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Oklahoma State basketball: Breaking down Cowboys’ 2020-21 non-conference schedule

A look at each of the Cowboys’ seven non-con foes

NCAA Basketball: Wichita State at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports


The college basketball season is here and it tips-off with six of Oklahoma State’s seven non-conference games.

While OSU’s non-conference slate isn’t a murderer’s row of teams, it does feature

The schedule includes three teams that won at least 18 games last season and three teams in the top 100 of Kenpom’s preseason rankings.

Let’s take a look at who OSU will face off against in non-conference play.

@ UT-Arlington

Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. CT

2019: 14-18 (10-10) | Kenpom 130 | NET 129

Top Returners:
Guard David Azore (14 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.6 apg)
Guard Sam Griffin (9.4 ppg, 1. 3 rbg, 35.1 3FG%)
Jordan Phillips (6.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

The Cowboys will open their season on the road in Arlington, Texas to face the University of Texas - Arlington Mavericks.

UT-Arlington - led by third-year head coach Chris Ogden — was picked to finish third in the Sun Belt west in the conference’ preseason poll. That said, they did pick up one first place vote.

UTA returns three of their primer starters from last season, including leading scorer and assist man David Azore. He was named an all-conference player last season and was named to the preaseaon conference second team this year.

This game is the first in a three-game series, something Coach Boynton has been found of doing each season since he took over. Specifically, taking his team on the road to a place that doesn’t often host Power conference teams.

Oklahoma State is 11-1 all time against the Mavericks. The last meeting was a 69-44 OSU victory back in December of 2012.

Texas Southern

Saturday, Nov. 28 @ 6:30 p.m. CT

2019: 16-16 (12-6) | Kenpom 278 | NET 276

Top Returners:
Justin Hopkins (10.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
Yahuza Rasas (9.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
John Jones (8.7 ppg, 1.8 ppg)
Chris Baldwin (6 ppg, 4.4 rpg)

The Cowboys will open their home non-conference schedule against the SWAC preseason favorites, the Texas Southern Tigers.

While last season’s leading scorer Tyrik Armstrong is gone, the Tigers return four other players who started at least 19 games each. That includes All-conference preseason first-team picks Yahuza Rasas (who led the team in rebounds last season) and Justin Hopkins, and second-team pick Chris Baldwin.

Texas Southern will have two familiar faces on it when they face OSU. First is former Cowboy Michael Weathers. The other is Georgetown transfer Galen Alexander, who scored five points and nabbed seven rebounds in the Hoyas win over OSU last season.

While their Kenpom and NET ranking don’t look like much, Texas Southern has dominated the SWAC in recent years, winning the tournament four times in the past six years (obviously, the 2020 tournament was not completed) and winning the regular season crown three years in a row from 2015-2017.

@ Marquette

Tuesday, December 1st @ 6 p.m. CT

2019: 18-12 (8-10) | Kenpom 31 | NET 26

Top Returners:
Koby McEwen (9.5 ppg, 5 rbg, 3.2 spg)
Theo John (5.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg)

This will be the Cowboys’ most challenging non-conference game.

Obviously, the Golden Eagles top player from last season, Markus Howard, is off to the NBA. But that doesn’t mean this won’t be a good team.

The Golden Eagles have some talented returnees, including Guard Koby McEwen who was second on the team in assists and their top returning scorer, and Forward Theo John who led the team in blocks.

They also added some immediate impact transfers including former Ohio State guard D.J. Carton who averaged 10.4 ppg for the Buckeyes, and guard Jose Perez who averaged 15.2 ppg at Garner-Webb.

The Golden Eagles were picked to finish 6th in the Big East, but don’t let that fool you. The Big East is a power conference in basketball. Kenpom has Marquette at No. 36 in it’s preseason rankings, one spot below Oklahoma State.


Saturday, December 5th @ TBA

2019: 14-19 (8-10) | Kenpom 239 | NET 222

Top Returners:
Rashad Williams (19.5 ppg, 3.1 rbg)
Daniel Oladapo (9.2 ppg, 6.3 rbg)
Kevin Kangu (5.1 ppg, 2.3 rbg, 3.45 apg)

The Grizzlies were picked sixth in Horizon League preseason poll, the same place they finished last season.

This will be a different team than last year though. The team’s second leading scorer is gone and they had five players transfer, including Tray Maddox who started 31 games.

That said, they have some talent on the roster. Rashad Williams — last season’s top scorer — returns and was named to the conference’s preseason second team. Oakland also returns last season’s assist leader in Kevin Kangu and they landed transfer guard Zion Young, who averaged 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds pre game for Western Illinois last season.

Oral Roberts

Tuesday, December 8 @TBA

2019: 17-14 (9-7) | Kenpom 135 | NET 144

Top Returners:
Kevin Obanor (12.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Max Abmas (14.5 ppg, 2.2 rpb, 1 spg)
Elijah Lufile (5.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

The second team of Golden Eagles Oklahoma State will meet this season, ORU should be a nice test for the Cowboys.

ORU was tabbed as the preseason No. 2 team in the Summit League. They have a pair of preseason all-league selections; junior forward Kevin Obanor landed on the first team while sophomore guard Max Abmas was a second-team pick.

OSU is 14-5 all time against ORU, including an 80-75 Cowboy victory in Stillwater last November.

at Wichita State

Saturday, December 12 @ 2 p.m. CT

2019: 23-8 (11-7) | Kenpom 39 | NET 41

Top Returners:
Tyson Ettiene (9.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 spg)
Dexter Dennis (9.2 ppg, 5 rpg)
Trey Wade (7.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg)

It’s hard to know exactly what to expect from the Shockers this season. Head Coach Gregg Marshall “resigned” on November 17th after an investigation found him to be a terrible human being. Six players transferred off of last year’s team.

That said, Wichita State does have three players with 17 or more starts from laste season back. That includes from a team that went 23-8 last season. Tyson Etienne and Dexter Dennis combined for 18.6 points per contest out of the backcourt for the Shockers.

They also add point guard Alterique Gilbert, a graduate transfer that averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 assists per game last season for UConn.

Oklahoma State is 18-10 all-time against Wichita State, making them one of the Cowboys’ most-played non-conference teams. The most recent meeting was an 80-61 win by the Shockers last season.


Saturday, January 30 @ TBA

2019: 20-12 (7-11) | Kenpom 47 | NET 43

Top Returners:
Desi Sills (10.6 ppg, 3 rpg)
Ethan Henderson (1.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg)

The only team that Oklahoma State has played more than Arkansas, that it hasn’t shared a conference with, is Tulsa.

Arkansas was picked No. 6 in the SEC’s preseason poll. They’re coming off a good debut season for head coach Eric Musselman, but lose a lot from last season, including Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe to the NBA, and two other players to the transfer portal.

Musselman pulled some players out of the portal himself. That includes Justin Smith, who was a multiyear starter at Indiana that averaged 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds a game last season.

Arkansas also adds New Mexico transfer Vance Jackson (11.1 ppg) and Northern Kentucky transfer Jalen Tate (13.9 ppg, 3.6 apg)