Before the Pokes get a shot at the No. 8 Wichita State Shockers next Saturday, they’ll have their third game of this four-game home stand against the 0-7 Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils on Sunday. Boynton’s squad is coming off a 79-63 win over Austin Peay earlier in the week. The Cowboys were shooting 43 percent from three accompanied by a 21 point lead at half-time but a 15-2 second half run by Austin Peay had Oklahoma State in a tighter game than expected.
Let’s get to the preview:
Who: Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils (0-7)
Where: Gallagher Iba Arena - Stillwater, Ok
When: Dec. 3, 2017 - 2 p.m. CT
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma - Plus
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
What do we know about Mississippi Valley State? Their mascot looks like he’s a member of the legion of doom, but besides that we know they’ve lost every game so far this year by double digits. Out of 351 teams, KenPom.com has them ranked.....351. The Delta Devils only Power Five opponent has been Utah (KenPom No. 57), a game that they lost 91-51. MVSU is also the only team in the country that has yet to play a home game, their first coming on New Years when they play Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Delta Devils are coached by Andre Payne who has been in Itta Bena since the 2014-15 season with an overall record of 21-85. Before his time at MVSU, Payne coached for eight seasons at Wiley College, an NAIA school in Texas, where he also served as associate athletic director.
Players to Watch:
MVSU has only one player averaging double figures in Dante Scott (10 ppg). The 6’4 junior is shooting 40 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. The Delta Devils have an experienced starting lineup, sporting four juniors and one senior.
Expect guards Tereke Eckwood and Jordan Evans to play a major roll for the Delta Devils offense as well. The pair averages 9.8 and 8.1 points per game respectively. Payne’s squad is thin inside with their only interior threat being Jamaal Watson, the lone senior in the starting lineup.
Three Big Things:
1. Dizzy is on Fire
Sophomore guard, Thomas Dziagwa has been draining it from deep so far this season. Dziagwa is shooting 23-of-41 from three (56 percent), a mark that ranks fourth among NCAA Division I players. Look for the Pokes to get Dizzy involved early as they try to put this one away as fast as possible.
2. Deep Bench
Boynton has shown he isn’t afraid to go deep into his bench. The Cowboys have eight players averaging over 20 minutes per game and three more that average over 10. In an easy matchup against a struggling MVSU squad, expect every active player to get some run on Sunday.
3. Every Game is the Biggest Game
Boynton has continuously preached to this team that every game is the biggest game of the season and he couldn’t be more right. Sunday’s game presents another opportunity for the Cowboys to take a step forward as they take the season one game at a time without looking too far ahead.
In conclusion I think the Cowboys dominate this game. The Pokes are just superior in all facets of the game and they couldn’t come at a worse time for this struggling Delta Devils squad. While the Cowboys shot the ball well in the first half last week, the second half showed us this isn’t a team that should be completely falling in love with the three ball. I expect the Pokes to work it inside on most possessions before dialing it up from deep.