Another game, another win for Mike Boynton and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Grad transfer Kendall Smith led the Cowboys with 19 points in an 83-65 victory over the Charlotte 49ers.
Here’s five thoughts from tonight’s game.
1. The Cowboys are struggling to play defense without fouling.
We saw this a lot last season. Oklahoma State - especially the big men - would get in early foul trouble which would come back and bite the Cowboys at the end of games. Tonight against a sub-par Charlotte team, the Cowboys had 15 fouls in the first half. Lucas N’Guessan had three, Mitchell Solomon had a pair and Cameron McGriff also had two.
OSU finished with 26 team fouls with N’Guessan fouling out and Solomon finishing with four fouls.
With Jeffrey Carroll and Yankuba Sima sidelined, the Cowboys don’t have a lot of depth at the four and the five position, so Mike Boynton needs his bigs to play smart.
2. Perhaps this team isn’t as bad as we thought.
This team was almost unanimously voted to finish last in the conference, they aren’t the worst team in the Big 12. The Iowa State Cyclones are currently 0-2 after blowout losses to former Big 8 foe Missouri and basketball powerhouse Milwaukee.
Cyclone Basketball Twitter: pic.twitter.com/35oFtMvcHY— WRNL (@WideRtNattyLt) November 14, 2017
Moving back to this team, the Cowboys are 2-0 with convincing wins over Pepperdine and Charlotte tonight. We will learn more about this team as they face Oral Roberts in Stillwater then head to Brooklyn, NY for the Legends Classic matchup with Texas A&M.
3. The defense shines.
When the Pokes do play clean basketball and avoid fouls, they are efficient and force a lot of turnovers. The Cowboys forced 14 turnovers tonight, including six from the 49ers guard Jon Davis. The Cowboys will need to continue their recent successes on the defensive end if they hope to compete in a loaded (as always) Big 12 conference.
4. These games are good for the new guys.
With Dillard and Carroll not suiting up and playing for Mike Boynton, new players such as Smith and freshman Zack Dawson and Tavarius Shine, who is returning from injury, are seeing the floor more than anticipated in the beginning of the season.
Playing games against these cupcakes gives the new guys time to play together and get that all-important team chemistry working together. So while the fans hate playing teams like this (myself included, normally), I think this is good for the start to the season Oklahoma State has endured.
5. Brandon Averette is a GROWN. ASS. MAN.
Watch this dunk. Watch it.
We're not tired of watching this either @Ba_Sosmoove_05. #SCTop10 #okstate pic.twitter.com/9DoLq2qLCx— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) November 14, 2017
Now watch it again. It’s that good.
Brandon Averette is officially listed at 5’11” on the Oklahoma State roster. However, as anyone who has ever played sports will tell you, you typically add an inch or two to your height to make yourself seem taller. (When I was about 5’11 my sophomore year in high school, I was listed as 6’2 on the roster.)
However, Averette got his tiny frame up in the air and posterized poor Najee Garvin. Garvin, listed as a 6’7” forward, will never be able to live this down. I feel bad for the kid.
What a dunk. Looks like Dillard and McGriff have some competition this year.
Averette did confirm that was his first dunk in a game at #OKState. He has dunked in high school.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) November 14, 2017
Up next, the Cowboys take on in-state rival Oral Roberts. New Oklahoma State assistant coach Scott Sutton will be facing his former team, as Sutton was the coach of the Golden Eagles for 18 years before joining Boynton’s staff this season.