Skip to content

OSU can Cowboy up vs. Wolfpack tonight

Nov 18, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

Markel-Brown-300x237 Getty Images

When most people plan a weekend in Puerto Rico, they plan to visit a couple of colonial forts, catch some rays and maybe, if they’re very nerdy like me, check out the giant radiotelescope at Arecibo. Travis Ford and his Oklahoma State Cowboys may very well do some of that stuff, but they won’t put on the flip flops until they’ve gotten everything they can out of Pistol Pete’s butt-kicking boots.

The Cowboys were chosen third in the preseason Big 12 poll, but they have a golden opportunity to do something Kansas and Baylor — the programs chosen first and second — have not done. They can emerge from the very early gauntlet with a spotless record and a marquee win over a ranked opponent if things roll their way this afternoon. Granted, they have to play superlative ball to take down the No. 6-ranked NC State Wolfpack, but that scenario seems much more believable after the 62-45 pasting they laid on a talented Tennessee team in Friday’s semis.

It took Phil Forte free throws in overtime to get past Akron in the first round in Puerto Rico, and the Cowboys were expected to struggle without injured big man Jean-Paul Olukemi, but stellar play from the backcourt has kept Oklahoma State on an even keel. Philip Jurick was a serviceable option in the middle against Tennessee, but the trio of LeBryan Nash, Markel Brown and Marcus Smart did it all, combining for 47 points and an impressive 22 rebounds in the win over the Volunteers, who missed the tenacious play of Jeronne Maymon.

NC State is rather a different animal. Kenpom.com rates the Wolfpack’s interior defense 18th-best in the nation, and the perimeter defense is top-100 caliber. Overall, OSU’s defense is rated even better, but the Cowboy scoring attack has been a bit flaccid thus far. Without scoring big men, it may well be too one-dimensional to compete with the uber-talented Pack. But Travis Ford’s team is talented, hungry and seems to be gelling under tough circumstances rather than wilting and making excuses.

There may be plenty of empty seats in the Coliseo de Puerto Rico when the game tips at 6:30 pm tonight, but mainlanders should head for the nearest TV. At bare minimum, you’ll have a courtside view of the Markel Brown show. And who knows? You might see a Big 12 challenger emerge.

Latest Posts
  1. July Live Period Week Two Superlatives

    Jul 22, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

    Nike Nike

    The second installment of our weekly awards.

  2. Iowa State’s Georges Niang carries extra motivation – and less weight – into 2014-15

    Jul 22, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

    Georges Niang AP

    Niang, who has dropped some 25 pounds since the end of the season, is looking to have an even greater impact as the Cyclones work to account for the losses of Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane.

  3. Mixtape of 2016 five-star guard Malik Monk (VIDEO)

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    (USA Baketball) (USA Baketball)

    Is this the best high school mixtape since Seventh Woods?

  4. DePaul forward DeJuan Marrero to transfer to Chipola College

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:43 PM EDT

    marrero

    DePaul redshirt freshman forward DeJuan Marrero will play his sophomore season at Chipola.

  5. Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk among 33 members battling for USA U17 roster spots this week

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Malik Newman (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The USA U17 tryouts have a lot of big names and it will also be important for the last week of the July live evaluation period.

  6. Peach Jam mixtape for five-star 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Isaiah Briscoe helped lead the New Jersey Playaz to a title at Peach Jam.

  7. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Bruce Brown gave up football to focus on basketball

    Jul 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Bruce Brown was a promising two-sport athlete, but gave up football to focus on basketball.

  8. Four-star recruit Cameron Walker commits to Stanford

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    adidas adidas

    Walker is the second commitment for the Cardinal this spring.

  9. Seven (more) Takeaways from Nike’s Peach Jam

    Jul 21, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    Seven additional thoughts on Nike’s Peach Jam, including Ben Simmons’ one weakness, Malik Monk and how college coaches look at parents

  10. Peach Jam mixtape of top 2016 recruit Jayson Tatum (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.45.41 PM

    Tatum is the best player in the class.

  11. Indiana’s summer workouts look intense (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Tom Crean AP

    The Hoosiers will be in shape come September, that’s for sure.

  12. CBT Quotables Part IV: The Lawsons, Stephen Zimmerman, Malik Monk

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    The latest in our series of anonymous quotes from coaches on the players they recruit.

  13. Kansas’ Landen Lucas hopes summer work results in more playing time

    Jul 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas

    After playing sparingly last season, Lucas is hoping to take a significant step forward in 2014-15.

  14. Name aside, Gary Payton II will be an important player for Oregon State

    Jul 20, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    JucoRecruiting.com JucoRecruiting.com

    Fans may look to compare Gary Payton II to his father, something both hope to avoid this season, but his role as point guard is an important one.