Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Oral Roberts got a win against the old coach. Now the Golden Eagles are looking for one against the new coach.
After handing former Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith a loss in his debut at Tulsa, the Golden Eagles are headed to Columbia to face Kim Anderson in his third game as head coach of the Tigers tonight. Game time is 7 p.m.
Anderson interviewed for the Oral Roberts job in 1999, which was ultimately given to team assistant Scott Sutton. Sutton is still at Oral Roberts and has more wins than any other Oral Roberts coach in history.
Though the Golden Eagles have spent most of the past two decades in the lower-profile Summit League, Missouri only has two more NCAA Tournament appearances than Oral Roberts since 2006 (5-3). Sutton’s squad is coming off a 17-16 year in which it finished sixth in its second of two years in the Southland Conference.
Oral Roberts, located in Tulsa, Okla., was led by junior Obi Emegano’s 26 points in its 77-68 defeat of Tulsa. Emegano is one of seven upperclassmen on the Golden Eagles’ roster.
The Tigers, meanwhile, have just four upperclassmen on their roster, and two are transfers. Missouri is attempting to replace its top three scorers — Jabari Brown (19.9 points per game), Jordan Clarkson (17.5) and Earnest Ross (14.0). The Golden Eagles lost their top scorer from 2013-14, Shawn Glover (21.3).
The Tigers are also coming off a win, a 56-41 defeat of Valparaiso. It was just the sixth time since the 1998-99 season Missouri held an opponent to 41 points or fewer. However, Missouri is still stinging from a 69-61 home loss to Missouri-Kansas City in Anderson’s debut. The Tigers became the first power conference team to lose to the Kangaroos since 2003.
The Golden Eagles haven’t beaten a Power 5 conference since their 72-56 win against Texas Tech in 2011.
The Tigers hope to avoid ending that streak in their third game in six days before heading to the EA Sports Maui Invitational to face No. 2 Arizona.
Some more notable facts about Oral Roberts:
• Current Kansas coach Bill Self coached Oral Roberts, once known as the Titans, from 1993-1997, going 55-54.
• Anderson said his offense has been influenced by big-time Big 12 coaches like Self and Eddie Sutton, who happens to be current Golden Eagles coach Scott Sutton’s father.
• Oral Roberts has had 20 players drafted into the NBA, five in the first two rounds. Most recently, Greg Sutton (no relation) and Anthony Jones were selected in the second round of the 1991 draft.
• Missouri is 6-1 all-time against Oral Roberts. The teams last played in 2010, when Missouri won 81-62 in Columbia.