Well, the Cowboys aren’t going undefeated. OSU is coming off 107-75 loss to North Carolina yesterday in their second game of the Maui Invitational. Check out our game recap here.
The Cowboys were dominated by the Tar Heels down low and they were stagnant on offense with only 5 total assists in the entire game. OSU will face the Georgetown Hoyas tonight in a battle for 3rd place.
Here are the quick hits for tonight's match-up against the Georgetown Hoyas.
Hoyas (2-3, 0-0 Big East) vs. Cowboys (4-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Time: 6:30 p.m. CST
Location: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, HI
Stream: WatchESPN.com (requires provider login)
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
Georgetown is coming off a disappointing 2015-2016 campaign after making the NCAA tournament the year before and having high hopes for the season. They finished 15-18, 7-11 in conference play, good for 8th in the Big East.
The Hoyas have talented players and a solid coach in John Thompson III, but things just haven’t been clicking for Georgetown this season. And it’s starting to look like they will finish near the bottom of the Big East again. The Hoyas are 2-3 coming into their matchup with OSU. Their wins come against South Carolina Upstate (um, who?) and a big upset victory over Oregon in their first game of the Maui Invitational. Their losses are to Maryland (who OSU plays this year), Arkansas State and last night to Wisconsin.
The Hoyas have not shot well from 3 (33%) and have been inconsistent on defense, allowing huge runs at times. For instance, they were up 38-21 on Oregon at the half, then allowed the Ducks to go on a 14-2 run coming out of the break. That being said, Georgetown is a talented, dangerous team, and will be a tough matchup for anyone on their schedule.
Players to watch:
They lost their leading scorer from last years team in guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (16.2 ppg), 4.5 apg). Picking up where he left off this season are guards Rodney Pryor (18.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) a transfer from Robert Morris and L.J Peak (17.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.2 apg). Both players are taller guards, each of them standing around 6’5. Coach JT3 likes to go without a true point guard and have these two run the point. This could cause matchup problems for the smaller Jawun Evans (6’1) and Phil Forte (5’11).
When I think Georgetown basketball, I think solid big men. Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Greg Monroe, Patrick Ewing and Roy Hibbert. Well, and Allen Iverson, but I’m trying to make a point. While the Hoyas don’t have the stand out player like the guys mentioned above, they have depth and talent inside. The 6’10 Jessie Govan (11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and the 7-footer Bradley Hayes (6.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg) will look to cause havoc in the lane similar to how the Tar Heels did against the Pokes.
3 Big Things
1. Win the rebounding battle.
Winning the rebounding battle normally gives your team a great chance to win. We saw that in the Wisconsin/Georgetown matchup last night. The Badgers dominated the boards, outrebounding the Hoyas 50-21. As I mentioned above Georgetown has some big guys who will crash the boards and OSU will need to box out and secure the ball on defense and crash the boards on the offensive side. UNC outrebounded the Cowboys 44-32 last night, and we all know how that game ended up.
2. Ball movement.
The Cowboys had just 5 assists on 26 made shots last night. That’s not good. According to kenpom.com, OSU’s assist rate (assists/fgm) of 43.8% currently ranks them 296th in the nation. Now, I know that we want the ball in Jawun’s hands, and he’s able to create on his own, but we’ve got to find ways to get other guys open. If you missed it last night, Juwan went off and with little to no help from anyone else, he tried to do it himself.
Whether it be through cutting, screening, or just running Brad Underwood’s offense more efficiently, we have to find other ways to score than just relying on Juwan to do it alone. I’d like to see Evans/Forte run some two-man game type plays with Carroll/McGriff/Hammonds. Pick and roll, pick and pop, screen handoffs, etc.
3. Keep your head up.
Coming into the season their has been a lot of hype around the Cowboys new leading man, Brad Underwood. The 4-0 start just added fuel to the hype train. The Cowboys can’t get discouraged by their loss to UNC last night and let it alter their mindset coming into tonight’s game. The Tar Heels could be the best team OSU faces all season (hi, Kansas) and while a win would have been great, this is not a bad loss.
The Cowboys need to come out with the same fire and intensity they showed against UCONN and head back to Stillwater as the 3rd place finisher in the 2016 Maui Invitational.
This key takeaway for fans too. It’s a long season and these guys have a ton of potential... keep your head up.