The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” countdown ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power rankings order, and will lead right up to the start of the season. Coming in at number 78 is the Oklahoma State Cowboys who lose All-American James Anderson. Click here if you missed teams #79-#99.
By: David Kay
Oklahoma State Cowboys (T-6th, 9-7 in Big 12, 22-11 overall, NCAA First Round)
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Marshall Moses(Sr)/Jarred Shaw (So)
PF: Matt Pilgrim (Sr)/Michael Cobbins (Fr)/Darrell Williams (Jr)
G/F: Nick Sidorakis (Sr)/Roger Franklin (So)/J.P. Olukemi (So)
G: Keiton Page (Jr)/Markel Brown (Fr)/Brian Williams (Fr)
PG: Ray Penn (So)/Fred Gulley (So)/Reger Dowell (So)
Gone: SG-James Anderson, G/F-Obi Muonelo, C-Torin Walker (transfer-Middle Tennessee State)
Let’s make no bones about it; as James Anderson went, Oklahoma State went last season. With Anderson and second-leading scorer Obi Muonelo both gone, the Cowboys have the challenge of replacing two integral pieces to their puzzle.
All of their other key players are back but none of them have the potential to have an Anderson-type impact this season. The frontcourt has talent with returning players Matt Pilgrim and Marshall Moses back to patrol the paint. The backcourt returns sharpshooter Keiton Page and point guard Ray Penn, but both players stand just 5’9 meaning they will be a liability on the defensive end against bigger guards.
The concern that will hold OSU back is who will replace Anderson’s scoring ability and Muonelo’s versatility as an inside/outside threat? There are some young wing players who will get the opportunity and 6-8 freshman Michael Cobbins should contribute right away, but the hole might be deep to fill.
Player to Watch: Matt Pilgrim, PF
The former Kentucky outcast made the most of limited playing time last season, averaging 8.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in a little more than 18 minutes per game. He shot a phenomenal 67.1% from the field and his numbers should increase this season with more touches available. Pilgrim did go through a bit of controversy this off-season when he was alleged with raping a female. He is awaiting trial in September. If the charges are dropped or Pilgrim is found not guilty and he can put the distraction behind him, this could be finally be his chance for a breakthrough season.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/25 vs. DePaul (76 Classic)
11/26 vs. Virginia Tech/Cal State Northridge (76 Classic)
11/28 vs. Tulsa/UNLV/Murray State/Stanford (76 Classic)
12/4 at La Salle
12/8 vs. Tulsa
12/11 vs. Missouri State
12/18 vs. Alabama
12/21 vs. Stanford
12/31 at Gonzaga
Other 99 in 99’s:
#82 South Carolina
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#89 Boston College
#93 Oregon State
#97. Iowa State
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