Now that we’ve had time to fully digest Oklahoma State’s 80-63 victory over Texas Tech on Saturday, some of our staff had some thoughts on the win and the team moving forward. Micah, Joel, and Phillip offer their takes.
This was a fun game, the Cowboys are continuing to play really good Basketball, the students are staying involved (even though there weren't as many at this game.) Our top guys bounced back from the K-State game. Forte was hitting threes that were absolutely insane and had 15 points. Jeffery Carroll had 17 points. This is after both of them combined had 10 last game. It’s good to see that slump didn’t last. They’re playing physical basketball and it’s working. They’re playing like they want it and that’s something that maybe they weren’t doing before. They also look like they’ve fixed a lot of the silly mistakes they we’re making at the beginning of Big 12 play. Which now, seems like a distance memory. I'm excited to see what this team can do against Kansas. And I'm also really curious to see what seed they end up with in the tournament.
- It was the tale of two games for Leyton Hammonds this week. Against Kansas State, he has 18 points on 7-14 shooting, however at home against Texas Tech he had 6 points on 1-10 shooting. It is weird that he has played better on the road recently than at home, however I hope that changes this week in his final home game on Saturday.
- Mitchell Solomon, for the love of all things holy....STOP JUMPING TO CONTEST SHOTS. The majority of his fouls are when he jumps to contest a shot, jumps into the guy, and gets called for a foul. To me it is a stupid foul, he is 6’9, if he bodies him up from the floor, and puts his arms straight up in the air, he’ll contest in the shot just the same. But I could be wrong, I just watch the game then sit behind a computer screen and rant.
- I love Davon Dillard’s tenacity, and his energy he brings on the floor. This has been a completely different team since he started getting significant minutes. He hustles after every loose ball, he fights for every rebound, he’s aggressive on the defense end. When you see your teammate playing like that, it’s infectious, and the whole team has that sort of swagger that he brings.
- A made Phil Forte 3 pointer is one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen.
- This team shot 42-45 (93%) from the free throw line this week, including going 22-22 against Texas Tech. That is what wins a game for a team, especially in a close game in March.
- Attendance for the game was 7,835, which isn’t great compared to the previous weekend. However, it was still rowdy. The crowd is back into the game, and I love every second of sitting in Gallagher-Iba.
- Back to Leyton Hammonds, he played a lot of minutes this week, which is good because his leadership is needed on the floor. He played 34 minutes against K State, and 35 minutes against Texas Tech. For most of the season his minutes have been limited due to foul trouble, so it is good to see him playing as often as he has.
- Oklahoma State WILL beat Kansas on Saturday, mark it down now.
- I don’t know if it was just about the match-up, or Oklahoma State, but outside of a few minutes in the beginning of the second half, the Cowboys soundly thumped Texas Tech. Despite their 17-12 record and 5-11 record in Big 12 play, that is an upper-classman laden team with some talent. A team coming off two straight overtime losses to West Virginia and Iowa State, who are no slouches. They may not be Baylor or Kansas, but that was a good win yesterday.
- The two things I think you have to have to win games in the NCAA tournament are the ability to hit free throws and a player that can take over a game. Check and Check. Oklahoma State is No. 6 in the nation in free throw percentage after a perfect 22-of-22 from the line against Texas Tech. Add that to how good Jawun Evans is when he picks the team up and puts them on his back, and OSU will be a dangerous team come March. (Bonus: That 22-of-22 Saturday, was the best performance from the free-throw line in school history.)
- With the win, and the losses by TCU (who got screwed by the refs) and Kansas State (who lost by 30 to OU!!!) Oklahoma State will finish no worse than the 5th seed in the Big 12 tournament. I don’t think they’re going to move up. It would require winning their last two games against Iowa State and Kansas (more on that in a minute) and Baylor, Iowa State, or West Virginia losing their last two games. I don’t think that’s going to happen.
- I would love to see OSU beat Iowa State or Kansas this week. I don’t think they will. Yes, Oklahoma State is one of the hottest teams in the country having won five in a row and 10 of their last 11. Kansas has won six straight and eight of their last 9. Iowa State has won five straight and six of their last seven. All three teams are the hottest teams in the Big 12 right now. Something’s got to give here. OSU’s run does include a win at West Virginia, but Iowa State has wins at Kansas and over Baylor. The point is, winning at Iowa State is hard. Beating Kansas is hard. Do I think OSU can win both, sure. Do I think they will? Nope.
- I don’t think, that even if they lose both games, it will diminish my belief that the Cowboys can and will make a run to the Sweet 16 this year. It will all depend on seeding and match-ups, but I do believe they can and will do it.