Quarantine sidelines OU men’s squad

Greg Mast

The Ottawa University men’s basketball team opened the season playing like a nationally-ranked team.

The Braves topped Barclay College by 26 points and Baker University last week. Ottawa opened a 20-point lead early in the second half and cruised to the victory.

This week, the team has yet to step on the court because of a seven-day quarantine because of COVID-19 concerns. Ottawa’s games against Saint Mary and Kansas Wesleyan were postponed. No reschedule dates have been announced.

The No. 14 Braves are scheduled to return to game action Friday against Oklahoma Wesleyan in Bartlesville, Okla.

Oklahoma Wesleyan, which fell in overtime to Bethel in the KCAC opener, handed Ottawa two losses last year, including the KCAC Tournament championship game. Oklahoma Wesleyan was tabbed as the KCAC favorite in the preseason polls, while Ottawa, the reigning KCAC champ, was picked second.

Siebenthall said the team that can maneuver the best through this pandemic season has the best chance of winning the conference title.

Ottawa coach Aaron Siebenthall said being mentally tough and flexible are two intangibles of being a champion.

“The biggest thing is whichever team can be mentally tough this year will be the team that can come through this (the best),” he said. “There is going to be postponements and all kind of changes. You have to be worried about you and not necessarily the next opponent is going to be because it might not be your next opponent. You might get two games postponed and you are onto your third team. That is something we are preaching to our guys.”