Oklahoma State 68, Texas A&M Corpus Christi 58: It wasn't pretty

Well a win is a win.  With this Oklahoma State team still trying to figure itself out (as was evidenced by the extremely high number of substitutions) we have to take the W's and be happy.  But for all the negatives that stick out about this performance, the offense was actually kinda working for sections of the game, and the team seemed to understand what was happening.  What I mean is that it was apparent early that it was an off shooting night, but the Pokes didn't keep forcing it from deep which was nice to see. Now if they wouldn't have missed 20+ shots from under 5 feet, this would have been a blowout.

On the defensive side, things weren't as good as the 58 points allowed would suggest. The defensive rotation is sooooo slllooowww right now.  The help defender was slow getting to his spot all night and the 2nd or 3rd pass by A&M CC would just kill the defensive rotation and force whoever was closest to the ball to foul. Luckily for us, A&M CC didn't have the talent to make the Cowboys pay for it on every possession.  The switch by the Pokes to the 2-3 zone with about 12 minutes left helped a lot.  This may be a team that has to play a lot of zone until they can figure out that man-to-man requires more than just chasing a dude around.

More analysis after Jump

Some individual performances that stood out:
Ray Penn came out fired up and had three nice finishes in the first half where he elevated above taller defenders, then iced the game late with two clutch threes, one of them from about 25 feet.

Marshall Moses became a loose ball and rebounding manic in the 2nd half and finished with 17 points and 9 boards.  He is still too soft on the block a lot of times, settling for a fade-away or that little hook shot instead of taking it to the rim, but you cannot discount the dude's hustle.  Also, he had a clear path to the rim twice and opted to lay it in off the glass instead of throw it down.  With a dude as big and strong as Marshall I would really like to see him play the intimidation game a little more. I also noticed that he is now listed as 6'7"... not sure if he really grew or if that is in preparation for next year's draft.  But either way, Happy 6'7" Marshall.

Fred Gulley's performance didn't stand out overall, but he had a few really nice plays on both ends. Most notably were a couple of steals, and an absolutely sick 30 foot bounce pass to Sidorakis in transition.

Darrell Williams shot 2-13 and most of those misses were layups and follow ups (and one airballed three).  Sure there was a lid on the rim last night for him, but the fact that he is getting so many easy shots is encouraging.  They will start falling, he just needs to slow down a little and play with control instead of frantically trying to get the ball up as quickly as possible.

Two more Notes:
On two separate occasions the Cowboys had to call a timeout after a timeout because they couldn't get the ball inbounded.  Bad sign.

A funny subplot of the night was the ref that was under the basket when A&M CC had the ball in 2nd half declaring a 10 minute jihad against the Pokes.  It started with him doing a little bickering with Keiton, then promptly whistling Page for his 4th foul when there was no foul.  Then a few minutes later the same ref got Pilgrim for a moving screen when he was all alone in the backcourt and a guy ran into him.  I would love to know what Page said to him to get the guy that riled up.

The Three Factors:
As I mentioned in the previous post, I want to track a few key areas that I think will most impact this Oklahoma State teams performance.

Assists to Made FG: Target 50%
Actual: 35% (9 assists on 26 made FGs).  Can't beat up the guards too much here as a lot on nice entry passes should have been converted.  Still, there is too much isolation going on.

Free Throw %: Target 72%
Actual: 64% (14-22).  This 64% is a bit misleading as everyone except Moses (1-4) shot pretty well from the line. A lot of 3-4's out there which is fine.

Percentage of 3FG to Total FG (and 3FG%): Target <35% for attempts, >33% 3PG%
Actual: 30% of all FGs were from three, and this is where the Cowboys get the most credit for their performace.  The extended zone the Islanders were playing was leaving guys open for three... but once the team started out 0-6 in the first 10 minutes, they stopped shooting them until Penn's two makes at the end.

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