Oklahoma State Basketball: CBS Predicts an Overachieving Cowboy Team in 2015-16


The Cowboys basketball team has thrived on being underdogs over the last decade. One national writer sees them doing the same in 2015-16.

Resident college basketball expert Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports released a list today of five teams he expects to overachieve in the upcoming basketball 2015-16 season.

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The Oklahoma State basketball team was one of them.

The Cowboys finished 18-14 last season, including a 79-73 loss to Oregon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Rothstein is a believer in Travis Ford’s ability to work with under-the-radar teams, as many have pegged this edition of the Cowboys:

"Travis Ford always does his best work when he operates in the shadows and that’s the type of situation he’s going to have this season in Stillwater.No one is talking about Oklahoma State in regards to the Big 12 next season and that’s just fine with Ford, who’s led this program to five NCAA Tournament appearances during his seven-year stint with the Cowboys.Oklahoma State returns an All-Big 12 guard in Phil Forte along with several quality role players in Jeff Newberry, Tavarius Shine, Jeffrey Carroll, Leyton Hammonds, and Mitchell Solomon. Ford is predicting a breakout year for the 6-foot-9 Solomon, who shined in summer workouts.Freshman point guard Jawun Evans played for Team USA this past July and will likely be an instant starter next to Forte while Eastern Illinois import Chris Olivier is an immediately eligible transfer who averaged 13.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season.From the periphery this team may look like Evans, Forte, and not much else, but Ford has a way of excelling when elbow grease is required.Don’t be shocked if the Cowboys are a nuisance to play and find their way into the NCAA discussion by mid-February."

Rothstein is right. With Ford at the helm, this team has almost always underachieved with lofty expectations, and found ways to sneak in to the NCAA Tournament when pundits pick them to finish in the middle of the conference.

The backcourt is strong, but Solomon will need to live up to the offseason praise if this team hopes to make another tourney appearance. The former four-star recruit averaged 1.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 10.9 minutes as a freshman last season.

The 2015-16 Oklahoma State basketball season begins on Nov. 13 at home against Tennessee-Martin.

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