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Men’s and women’s basketball teams get ready for conference play

By Joel Wright
On December 2, 2010

Chris Tate isn't giving any excuses.

He says there are certain things the OU men's basketball team can do better to improve upon their 2-5 record through roughly the first quarter of the regular season.

One thing he said they are having trouble with early is an issue with all the players being on the same page.

"We are struggling with being consistent, and getting our timing with new additions to the team," said Tate, a senior center this year.

Tate said the Braves aren't getting down on themselves no matter what the circumstances, though, and can do good things if they play with the right habits.

"We're not getting down on each other, everyone has everyone's back," he said. "We know what it takes to win and we have to do those things night in and night out."

The Braves started the year with eight road games, including two exhibition matches, and Tate said he feels like it'll be good to play at home more .

"I do think having more home games will help us after having eight road games to start the season," he said. "It's nice to know the fans always have your back as well."

This year the team will have a chance to experience something it has not been able to do before. Play in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Hoopla is a new tournament that is open to NCAA Division II and III schools, and all NAIA institutions.

During teams' six-day stay, they practice and play in games three days and have a day for optional activities in between the days that they arrive and depart.

The Braves will play Morningside College and Aurora University during the event.

Tate said he's ready for the chance to play in Vegas, and expects the team to play good defense in a neutral environment.

"I'm very excited to get the chance to play in Vegas over break," he said. "We will make sure our D is the most important thing going into the tournament. We're going to have to keep our energy up in a new place without many fans."

The women's team finds itself in a similar situation with the men's team early in the season. The Lady Braves are 1-6, and played Haskell Indian Nations Monday before their conference schedule started.

Junior point guard Kiki Smith said there isn't much more the team can do to turn its fortunes around except to start winning.

"We have to win, but we're not playing like a team right now," she said.

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