Welcome back the OSU Basketball MVP Draft! If you missed week one against Maryland, you can find it here. If you’re not aware how we play this game, here’s the rules:
Each participant will pick ONE PLAYER from EACH TEAM they think will perform the best. They will then pick a third player from either team as their wild card pick. Each correct pick is worth one point. We will tally the points throughout the season.
Before we get to this week’s picks, let’s award points for last week’s game.
Tyler: 0 points
Jawun Evans | UofM: Justin Jackson | Wild Card: Jeffrey Carroll (OSU)
Sam: 1 point(s)
Jawun Evans | UofM: Melo Trimble | Wild Card: Michal Cekovsky (UofM)
Sumer: 1 point(s)
Phil Forte | UofM: Melo Trimble | Wild Card: Lindy Waters (OSU)
Opponent (Ryan Connors of Testudo Times): 3 points
OSU: Jeffrey Carroll | UofM: Melo Trimble | Wild Card: Justin Jackson (UofM)
Oklahoma State: The team runs through Evans, and had he hit the game winner I would pick him here. However, Carroll got a double-double off the bench with 15 points and 12 rebounds. If you watched the game, he was impressive and hit some big-time shots. He gets the point.
Maryland: Trimble didn’t have a great game from a shooting standpoint (13 points on 4-12). However, when the game was close late, he took over and got the points needed for the Terrapins to win the game. Point Trimble.
Wild Card: I appreciate that everyone picked someone different here. It makes this game SO much more interesting. As far as the players go, I can’t pick Carroll for the wild card since he got the OSU point. Cekovsky did next to nothing in the nine minutes he was on the floor so he’s out. In 23 minutes, Jackson had 8 points and 5 rebounds, but also 4 turnovers. Waters had 1 point and 1 rebound in 23 minutes. He played well on defense, but that’s not enough to get the point here. Point Jackson.
Opponent - 3
Sumer - 1
Sam - 1
Tyler - 0
With that, let’s take a look at this week’s opponent: Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. After a week off, OSU is back on the road to face a familiar opponent in Tulsa. While a road game, the schools are only about 68 miles apart.
This week we welcome Kelly Hines, who covers TU for the Tulsa World, to pick for the opponents (Side note: she used to cover OSU and did a darn fine job doing so!)
Let’s get to it:
OSU: Jawun Evans | Tulsa: Junior Etou | Wild Card: Jeffrey Carroll (OSU)
Oklahoma State: I *almost* went with Jeff Carroll here, but against an opponent like Tulsa, I gotta take the Naismith Award nominee against the in-state rival. I think Carroll and Evans are going to be competing all night playing a game of who can play the best. Advantage: Evans. I'm guessing he is gonna have a great night, posting his 4th 30 point game of the season, along with 5 rebounds and 8 steals.
Tulsa: The Rutgers transfer is having a nice start to the season with 12.6 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Etou is also shooting 50% from beyond the arc, which the Cowboys are not very good at defending. Though he isn't the leading scorer, he is still doing good enough for me to worry about him. Worrying about an opponent is enough for me to pick him.
Wild Card: If I didn't take him (Carroll) with my first pick, I have to take him here. The guy has been on fire so far this season, scoring double digits in every game except when the Pokes played the Tar Heels in Maui. Expect Carroll to make it 8 out of 9 games with double figures, and I'll go out on a limb and say he gets his third double double of the season, his second in as many games.
OSU: Jeffrey Carroll | Tulsa: Jaleel Wheeler | Wild Card: Phil Forte (OSU)
Oklahoma State: Carroll has been one of the most consistent players this season for the Cowboys. Coming off a 15 point-12 rebound performance against Maryland, Carroll should have another big night against Tulsa. Carroll is averaging a little over 8 rebounds a game, to go along with 16 points per game, and is shooting an impressive 50% from behind the arc. I look for Carroll to hit the boards hard and play exceptional defense against a team that struggles to take care of the basketball.
Tulsa: The 6’4 Junior College transfer (Wheeler) is arguably one of the top 2 players for the Golden Hurricanes, alongside Junior Etou. Wheeler is leading the team with 13.8 points per game, and is second on the team in rebounds, which is impressive for a guard. Wheeler will have to worry about the Oklahoma State defensive pressure, and hopefully control his turnover numbers. Jaleel needs to have a big night offensively if Tulsa wants to stay in the game.
Wild Card: One of the most underrated guards in the country, Forte has scored in double figures in 6 out of the 8 games. Forte is 36-37 from the free-throw line, which is good for 5th in the country! He is a difference maker for Oklahoma State, and definitely deserves more national attention. Forte can flat out shoot, and i predict that he will hit 5 three pointers against Tulsa.
OSU: Brandon Averette | Tulsa: Pat Birt | Wild Card: Sterling Taplin (Tulsa)
Oklahoma State: He (Averette) was Brad's first pick, so he's mine this week. Averaging about 6.3 PPG isn't too bad for a true freshman. He's on the lower end for rebounds and assists, but the season is still young. I feel like he'll start to show his worth within the next few weeks, hopefully it'll begin in Tulsa.
Tulsa: (Birt) Led the team in threes last season, and seemed to have similar success behind the arc at his previous school. His stats show that Tulsa has given him room for improvement. Averaging 9.0 PPG. He also proves to be a fairly decent defender leading the team in steals. Pat has had the most minutes so far this season. He could be a big weapon in Tulsa's arsenal.
Wild Card: I like guards, okay. Decently average scorer. He (Taplin) could be more of an issue defensively. I predict he'll foul out.
Opponent: Kelly Hines
OSU: Jawun Evans | Tulsa: Junior Etou | Wild Card: Pat Birt (Tulsa)
Oklahoma State: Evans is by far the best guard Tulsa will have faced. In addition to his obvious play-making ability (23.6 points and 5.1 assists per game), he is a big-time threat because of his defense, ranking fifth nationally with five steals per game. He will harass a 10-newcomer team that has struggled with turnovers.
Tulsa: A 6-foot-7 transfer from Rutgers who sat out last year, Etou leads the Hurricane in rebounding and ranks second in scoring. He has good size and versatility and rarely takes an ill-advised shot, connecting on 58.8 percent of his field-goal attempts. Etou will provide a intriguing matchup with Leyton Hammonds at the 4.
Wild Card: After shooting 36.7 percent on 3-pointers last season, Birt is off to an awkward start this year. His team's lone scholarship senior, he is 4-of-29 on 3-pointers in games played at his home venue. For the Hurricane to have a chance Saturday, Birt likely will need to break out of his shooting slump.