Compiled by Bruce Pascoe
• G Mark Lyons (6-1 senior)
• G Nick Johnson (6-3 sophomore)
• F Solomon Hill (6-7 senior)
• F Brandon Ashley (6-8 freshman)
• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0 freshman)
• G D.J. Jackson (5-11 freshman)
• G Warren Niles (6-5 senior)
• F Shawn Glover (6-7 junior)
• F Steven Roundtree (6-8 junior)
• C Damen Bell-Holter (6-9 senior)
Some at UA have winter classes
Not all of the Wildcats are free of academics this week, but the focus is still mostly on basketball now that the fall semester is over. "A few of our guys have winter classes, but most of us are on break and don't have to worry about school or anything like that," guard Nick Johnson said.
"There's not too much going around as far as school activities. There's not too many people here, just the locals. So it's definitely a lot easier to focus."
Only 2 homes games for ORU so far
The Golden Eagles have played just two of their nine games at home so far this season, which is a way of life for the Golden Eagles. "We've gotta go on the road and play 'buy' games" to raise money, coach Scott Sutton said.
"And it's hard to get teams to come in and play us." There's a reason - the Golden Eagles are a perennially scary midmajor team. They won 64-42 at Xavier last December (when Mark Lyons was suspended for his role in the Xavier-Cincinnati brawl) and this season, when they persuaded Oklahoma to play them in Tulsa in exchange for two games at Norman, they nearly beat the Sooners.
Sutton hires brother as assistant
Sutton offered not only a job, but a new start, to his brother, Sean Sutton, before last season. Formerly the head coach at Oklahoma State, Sean Sutton pleaded guilty to felony charges of illegally obtaining prescription drugs in 2010. But he was cleared of them a year later after he checked into a rehabilitation center and completed other requirements of probation.
Scott Sutton then hired Sean as an assistant coach before the 2011-12 season. "He's doing great," Scott Sutton said.
"It's great to have him. It's kind of like having a head coach be one of your assistants. I know he's appreciative of the opportunity he's been given and he'll be a head coach again."
HOW THEY MATCH UP
• The series: Arizona has never played Oral Roberts.
• Oral Roberts overview: The Golden Eagles had something of an overhaul after winning 27 games last season, losing three starters and moving from the Summit League to the Southland Conference. But Oral Roberts has two returning starters, prolific scoring guard Warren Niles and big man Damen Bell-Holter, along with a skilled power forward in Steven Roundtree, who was a regular part of the rotation. Those three, and Utah transfer Shawn Glover, all average in double figures. Inside, Roundtree and Bell-Holter are good offensive rebounders. Roundtree is a strong face-up shooter while Bell-Holter is a physical presence near the basket. Glover is a big small forward while Niles is able to score from anywhere on the court. At point guard, Oral Roberts starts the pass-first D.J. Jackson but gets scoring and energy from Korey Billbury off the bench. Defensively, the Golden Eagles run predominantly a man-to-man with an emphasis on help defense.
Yes, these numbers are for real: A 20.9 scoring average, 55.3-percent field-goal shooting, 51.9-percent three-point shooting and 85.7 percent free-throw shooting. So it's no wonder the Golden Eagles run a lot of plays for him.
After he went scoreless against Florida, the freshman tweeted that he didn't play well but was "proud of my bros" for the win. He might be motivated tonight. Ashley has often followed a quiet game with a strong performance.
Straight games Warren Niles has scored 21 points for Oral Roberts.
Years since UA started a season 9-0 (they were 12-0 in 1987-88)
Average points allowed by the Wildcats in their past three games
He said it
"(The Golden Eagles) certainly run their fair share of plays for (Niles), and he's very crafty and changes speeds really well. He's an older guy who has been playing this game for a while and he's the center point of their offense. The two frontcourt players (Roundtree and Bell-Holter) are terrific scorers and terrific rebounders. … They've got good players. When you play a team like Oklahoma, they force you to make plays, but that didn't rattle them at all."
UA assistant coach James Whitford, who scouted Oral Roberts
Oral Roberts (5-4) at No. 4 Arizona (8-0) • McKale Center • 7 p.m. today • Pac-12 Networks • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)