There’s little doubt that Phil Forte III’s career in Stillwater is going to be remembered for a long time. Not for the fact that he came with now-Celtic Marcus Smart (did you know they were friends in high school?) but for his ability to hit shots from [insert distant Oklahoma town here], drive opposing coaches crazy when he was left open, and cause Oklahoma State fans to go wild!
Often, he’s compared to Keiton Page. The short, almost-identical sharp shooter that came before him. Forte has already passed Page on the all-time record for made threes. On Saturday, Forte one-upped Page again, this time by passing him on the OSU career points list.
Forte currently sits at ninth all-time, tied with OSU’s all-time No. 1 dunker Markel Brown (sorry Dillard, you’re not there yet) and 47 points behind the other former Cowboy known for destroying the rim, Desmond Mason (you’re not better than him either Dillard).
So just how far up the list can Forte get in his senior season?
He’s not passing the top two. I don’t know if anyone will ever pass Byron Houston (2,379 pts) or Bryant “Big Country” Reeves (2,367).
After that? John Lucas is third with 1,877, followed by Adrian Peterson at 1,866, Le’Bryan Nash at 1,839, and James Anderson at 1,811. Could he pass any of them?
So far this season, Forte is averaging 13.9 points a game. That includes the rough stretch during nonconference when he scored in single digits in four games. Since the start of Big 12 play, Forte is averaging 14.7 points a game. That’s nearly a point over the season average.
Let’s say that 14.7 average holds for the remainder of the season. There are six regular season games, at least one Big 12 tournament game, and likely one NCAA (or NIT, knock on wood) game still to play. That’s eight total games. That would be 118 (rounding up) more points (#math), for a total of 1,773.
I believe Forte will pass Mason for 7th all time, I think he might even get close to Anderson (I think OSU plays more than eight more games). What I know is, Forte will end his career as one of the best shooters to ever take the court in orange and black, and one of the most dangerous men to ever leave open.
With all the jokes about Forte being the “old man” of the Big 12, you would think teams would have learned not to leave the sharpshooter open. No one has ever accused those at Tortilla Tech of being quick learners though. In their first matchup this season, Forte nailed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc, including this one from the edge of the Texas outline at midcourt.
And of course, who can forget his biggest shot of the year (so far)?
Never a dull moment in Bedlam!— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 31, 2017
The Pokes with the game-winner in Norman! pic.twitter.com/4BDlao2luv
In recent years, a sharpshooter seems to be a staple of the Oklahoma State program. First Keiton Page, then Forte. Who is next? Lindy Waters? Thomas Dziagwa? A different incoming freshman? Guess all we can do is wait and see.