After narrowly defeating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Saturday, the Cowboys return back to Gallagher-Iba Arena to take on the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
This is the 4th matchup between the two teams in the 21st Century, with the Cowboys winning all three previous matchups by scores of 73-46, 97-63, and 86-72.
Here are the quick hits for tonight’s matchup against the Golden Lions.
Golden Lions(1-8, 0-6 Away) vs. Cowboys (7-2, 4-0 Home)
Time: 8:00 p.m. CST
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network / Tunein
Stream: WatchESPN (requires provider login)
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
The 21st century has not been kind to the Golden Lions. They have only amassed a winning record twice: 2009-10 and 2012-13. They visited the NCAA Tournament in 2010 where they defeated Winthrop in the play-in-game, then promptly got thumped by Duke. This year they are not off to a good start, possessing a 1-8 record and only scoring 57.2 points per game. They won their first game of the year and have not seen a victory since.
Head Coach George Ivory has been coaching the team for half of the 21st century, amassing a 98-157 record. However, he is 82-62 in SWAC Conference play, which is more impressive, considering most of the non-conference games are teams they aren’t supposed to beat.
Player to Watch:
I’m keeping my eye on Ghiavonni Robinson. Robinson is the heart and soul of the team, at least stat wise. In nine games, Robinson is averaging 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. The next closest scorer is Deshon Bayless who scores 8.0 points per game. Shut down Robinson, shut down UAPB.
Here’s how the two teams match up on paper.
Three Big Things:
1. Make your free throws.
This year as a team, the Cowboys are 75.7% free throw shooters. This isn’t a bad percentage, and they are 32nd best in the nation, but it could be better. Just ask Phil Forte.
And @PhilForte13 is upset that he missed one. #okstate pic.twitter.com/gaN8BZi4y5— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) December 14, 2016
Notre Dame currently leads all of college basketball with 86.4% of their free throws finding the bottom of the basket. By the end of the year, I’d like to see the Cowboys shoot 80% from the charity stripe.
2. Limit fouls.
Get this. There are 347 teams in Division 1 College Basketball. The Cowboys are 345th best in personal fouls per game. Yep. THIRD WORST IN THE COUNTRY. GET YOUR BOYS UNDER CONTROL BRAD! Tonight would be a perfect time to start limiting those fouls (looking at you Mitchell Solomon), especially since Jawun Evans and Phil Forte may not play due to injuries.
3. Get the freshman acclimated to D1 play.
We saw a lot of the freshman Saturday night. We saw how tired they got. Brandon Averette, the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, spoke about the game in Tulsa.
"I was a little sore after playing 37 minutes, but I'll do whatever it takes to win." @Ba_Sosmoove_05. #okstate pic.twitter.com/ylQVvybfWP— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) December 13, 2016
I don’t expect to see Jawun Evans and Phil Forte tonight. I expect to see very little of Jeffrey Carroll and Mitchell Solomon. I think tonight will be the freshmen’s show, which is what they need to get up to the speed of college basketball.
This should be a good tune up game for the Wichita State game on Saturday.