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OSU Basketball fans expect a trip to the Big Dance this year

Expectations aren’t unrealistic

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State vs Oklahoma State Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

OSU basketball (FINALLY) tips off on Friday. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the season ever since the hiring of Brad Underwood. I know I can’t wait to see GIA finally get rowdy again!

In our Sunday Poll this week, I asked Cowboy fans what result they would be ok with in Underwood’s first season. 226 people voted, and I think most fans were reasonable.

Overwhelmingly, fans expect a trip to the NCAA Tournament. I don’t think that’s out of the question. OSU returns one of the best backcourts in the Big 12 with Juwan Evans and Phil Forte, and Evans is easily one of the top-two point guards in the league.

Granted, OSU didn’t reach the postseason last year and didn’t add any big time recruits. However, the return of Forte and Evans from season ending injuries might be more important than a new 4-star recruit joining the team. Both have proved they are tremendous players.

Most interesting to me, is that more fans would be alright with no postseason, rather than a trip to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

The second leading choice was a trip to the NIT, which is completely in play this season. I see no reason OSU can’t land a top-two seed and some home games in the NIT if they’re on the outside-looking-in at March Madness.

I think what most people want to see is a team that is competitive, that has the potential to win big games and get to the tournament. I think fans just want to feel optimistic about a season, about a game, instead of assuming the worst. Some fans echoed that thought this week in the comments section and on Facebook.

The only expectation I have for this year’s team is just to play better, and show that we’re on the right track to competing for Big XII titles and going deep into the NCAAtournament. - jarrodt2

I could care less what the record is Underwood's first year is, as long as I can see incremental improvement as the season progresses AND we look better than a decent 'pick-up' game at the Colvin Center (which is what Ford's teams looked like). GO POKES!!!! - Brett Shelton

I think the point is that people are confident in Brad Underwood and the system he brings to Stillwater, but aren’t expecting the moon in his first season. There will be some growing pains this year, but there should also be a lot to enjoy.

Friday night can’t get here soon enough!