TULSA, Okla. - With opening day just more than a month away, the 2014-15 Oral Roberts University men's basketball team began preparations with the first official practice, and Coach Scott Sutton was pleased with the progress and enthusiasm of his squad.
Head Coach Scott Sutton
On the first practice
"The opening day of practice is always good. The guys are excited, they're enthusiastic and they are going to play hard. I enjoyed it and I think the guys enjoyed it. The key now is these guys have to carry it over for the next few weeks, I know preseason practice can kind of drag on when you aren't playing games. I hope the maturity and leadership of a few guys we can continue to get a lot of things done."
On his message to the team
"I told the guys that if they come out and have a great attitude and show great effort and are great teammates then we are going to get something accomplished. They need to do that every day and come with the mindset that I'm going to play hard, I'm going to be enthusiastic and I'm going to be a good teammate, and if they do I think we will a lot of strides from now to opening day."
On standout returners Obi Emegano and Korey
"These guys are a year older. Korey especially understands more so what we want out of him and what we need out of him. Obi had a great offseason just rehabbing. He worked his tail off and I know he's excited to get back out on the floor. The best thing about those guys is they are competitors and they want to win and they want to do everything possible to allow us to win."
On how the newcomers have fit in
"I thought they did well. I was impressed with the new guys. They've been well coached. A guy like Darian (Harris) played for a top-10 team at Creighton last year and had a very good coach in Coach McDermott. Aaron Anderson has been a Division I player and big Albert is a kid we really need to step up and provide not only depth but production early in the season. I think he's a very talented big man but this is going to be a huge 4-6 weeks for him to get ready to play right out of the gate against Tulsa. I was impressed with A.J. yesterday, I thought he did some good things and he will continue to improve every day."
ORU opens the regular season November 15 against Tulsa in the PSO Mayor's Cup game. Tip off from the Mabee Center is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com.