I'll be honest. I don't think any of us want to talk about that ballgame. Granted, it was entertaining, albeit heart-breaking. But the costly mistakes were too much to overcome.
I could use this time to rant and rave about Travis Ford and his NCAA Tournament records. Long gone are the days of Coach Sutton and repeated deep tournament runs. Now the norm is a half-filled arena and subpar expectations. It's nauseating and saddening, but it's reality.
I'm not going to talk about that either.
Instead, I want to send a sincere thank you to the seniors that will never again don the Orange and Black. Especially two that ended up meaning quite a bit to this tight-knit fanbase.
Thank you, Christien Sager. Sure, you didn't always get playing time. But you worked your tail off, and it was fantastic to see you on the court hustling and giving it everything you've got. Thank you, Alex Budke. I know it had to have been hard for you after 2011. But there was a warmth felt by every fan when you stepped foot on the court in the halls where your father spent so much time and love.
Thank you, Marek Soucek. Your time on the court was short lived, but the excitement of when you cocked back, ready to fire a three is something we can always reflect on and fondly remember. And thank you, Anthony Hickey. Your time at OSU was short as well, but you became a pivotal part of the posse. It was a shame we will no longer get to see that headband on the floor, lighting up the score board from beyond the arc. But the memories will be there.
Thank you, Michael Cobbins. From that tall, skinny, slightly awkward young kid turned a man that helped spark one of the most fantastic spirit movements in recent OSU memory. The Lob Stilly phenomenon took everyone by storm, and the man affectionately called Cobbo was quite happy to oblige fans with a few high powered dunks and Mutumbo-esque blocked shots. Thank you, Mike. You will be missed.
And thank you, Le'Bryan Nash. I have to admit, I think everyone involved got a little star-struck during your first year in Stillwater. Supposed to be a one-and-done, things didn't go quite according to plan. So you stayed...and stayed...and stayed. In that wake, you grew into not only a formidable basketball player but a lovable fan favorite. Like any family member, we got frustrated by each other. But in the end, there was never any doubt that you would do anything for Oklahoma State.
I hate to see these guys go out like this. They don't deserve to end their collegiate careers in utter disappointment. But one thing is for certain. The Cowboy family is exactly that, a family. And no matter where you may go in your lives, you can always come back home to Stillwater and be met with open arms.