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Why Tyree Griffin Is A Big Loss

I couldn't care less about Joe Burton, but I hope Tyree Griffin changes his mind. . .

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball program has big reasons to be excited for the upcoming season. The Pokes return the best point guard in the conference, the Big 12's best three point shooter, and our coach isn't Travis Ford. But the Cowboys received a huge blow a few days ago, when it was announced that backup point guard Tyree Griffin would look to transfer.

With Jawun Evans and Phil Forte both returning, Griffin would be expected as the first or second man off the bench. But the junior from New Orleans has bigger plans.

Good riddance though, right? After all, Griffin is shorter than every point guard he's going to go up against, he barely averaged five points a game and he shot 24% from beyond the arc. But the numbers don't tell the whole story.

When Evans went down with a shoulder injury on Feb. 3 against Texas Tech, the entire point guard load fell onto Griffin's shoulder. Griffin went from getting 20 minutes a game to 11 straight 32 minute plus games to close out the season. He stayed out of foul trouble and gave the Cowboys serious minutes when injuries were at its highest.

Despite averaging 37.5 minutes per game in the wake of Evans, Griffin only averaged three turnovers a game. The Cowboys did have major offensive problems, but Griffin was in charge of leading that dumpster fire and he did an admirable job. Without Griffin on the roster, the Cowboys lack a true backup point guard. Forte is back and he can play the point, but he's much more dangerous and suited as a two guard.

Oklahoma State basketball is going to be watchable again next year. Yet, the loss of Griffin is going to hurt. Griffin garnered valuable experience in the absence of Evans, and he seemed primed for a breakout year. Unfortunately, that break out year will not be at Oklahoma State.