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Oklahoma State 48, Texas A&M 71, Recap (sorta)

Usually I am not a fan of the basic stats telling the story of a game, but in this case I think they explain pretty much everything. 48 total points (19 in the 2nd half), on 35% shooting, 4-19 from three, 18 turnovers, 25 fouls, and some dude that was 1-15 from three over his last 7 games lit the Cowboys up for 16, 12 of those points coming from behind the arc. It was A&M domination all the way around.

In every other recap after a loss I have listed the reasons we lost then followed it up with the bright spots, but outside of a few individual plays I can't think of any glaring bright spots.  I can't say that a single Cowboy had an overall good performance. If I had to pick a highlight it would be on OSU's 2nd possession when Moses made that beautiful/ridiculous behind the back pass to Sidorakis on the give and go.

Even though not much of an in-depth analysis is needed on this one...I do want to make two points:

1. The Big 12 (and maybe all of college basketball) is going to have to make a decision soon about the officiating.  Oklahoma State's first two conference games have been some ugly ass basketball.  Basically what is happening is defenders are pushing the limits of the rules by committing borderline fouls every time the ball goes inside.  This puts the pressure on the officials to make the decision of whether to blow the whistle or not.  And since there are rarely any truly clean possessions, and rarely any blatant hacking fouls, the officials are forced to make one of three decisions: either call the same ticky-tack shit every time down the court, not call anything, or go with option 3 (what they have been doing) which is whistling about every 4th borderline contact for a foul.  This leads to completely inconsistent flow and players not knowing what they can and can't do on any given possession.

It is basically what happened in the NBA in the mid 90's with the Knicks and Heat teams who were doing the exact same thing. The NBA changed by implementing some new hand-check rules and having the officials call everything.  This is an acceptable option as it will produce an ugly transition period, but teams will eventually have to adjust.  Whatever happens, it needs to happen soon as I don't know if I can handle 14 more games that look like these last two.

2. While this was a bad loss, we can expect this to happen a lot on the road in this conference, and we should plan to temper our expectations for all future road performances. The Big 12 is winning 92% of their home games so far this season (by far the most of any conference), and outside of Colorado handling K-State in the octagon last night that trend has held pretty well into conference play. Given this trend, the rest of our road games (CU, Baylor, Tech, NU, UT, KU, OU) will not result in a great record, and some of those losses will be huge.  What will be important is holding serve at home, and picking up a couple of easy road wins (Tech, OU, NU) to finish with 9 wins in conference. If we just go 2-5 on the road the rest of the season, but play like we have been at home, then getting to 9 wins isn't that much of a stretch.