I don't even know what I just watched. On the surface it was an Oklahoma State loss that took the Pokes chances at the NCAA tournament from "outside shot" to "need a win in Lawrence, or win 6 in a row after Kansas game", but as all who watched know, the game had so many subplots and mini-dramatic moments it felt like watching a Tarantino movie or something. I honestly can't recall so many odd things happening in one game. The next weirdest game in my memory bank was 1999 (I think that is the right year) at Allen Fieldhouse where the game was decided when that Ryan Robertson dude jumped 8 feet sideways into an unsuspecting Adrian Peterson 40 feet from the basket as time expired in a tie game, and for some reason the officials actually whistled him for the foul and gave Kansas the game by sending Robertson to the line.
Anyway, back to this game. I don't rightly know how all of this can fit into paragraph structure, so let's go bullet point and list out all the oddities:
- Moses was out sick. And not the "aw brah that was sick" kind of sick, no he was more the "puking in the locker room" kind of sick. He only logging seven rough minutes before leaving the court for good
- Matt Pilgrim, Jarred Shaw, and Roger Franklin played 24, 23, and 19 minutes respectively
- There was a situation where A&M sneaked the wrong guy in to shoot Free Throws after one of the worst intentional foul calls I have ever seen. The announcers couldn't even let it go... 20 minutes later Pilgrim received a pass underneath and some A&M big fouled him to make him earn it at the line, one of the announcers (I forget who they were now) started screaming "That is technically an intentional foul. If you are going to call it to the letter once you have to do it the whole game!".
- We found out Karron Johnson will never step foot on Oklahoma State's campus
- Markel Brown got into a little skirmish with a three Aggie players, and it seemed to be exactly what this team needed as the next 10 minutes of game time heading into the half was as much fire as I have seen this team play with all season
- The final 15 seconds, with the game on the line, the lineup the Cowboys had on the court featured Brown, Page, Penn, and Dowell. Yes, you could view that as a 4 PG lineup on the court in a one point game with the season on the line... and the weird thing was that it was the lineup I wanted in.
- Am I forgetting anything? It seems like maybe something else happened that was odd.... oh yeah, I guess this one is kind of a little weird. REGER DOWELL LOGGED A 31 MINUTE, 22 POINT, 4 ASSIST, 2 REBOUND, 2 STEAL, 1 TURNOVER, PERFORMANCE WHILE SHOOTING 6-7 FROM THE FIELD, 3-4 FROM THREE, AND 7-8 FROM THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where did that come from? Reger Dowell was driving with such force and quickness and was either finishing or finding open Cowboys so quickly that A&M had no answer for him. He looked very similar to how Byron Eaton ran the offense on his absolute best nights. It was memorizing to watch. If an NBA scout were to only see game film from this one game, and see a 6'1 (with a big frame) sophomore PG play like this against one of the best defensive teams in all of college basketball, Reger Dowell would be a 1st round pick. I'm even willing to overlook the last foul (where I am pretty sure Reger thought we still needed to put A&M at the line as he forgot the situation, even thought he didn't say that after the game), as the play before and after it were so freaking incredible. They were honestly the two best sequences of the entire season.
On the first one, Dowell got the ball near halfcourt with the Cowboys trailing by 2 and 20 seconds on the clock (after an excellent trap lead to a 10 second backcourt call on the Aggies), and instead of dribbling around, wasting time, he went into 8th gear and blew through the entire A&M defense, took it violently strong (yet in control) to the hoop, and drew a foul. Then proceeded to hit both free throws.
On the ensuing Cowboy possession, with the Cowboys now down one, Dowell again drove, but this time was cut off so he passed out to Page who drove, then fired the best pass of his career to Pilgrim underneath, who unfortunately had the ball swatted out of his hands.
I think the over-riding feeling after this one is disappointment mixed with being a little pissed that either Dowell hasn't played like this all season, or the coaches didn't realize his potential early enough. Whatever the case, the Cowboys are now in a position where the game at Lawrence on Monday Night is now pretty much a must win if they want to still be considered for the NCAA tournament, and that isn't a great position to be in. While I hate to try to assign historical perspective to something that just happened, I know this loss will stay with me in the same category at the Robertson Kansas loss, the two Georgia Tech losses, and the rest of the memorable, weird losses the OSU basketball team has crapped into my brain over the years.