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Basketball Game Notes: Oklahoma State vs. UMKC

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Points in the paint, defense, and OSU can throw into the post!

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Texas Christian vs. Oklahoma State Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys followed up their too-close-for-comfort opener with a really nice defensive performance to get a 69-51 win over UMKC to push their record to 2-0.

  • It was nice to see the Cowboys open the game with a more obvious effort to get the ball inside. Cam started the game with a catch and bucket in the post and faked a three to drive to the rim for his next points. Twelve of OSU’s first fourteen points came right at the rim or from free throws earned at the rim.
  • That last sentence got updated about ten times because the Cowboys just kept working the ball inside.
  • Despite the inside attempts, the offense wasn’t very fluid and the scoring got off to a very slow start.
  • Subbing and all new player lineups were rampant again as all eleven scholarship players saw the floor again before the under-twelve timeout.
  • When Avery Anderson took the outlet pass from the Yor Anei steal and beat a double-team to rim with a beautiful layup I literally “Wow!”-ed Such a fun, skilled player.
  • The first OSU three didn’t come until the 6:43 mark in the first half off the hand of Cam McGriff, who had a stellar 11 point 3 rebound half.
  • The defense started off aggressive and suffocating on the perimeter, but relented towards the end of the half as the team got sucked too far inside.
  • Hidde Reported after the half it was minor, thank goodness.
  • Yor! Yor! Yor! He got into some foul trouble but his defensive effort and offensive efficiency elicited literal chants from the crowd.
  • Between Yor and Kalib Boone this had to have been the best true offensive post performance in years. Related: How nice is it to have two erasers at the rim?!
  • I didn’t notice right away when a full lineup of new players ended up sliding into the game in the second half. Alternative headline: the new guys are starting to look more comfortable.
  • Right after that last bullet I noticed pretty quickly when they gave up an easy offensive rebound with no box-out and an air ball from Laurent. Work-in-progress.
  • It just hit me when Likekele had a transition dunk that we hadn’t seen a dunk in a real game. After some people started to wonder if Lob Stilly was back after the exhibition we haven’t seen a single one. Weird.
  • Boynton has said this before and in seasons past too, but you can tell that they put a lot more emphasis on implementing the defense before the offense at first.
  • The defense starting playing up the line a little more towards the end and it’s really nice to do that when you have an athletic enough team to recover when it gets beat.
  • Thomas Dziagwa was a casualty of the Cowboys trying to work the ball inside as he posted zero points on only a single shot attempt. Lindy Waters only had six points and only a single three-point attempt. Two made threes has to be the lowest output in a long, long time.
  • Continuing the theme of a weird stat game, Yor only had a single block and 3 rebounds. He led scorers with 13 points. Isaac Likekele only had a single assist.
  • As a team, OSU outrebounded Kansas City 40-24. They need to keep finding ways to impose their team length and athleticism as the competition gets better.
  • McGriff (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) and Likekele (10 points) joined Yor in double-figures.

It’s nice to see the Cowboys work on different aspects of their game in these tune-ups, and it’s good to see the newcomers get more acclimated. They’ve shown a lot of potential and the faster they realize some of that potential the deeper Oklahoma State gets for conference play.

Up Next

The Cowboys visit Charleston at 8 PM CST on Wednesday.