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ORU - SDSU Summit Playoffs

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Good luck to the Lady Eagles at the 2016 - 2017 Summit League Tourney.  Sad MBB will not be there too.  I noticed the League is sponsoring "Fan Fest" at the Tournament.  I doubt if we will have anyone there.  Oh well, keep up the good work Golden Eagle Baseball.  We will have to have our own "fanfest" at  JLJ in May.

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So it's over.  In case you missed it, our women's basketball team went out with less than a whimper in the Summit League conference tournament when they lost 65-50 to SDSU this past Sunday.  Blame injuries or lack of depth or whatever, but it's over and probably was over long before the season even ended.  The way we played for most of the regular season conference schedule signaled that this team, no matter what strength they had in terms of personnel, just didn't have what it was going to take to consistently win games, and especially when the chips were down.  Call it a lack of leadership on the court, or a lack of depth, or lingering and/or persistent injuries, or players just not stepping up, or the coaches not putting the players in positions to be successful on the court, or whatever it might have been, we were realistically never going to finish at the top of the Summit in the regular season, and we had basically no chance of going through the conference tournament and winning it all.

So another season, down the drain.  Some good moments, like beating OU in Norman and Arkansas in Fayetteville, and pounding a pretty decent Missouri State team, and of course, beating Tulsa, but finishing 7-9 in conference (after starting out 2-0) and getting swept by both SDSU and South Dakota (again), and not really even being competitive against either one of them in all four games we played them, wasn't at all good.  And we also got swept by Western Illinois, which isn't so much of a shocker, at least this season as it might have been in years past because they won the Summit regular season title with a 13-3 record, but it's not been in our DNA to get swept by them, and especially to lose to them at home like we did.

Wait til next year.  That should be our new nickname, the ORU Wait-Til-Next-Years.  It's like a broken record, and frankly, I'm tired of it, to the point of moving on.  I like winning.  I like winners.  I don't enjoy all of the losing, and I'm not getting any younger, so there's that too.

Hopefully we can turn it around and get things moving in the right direction, and I wish for the same for all of our underperforming teams.  I want us to be winners again.  I'm proud of what we represent as an institution and as an athletic department in terms of our mission to train up and develop people with a heart for God and a mission to serve, but as an athletic department we need to be winning more, and in some cases, a lot more, and that really needs to become more of a priority.  I believe that you can have a higher mission and still win.  As a matter of fact, I like to think that our higher mission should breed a culture of winning and an expectation of success, but ... losing, that's what ORU athletics has been mostly all about since we returned to the Summit.  We lose a lot.  We don't win anymore.  How many regular season and conference tournament championships has the ORU Athletic Department won in the three years that we've been back in the Summit?  I'm glad you asked.  We've won a total of five, four by baseball (two regular season and two conference tournament) and one by men's soccer, although that wasn't an outright regular season championship since we finished tied with three other teams, and that was all the way back in 2014.  We have 16 sports, and those 16 sports have had the opportunity to win a total of 70 regular season and conference tournament championships in the three seasons that we've been back in the Summit, and they've won five, and four by one sport alone.  Five out of a possible 70.  I'll let y'all do the math.

Someone, or a bunch of someones, needs/need to take a serious look at where we are as an athletic program, especially in regards to our lack of competitiveness within our conference.  The results in terms of winning and losing and winning regular season and conference tournament championships have left little to really be proud of.  I'm only referring to results, not anything off the court or off the field.  In my opinion, winning games or matches or meets and winning championships are what matters the most when you judge the success of an athletic department.  Producing 'good citizens' and 'positive role models' and growing new Christians or making those that are already following Christ stronger are all really important, and impacting lives through our athletes and athletic programs are very worthy missions, but what is the purpose of having an athletic department, and one that competes at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics?  It's to win games and regular season championships and conference tournament championships, isn't it?

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