It’s time for another edition of the CRFF roundtable, where our staff of writers and contributors offer their thoughts on a wide range of Oklahoma State athletics related topics.
This week we dive into the basketball non-conference schedule, Vegas football odds, and Jawun Evans.
The Oklahoma State 2017 basketball non-conference schedule was released last week. What are your thoughts on it. What game are you most looking forward to?
Gallagher Martin - The schedule seems kinda soft with only a few games that really grab my attention. GIA should be rocking when Wichita State comes to town, which might be the biggest game of the nonconference schedule.
Brodie Smith - The schedule isn't that exciting. There are winnable games but too many questions surround this team and staff to get an accurate assessment about what may be possible. I think Coach Mike has a great opportunity to put the Underwood saga to rest and establish his own brand of basketball in Stillwater early in his tenure.
Joel Penfield - I wish there were a couple more marquee games, but I don't think it's as bad as last year. Even if the mid-majors scheduled will make for a competitive game. The game at Florida State will be a great litmus test for a team with a lot of unknowns going into the season.
Tyler Wiederhoeft - I'm looking forward to the Florida state matchup. I'm tired of playing all these nobodies, and Florida State should be a nice tough opponent for Mike Boynton. I'm also excited for the Legends classic. Facing off against Texas A&M, Pitt or Penn State is sure to get the Cowboys A little more battle-tested than they were last year. Other than the Maui Invitational, last year's non-conference schedule was a joke. This year's non-conference schedule isn't great, but at least it's better than last year. If I had to take a guess, the schedule will keep getting better under Boynton.
Phillip Slavin - I shared my thoughts on the schedule over the weekend. But to reiterate quickly, I think it was a schedule built for a team going through a lot of transition. Despite only one marquee home match-up, I like the schedule for this team.
Looking at that schedule, what would you expect OSU's non-conference record to be?
Gallagher - I would guess your typical 11-2 record. I think Oklahoma State can win the Legends Classic, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them drop one game. The Florida State game in Florida also sounds like trouble.
Brodie - They'll surely win more than they'll lose, which should be a big boost heading into conference play, but someone will have to emerge as a consistent threat to maintain that trajectory. The marquee matchup is obviously Florida State toward the end of December. That game in hostile territory will go along way in showing if the Cowboys are contenders or pretenders in year one under Boynton. I, for one, like seeing regional teams of note on the schedule. ORU, TU, Wichita State and Arkansas are teams nearby that can add an appealing opportunity to establish new rivalries for years to come. Each should be fun
Joel - I think the Cowboys will go 9-3 in non-conference. I think they'll go 2-1 in the Legends Classic, lose to Florida State and possibly Arkansas. I hope to be wrong.
Tyler - I think we can easily run the table in the non-conference schedule if we can get past Florida State. However, I'm going to be realistic and say we'll go 11-2. Florida State is always tough, and they had a deep run in the tournament last year. Also, there's always that one loss you can't really see by looking at the schedule. I'm guessing will drop one in the Legends Classic Plus the one at Florida State. 11-2 in Boynton's first year should be considered a win.
Phillip - I think we drop the game to Florida State and likely one of the two in Brooklyn, just because I think we end up facing Texas A&M in one of the two games. I also have a bad feeling about that trip to Arkansas. It feels like the South Carolina trip three years ago where we got blown out in a game we shouldn’t have gotten blown out in. 10-3.
Jawun Evans was taken in the second round of the draft by Philadelphia, but traded to the Clippers. With Chris Paul now gone to Houston, how do you feel about Evans to the Clips
Gallagher - Jawun Evans to Blake Griffin? I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about that, but it could be fun
Brodie - I guess the Clippers are a good fit for him. With CP3 on the move to Houston, it opens up an opportunity for Evans while also removing a tremendous talent to learn the pro game from. There's pretty much always been a reason to not like the Clippers (or to not take them seriously). Now, Pokes fans have cause to root for them.
Joel - I was hoping CP3 could've been there to help mentor Evans. Obviously with the comparisons between the two it could've help Evans development substantially. I think with a solid summer league, Evans should come in as the backup point guard and get significant minutes.
Tyler - I'm not as confident in him making the roster as I was when he was drafted and Paul was traded. The Clippers added Patrick Beverley in the trade and they also have Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton and DeAndre Liggins on the roster. That's a lot of depth at the point guard position. You know who doesn't have depth at the point guard spot? The Minnesota Timberwolves. If he gets moved, look for the Wolves to potentially add him in a rotational role as he splits minutes with Tyus Jones.
Phillip - First, can we stop saying how nice it would have been if Chris Paul would have mentored him? Considering his reputation for being a jerk on the court, do we actually know that Paul would have mentored him? Secondly, I think Evans will get chances to play the back-up role this season. I think what he does in summer league will go a long way toward that happening.
On that note, do you think Evans made the right decision leaving school early or should he have stuck around?
Gallagher - I don't think he made a bad decision leaving for the NBA; the Clippers are a great fit for Evans. But it's hard to imagine he's not a lottery pick if he comes back for his junior year.
Brodie - I never really understood the question because it seems selfish to want him back for another year (with the guise that he'd really just be back to earn a higher draft slot). He'll be considered a great player in OSU history. But h could've been a legend, especially while leading the team following Underwood's shenanigans. Regardless of his draft slot, Evans will have to earn his spot in the NBA, and I think it works in his favor to land in LA without a star PG on the Clippers' roster.
Joel - I do think he should've stayed another year, his mid range and outside shot needs a little more development. But, now he's getting paid to work on that shot, that's not a bad deal.
Tyler - I think he should have stayed, but I can't blame him for leaving. This would have been his third head coach in three years, and that's tough to learn three different playbooks and styles in three years. Then, next year when he got drafted, it would make it four in four years. I think you would have benefited from staying his junior year, but I don't blame him for wanting to get off the coaching carousel in college basketball.
Phillip - I can understand him not wanting to play for a third new head coach in as many years. We already know how talented he is. He’s not getting any taller, which was the knock against him. I would have suggested he come back one more year, just because the point guard draft class next year isn’t as deep as it was this year. Plus, a run to the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament would have helped him. Though I don’t think he was ever going to be higher than a late first rounder.
Vegas continues to release odds regarding Oklahoma State's season. As of now, OSU is favored in every game except Bedlam and Texas. Do you agree with Vegas?
Gallagher - Texas lost to Kansas in football. No, I don't agree with Vegas.
Brodie - The Pokes should be favored in every game, honestly. A highly ranked team with a vast offensive arsenal returning to the field. I think the questionable aspects of the team are less than every other team they'll face, even Texas and OU.
Joel - I can see why we aren't favored against OU. Even with the game being at home, we haven't beaten OU enough recently for the oddsmakers to be in our favor. Now, when it comes to Texas, that is absolutely asinine that we are an underdog. Texas hasn't proven anything in the last 3-4 seasons. It's all a bunch of preseason hype with utter disappointment once the season starts. I mean, they lost to Kansas...come on now.
Phillip - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LOSING TO TEXAS?
Bedlam is always a worrisome game, and now that Gundy likely has to beat the Sooners twice in one season it's even tougher. So I agree with Bedlam having us as underdogs, but I'd say bet on the Cowboys against Texas and take the gift from Vegas.
Phillip - I get being a dog to OU, but I can’t believe it’s by more than a point with the coaching change. As far as Texas? It is a new coaching staff, and there is a lot of talent. Still. I’ll believe it when I see it.