4th and Long

Welcome to the first Oracle of the spring. Sports fans, you know what that means? That’s right; it’s again time for athletics to start bribing you to come to basketball games.But why do they have to do that?

Our basketball team is in first place in the conference, has only lost one game since December and has only lost one home game all season.

Our basketball team is on a seven-game winning streak and has virtually clenched a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

Our basketball team hosts Morehead State in its biggest game of the year tomorrow night at 5:30.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m referring to the Golden Eagle women’s basketball team.

Let’s compare that to the men’s team.

I’m going to ignore the pushover games the men have played-that is, games against schools with fewer than 800 students enrolled (see Hiawassee, Bluefield and Crowley’s Ridge).

The Tech men are 3-4 at home this season against all other teams. Only one of those wins was by more than four points (12/1 SIU-Edwardsville). In the other two wins, Tech blew leads of 17 and 15 points.

Tech ranks eighth out of 10 OVC teams in home attendance this season, edging out Eastern Illinois and bottom-feeder Jacksonville State by about 200 people per game.

Tech has the tallest player in the conference in Liam McMorrow, yet is in the middle of the pack in offensive rebounds. Why? Perhaps because McMorrow averages just 12 minutes/game.

Looking into his stats, McMorrow averages nearly four points and four rebounds for every 12 minutes played. Do the math. If McMorrow were given the chance to play 30 minutes/game, he would average a double-double.

In Tech’s nine losses, it has won the tip-off just once. McMorrow has been selected as a starter for just one of those games.

Coach Mike Sutton has blamed the team’s struggles on youth.

The Golden Eagle roster sports nine upperclassmen and just one true freshman out of 14 players who see time.

This “young” team also returned nine letter-winners from last year’s squad.

Yes, the men are one game out of first place, but they’re also one loss away from being in sixth.

You can drag a crowd to the Hoop, but you can’t make them cheer-unless you win.

So I encourage all students to come out and cheer on the first-place Golden Eagles, then stick around for the men’s game.

*Stats/records not inclusive of Thursday’s game due to deadline.