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The Return of Michael Cobbins Solidifies the Oklahoma State Cowboy's Defense

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Senior Power Forward Michael Cobbins will return from an Achilles injury this season. How big of an impact will he have on a young Cowboy's team?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Cobbins is an undersized big man at 6'8, but what he lacks in height, he makes up in pure hustle. Last season in a match up with Robert Morris, Cobbins went down with a torn Achilles tendon, putting a huge dent in the Cowboy's title hopes.

Before going down, Cobbins was averaging 4.5 points per game, 4.3 assists per game, and 1.5 blocks per game through 13 contests. While the numbers do not directly indicate it, Cobbins was a huge part of Oklahoma State's success at the beginning of last season, and the season prior. He brought something that is not shown on the stat sheet: leadership.

Cobbins was the unquestioned leader of the Oklahoma State big men, and his post presence on the defensive side of the ball was far from replaceable. An underrated shot blocker, Cobbins' ability to patrol the paint was a huge factor for the Cowboys, allowing Marcus Smart and Markel Brown to more aggressively defend the perimeter knowing help awaited on almost any dribble penetration.

With last season's stars moving on to the NBA, Travis Ford will need Cobbins to step up big. Le'Bryan Nash is an unknown quantity as a leader, and while Phil Forte will contribute as a Junior, he can only do so much. In order for the Cowboys to have success, Travis Ford will need a healthy Michael Cobbins to fill roles both on and off the court.