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Previewing OSU’s Basketball Schedule: Non-Conference Part 4

We wrap up the non-conference games which include a couple of good ones

Miami v Wichita State Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

In anticipation of the start of basketball season, we are breaking down all 23 teams on OSU’s schedule. If you missed them, check out PART ONE, PART TWO, and PART THREE.

Oklahoma State’s close-out stretch of the non-conference schedule includes; two very winnable home games, a great weekend road match-up, and a decent home game in the Big12/SEC Challenge.

Let’s take a look:

Player to Watch:
Robinson is the only returning starter or double digit scorer. Berry only started 10 games. The player I’m most interested in is Travon Harper. He transferred in from Mississippi Delta Community College, where he averaged 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block per game last season. The 6-foot-8 forward/center should take a starting position this season.

Game Outlook:
This team only averaged 57.2 points per game last season. I don’t think a collection of transfers is going help improve an offense that ranked dead last in the SWAC last season. Last year OSU won 86-72. I expect an even better result this year.

Quote From The Enemy: (source)


Player To Watch:
Sophomore forward Markis McDuffie was named to the Missouri Valley's preseason first team. Coming off the bench last season, he averaged 7.4 points on 42 percent shooting. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds which was third best on the team. Junior center Shaquille Morris was named to the Missouri Valley's preseason.

Game Outlook:
Wichita State’s strength will be inside, with McDuffie, Morris, and Brown returning. I still think that’s where OSU is going to struggle the most. However, with the Shocker’s two best players, VanFleet and Baker gone, OSU’s talent and experience in the backcourt should help balance the game out. This will be OSU’s last chance for a statement win in the non-conference so I expect a good, close game. However, considering the Shockers have lost at home only once in the last three season, I’m not sure I can call for a victory. (Side note: Wichita State plays the Sooners in OKC two days before this game.)

Quote From The Enemy: (source)


Player To Watch:
The Islanders best player last season, is the only returning starter. Preseason All-Conference First Teamer Rashawn Thomas led the team in points and rebounds. He was also the conference Defensive Player of the Year last season, with 2.4 blocks a game. He will obviously be the guy to keep an eye one. Another guy to watch; Junior guard Ehab Amin who had 8.6 points off the bench last season. He only averaged 18 minutes a game, so if his usage increases (which it likely will) his production should as well.

Game Outlook:
The final Southland team on the schedule. The Islanders return nine players from last season, but lost eight seniors. They have players with experience, but the team is all going to run through one guy. Shut down Thomas, shut down the Islanders. Underwood only lost one conference game while at Stephen F. Austin. It was to the Islanders. Underwood was 5-1 against Texas A&M-CC, with an average margin of victory of 11.8 points. I don’t see the Islanders handing Underwood a second loss, especially while replacing four starters.

Quote From The Enemy: (source)


Player To Watch:
Obviously it’s Preseason All-SEC first teamer Moses Kingsley. He’s also the preseason SEC MVP pick. The Hogs were No. 22 in blocks per game last season, in big part because of Kingsley who averaged 2.38 a game! The other guy is JUCO transfer Forward Alando Cook, Jr., who averaged a double-double last season for Connors State with 16 points and 10.1 rebounds a game.

Game Outlook:
Arkansas should be better than last season, but so should Oklahoma State. I think this will be one of the more underrated games of the Big12/SEC Challenge this season. Arkansas’ weakness last season was defense, especially against 3-point shooting. Evans and Forte should enjoy hitting shots in this one.

Quote From The Enemy: (source)


Recap: I like the way the non-conference wraps up for OSU. The tough road games should help prepare the Cowboys for conference play. By the end of January I expect Underwood to have this team humming. Overall, It’s a good, not great, non-conference schedule. Similar to last year, the best games are on the road. If it wasn’t for the Big12/SEC challenge giving OSU a home game against Arkansas, the home schedule would be downright despicable. Cowboys fans deserve better.

Record: 3-1
Overall: 9-4