warren Niles and junior forward Steven Roundtree named to the preseason All-Southland second team while the Lumberjacks had guard Antonio Bostic and forward/center Taylor Smith added to the All-Southland conference first team.

The Golden Eagles decided to leave the Summit League after the 2011-2012 season in which they posted one of the most memorable seasons in school history.  The Golden Eagles finished the year 27-7 (17-1), won the regular season championship and went to the league championship. The real controversy came when they were selected to go to the  National Invitation Tournament (NIT) instead of the NCAA Tournament.

In previous seasons, the Golden Eagles had won the Summit League tournament, but not won the regular season championship (posting a worse record) and were still selected into the NCAA Tournament.  Such as in the 2005-2006 season when the Golden Eagles went 13-3 in conference play and still went to the big dance.

This year is a new start for the Golden Eagles. Sean Sutton has decided to team up with his brother Scott Sutton as an assistant coach.  Sean Sutton will bring an experience package consisting of 13 NCAA Tournaments and 2 Final Four appearances to the Golden Eagles.  Sean also knows a great deal about recruiting in this area.  During his time as head coach and assistant coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Sean proved that he knows how to recruit top star talent from the Oklahoma-Arkansas-Texas area.

The Golden Eagles will be in action during their first exhibition game of the season on November 1 when they take on the Missouri Southern Lions at 7 p.m.

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