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ORU vs. St. Thomas


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ORU travels up to frigid Minneapolis to  play St. Thomas on Thursday. The Tommies are a perennial D-3 powerhouse in the first year of division 1 competition. Their record so far is 8-7; 2-1 in conference play. They are not eligible for post season play until 2025. Their squad is full of seniors and they play a style (lots of 3 pointers) very similar to ORU. Evidently they use a 'Princeton' offense, so we should expect lots of motion and back cuts. Season stats show that they average 34.5 three pointers per game (2nd in the nation) and make 13.9 per game (1st) while shooting 40.4% (7th). Better guard that perimeter. They are experienced - but do not have a lot of height.

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This could be a wild one. ORU has improved at guarding the perimeter, but this is going to be a true test. I’m expecting some serious experimentation in the first half, trying to decide between going big or going small. Sir Issac Herron may play a key role; he can pose a threat down low on offense and hold his own out in space on defense. 

Can see no reason why this won’t be a high-scoring affair, something in the 90-85 realm. 

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Sorry but this is still basically a D-II /D-III squad that we are playing....agree that St. Thomas is better than most at that level and at home they will be competitive and motivated to beat a Sweet 16/ORU team....if we lose then shame on us for not being prepared....TheEagleman wouldn't be surprised if the Good Guys struggle in the first half playing a "Princeton offense" which is difficult to defend....but the Tommies also have to defend us and ORU can move the ball up and down the floor....a high scoring game should be expected....I have never seen these guys play but if they are small then we need to dominate inside and use our speed and athleticism......my prediction will come tomorrow once i see the line but expecting ORU to be at least a 10 point favorite and we should beat the Tommies by double digits......:tb-white:

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Here it is the spiritual battle of the century: the Catholics vs the Charismatics 😇!  Watched St. Thomas on Saturday and three things stood out about them: they are very fundamentally sound, shoot the ball well, and are scrappy on defense.  Kind of remind me of a team of Mark Price's (remember him from Enid, OK and Cleveland Cavs days).  The Tommies average 15 assists to 7.6 turnovers per game!  That may lead the nation but must be in the top five of assist to turnover margin in the country.

One thing that St. Thomas does well is throw the big knockout punch in the first half.  In Summit League games they average leading by 18 points at half.  That may be because their style is so different that it takes a half to figure them out.  ORU will need to get off to a good start and not have to play catch up all second half.

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KenPom has it 80-77, ORU.

Jeff Sagarin’s power index has ORU by 7.5 points

I seriously doubt the spread will be double-digits…

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1 hour ago, theeagleman5 said:

Sorry but this is still basically a D-II /D-III squad that we are playing....

Shooting the three at a high rate is the great equalizer. St. Thomas can be a dangerous team if they are hitting.

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1 hour ago, Keenan Henderson said:

Here it is the spiritual battle of the century: the Catholics vs the Charismatics 😇

So, it's a battle of shoddy theology. 

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ORU #108 ESPN/BPI....St. Thomas/MN is #266....haven't really played anyone of note unless you count WIU which i agree is their most impressive win.....TheEagleman isn't saying that the Tommies might not give us fits initially....but Coach Mills and the guys have seen the Western Illinois score and will have had 5 days to prepare....no excuse losing to a Team like this who is a few months out of D-3 albeit one of the top programs at that level....yeah, they got kicked out of their league because they were too good.....I will take any road win and surely they will have a raucous crowd of crazed Catholics ready for ORU tomorrow night....I am thinking the home team will hang around for 25-30 minutes but ORU needs to flex its' muscles and put the Tommies away at the end......GO BLUE!! :tb-blue:

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come to think of it....ORU did lose at Central Arkansas......😬

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Looks like we can watch the game for free on the Tommies Sports Network.  St. Thomas has been very competitive all season except for the game against Seattle.  In that game they were outrebounded by 26 and lost by 17. ORU has been strong on the glass this year and needs to win the rebound battle by at least 10 tomorrow night to pull out the win.

 

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SOS is a huge difference here...ORU used to playing better teams......Colorado State is 11-0 and ranked #20......and we should have beaten OSU who gave #6 Kansas a decent game last night......but agree St. Thomas will be scrappy....ORU will have to play and prepare well to win...in Mills We Trust!!!!.......:hc_mills:

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We should be focused and prepared to play well. ORU 85- Tommies 70.

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3 hours ago, Keenan Henderson said:

ORU will need to get off to a good start and not have to play catch up all second half.

Which hasn’t been our strength this year. 

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Otis, my man!....ORU only -5.5 which really worries me.....honestly thought Good Guys would be closer to 10 point favorites.....O/U is 158.......TheEagleman isnt going to change what I have been saying...this should be a solid win and I like ORU and the Over......ORU 89   St. Thomas 78.  GO BLUE!!!!......:circle-logoi:

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I agree, Eagleman. ORU and the over. 86-75.

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Over or under a total of 70 threes attempted by both teams tonight? 😎

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Tonight's game will be interesting from a coaching stand point, do we just get into a 3 point shooting contest? that's a 50-50 preposition at best on the road. Do we play our best perimeter defenders- Carlos and Kareem or our "better shooters" who may not be our best defenders? Do we go big and try to pound the ball inside against a smaller team? the bigs may have trouble defending the smaller team.

When you play a team that runs its stuff well you have to be disciplined on defense, cant overplay passing lanes or you'll get back doored, going for the steal will often times result in a lay up or open shot against you. You have to keep your man and the ball in front of you and play a lot of team D with good communication on the picks and consistent weak side help!    

We'll have to play smart tonight, I think it's a game where we'll need to rely on our veterans like Kareem, Carlos, Lacis and Weaver along with Max for the most part!

Go Eagles!!

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37 minutes ago, ORU40 said:

Tonight's game will be interesting from a coaching stand point, do we just get into a 3 point shooting contest? that's a 50-50 preposition at best on the road. Do we play our best perimeter defenders- Carlos and Kareem or our "better shooters" who may not be our best defenders? Do we go big and try to pound the ball inside against a smaller team? the bigs may have trouble defending the smaller team.

When you play a team that runs its stuff well you have to be disciplined on defense, cant overplay passing lanes or you'll get back doored, going for the steal will often times result in a lay up or open shot against you. You have to keep your man and the ball in front of you and play a lot of team D with good communication on the picks and consistent weak side help!    

We'll have to play smart tonight, I think it's a game where we'll need to rely on our veterans like Kareem, Carlos, Lacis and Weaver along with Max for the most part!

Go Eagles!!

It is a fascinating match-up; you can really make a case for a lot of different approaches, and I bet we see all of them in the first half.

Coach Mills has shown a propensity for riding whatever is working, once it becomes obvious.  The second half will likely feature a heavy dose of whatever was most effective in the first 20 minutes.

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This is really good stuff and TheEagleman appreciates reading all the various opinions of posters who understand the game of basketball......one doesn't get this type of analysis over on the TU board.....😉

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You have to play defense on the road. While we are a good three point shooting team, so are the Tommies - and they are used to their home court. Their propensity to establish big leads in the first half and then relinquish some/all of that in the second half could indicate that they do not have a deep bench. St. Thomas does have a lot of senior leadership & experience. 

This will be a big game for them and we will have a target on us. The guys have to play hard - and smart. 
 

 

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The next two games will be very important to ORU’s placement in the Summit League final standings.  
 

Tonight, ORU faces a new conference opponent on the road in a game that SHOULD result in a win, but is one of those potential “gotcha” games.  Surviving tonight’s game will keep ORU as a legitimate contender for the regular season title.  

Saturday, ORU will travel to meet the “up-and-down” Leathernecks, who performed admirably against a challenging non-conference schedule, but have fallen flat on their faces since the start of Summit play.  This would have been considered a coin-flip game two weeks ago, but is now an opportunity to knock the ‘Necks out of the Summit race with a convincing win on their home court.  
 

There’s very little margin for error this weekend.  A sweep would be huge for this team, a split would be acceptable (though disappointing), and two losses would be devastating.  

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TheEagleman couldn't have said it better, TrueBlue......well done, sir!   :shield-logo:

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It is early in the conference season but tonight's game is basically a battle for second place in the Summit League.  St. Thomas has two guards that average 35 points together and ORU will need Carlos and Kareem to slow them down.  The Eagles played well on the South Dakota roadtrip, so hopefully they can kept that going on this next three game road trip.  Coach Mills did not seem too excited that someone scheduled ORU for 5 of its first 7 conference games to be away from the Mabee Center.  Who would be?

ORU's quick guards should be able to get the basket agaisnt the Tommies.  St. Thomas has no shot blockers (only average one block per game), so the Eagles can make a living driving to the basket.  Then Lufile or Weaver should be open for a dunk or layup.  I would run Max and McBride driving all night until St. Thomas slows that down.

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