#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Taking the glass half-full approach, the Oklahoma State Cowboys did win twenty games last season.  Looking at the remaining emptiness in that glass, a winless road record in Big 12 play ultimately doomed Travis Ford’s team as they missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last six seasons.  A trip to the dance again seems unlikely for O-K State.

OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
Last Season: 9th, 6-10 in Big 12, 20-14 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 7th

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Phillip Jurick (Jr)/ Michael Cobbins (Fr)/Darrell Williams (Sr)
F: LeBryan Nash (Fr)
G/F: J.P. Olukemi (Jr)/Brian Williams (Fr)
SG: Markel Brown (So)/Reger Dowell (Jr)
PG: Keiton Page (Sr)/C.J. Guerrero (Fr)/Fred Gulley (So)

Gone: F-Marshall Moses, F/C-Matt Pilgrim, G/F-Nick Sidorakis, PG-Ray Penn (transfer), F-Roger Franklin (transfer-North Texas), F/C-Jarred Shaw (transfer-Utah State)

2011-2012 Outlook:
A fair amount of uncertainty surrounds the Cowboys this season.  A big reason is because OK State is still awaiting word on Darrell Williams’ situation.  In February, Williams was suspended indefinitely and is facing felony rape charges.  If he is stuck in the courtroom and not re-instated on the basketball court, the Cowboys will be very thin up-front.  They’ll have to rely on JUCO transfer Phillip Jurick who is a load at 6-11, 270 pounds, and redshirt freshman Mike Cobbins.

The addition of McDonald’s All-American LeBryan Nash does bring some optimism.  Nash is an athletic freak and already built like a man.  He will need to play inside for OSU this season as will returning starter J.P. Olukemi.  Both players figure to start on the wing as part of a smaller starting five.  Redshirt freshman Brian Williams will provide depth off the bench.

The backcourt needs to dramatically improve from last season.  The Cowboys finished 332nd in Division One in three-point shooting, hitting just 29.7% from distance, and ended up 331st in assists.  Both marks were the worst among major conference teams.

The under-sized Keiton Page is the team’s top returning scorer.  He really struggled from distance as his average dropped from 38.3% as a sophomore to 30.4% a year ago.  The 5-9 senior is not much of a distributor either so if he is not stroking it from deep, he becomes a huge liability on the floor.  Paige will also need to embrace the leadership role as the lone senior on the team (assuming Williams does not return.)

Paige will likely be joined in the starting backcourt by Markel Brown.  Brown had a decent freshman season but relies on his athleticism more than his outside shooting.  Reger Dowell made strides late in the season when given significant playing time due to the suspension of Ray Penn.  He should figure into the rotation off the bench.

Freshman C.J. Guerrero could give OSU the playmaking point guard they need if he can work his way into the mix.  Fred Gulley missed all but seven games last season due to a shoulder injury and is another athlete/non-shooter on the wing.

The addition of Nash brings excitement to the Cowboys this season.  With losing three seniors, having a few guys transfer, Darrell Williams’ future in question, and a challenging non-conference schedule, it figures to be another year of missing out on the dance in Stillwater.

lebryan nash oklahoma state

Player to Watch: LeBryan Nash
At 6-7, 230 pounds, Nash already has a NBA build.  He can use his strength down low to overpower smaller opponents and also rely on his athleticism and explosiveness at the rim to out-quick bigger defenders.  If Nash can prove to be a reliable outside shooter and improve his ability to get to the rim, he will become the complete package.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/23 vs. Stanford/Colorado State (Pre-Season NIT)
11/25 vs. Syracuse/Virginia Tech/George Mason (Pre-Season NIT)
11/30 vs. Tulsa
12/10 vs. Pitt (at Madison Square Garden
12/17 vs. New Mexico
12/21 vs. Alabama (in Birmingham)
12/31 vs. Virginia Tech

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says:

    It’s bs that Nash won the MAA dunk contest. Marshall Plumlee had to hands down. but because of that stupid foam cowboy hat, the judges at Chicago St. gave it to him instead.

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