TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts men's basketball team will open its 2017-18 season at home against Avila Friday night, as the Golden Eagles celebrate homecoming on campus. Not only will it be ORU's first official game of the season, it will be the coaching debut of new ORU head coach Paul Mills.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the ORU Sports Network (ORUAthletics.com). Radio broadcaster Adam Hildebrandt's audio call of the game can also be heard at ORUAthletics.com and both streams will be available through the ORU Athletics Front Row App or the ORU Golden Eagles Live App.
• Friday will be the head coaching debut for ORU Head Coach Paul Mills, who was on staff at Baylor for 14 years before coming to south Tulsa. Mills was a head coach at North Belt Christian Academy and Fort Bend Baptist Academy from 1996-2002.
• ORU and Avila have never faced off during the regular season. The most obvious tie between the two teams is ORU's Associate Head Coach Rodney Perry was the head coach at Avila for six years before joining the Golden Eagles.
• The Golden Eagles have plenty to look forward to in 2017-18 with senior center Albert Owens being picked as a preseason first team All-Summit League selection while sophomore forward Emmanuel Nzekwesi earned preseason second team honors. Additionally, Blue Ribbon Sports tabbed sophomore guard Sam Kearns as The Summit League's Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
• It is a new look for ORU this season. In addition to new Head Coach Paul Mills, who will bring a new look on both offense and defense, ORU has nine newcomers, including a trio of redshirts from last year. ORU also has a new logo and home court design that were both released just before the start of the season.
• Albert Owens is 40 points away from becoming the 34th player in ORU history to score 1,000 career points. If he maintains his 17.4 ppg average from a year ago, Owens would reach the mark in the third game of the season and the 98th of his career, tying him with Luke Spencer-Gardner for the 28th fastest to the mark.
For the latest information on ORU men's basketball, follow @ORUMBB on Twitter or Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the ORU Athletics Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or the ORU Golden Eagles Live App in iTunes or the Google Play Store. For tickets, visit mabeecenter.com or call 495-7ORU (7678).