Oklahoma State Basketball: So, Just How Many Games Will the Cowboys Win in Conference Play?

Jan 9, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys players stand at half court after a technical foul was called during the second half at the WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys players stand at half court after a technical foul was called during the second half at the WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday’s loss to West Virginia is just one of many more to come in conference play for the men’s Oklahoma State basketball team.

Times are unfortunately tough for the OSU men’s basketball program these days. Travis Ford’s bunch entered the 2015-16 season coming off yet another first-round NCAA tourney loss, and with the usual low expectations that have come to be, well, expected for Cowboy basketball in recent years.

The non-conference portion of the season was a mixed bag, with a close win over a mediocre Minnesota team, a close loss to Florida, some wins over no-name teams, a close loss to a bad George Mason team, a beat down from Tulsa at home, and an embarrassing loss at home to Missouri State. To make matters worse, leading scorer and overall team leader Phil Forte injured his elbow early on, and is not likely to return this season.

Conference play began okay enough, with a resounding 21-point victory over TCU at home. Then Baylor happened, with the Bears disposing of the Pokes 79-62 in Waco. The Cowboys actually managed to make it a game at one point during the second half before reverting back to their usual selves, which really means passing the ball on the perimeter for 20 seconds and settling for a three-pointer or long two. Oh, and giving the opposing team all the chances they could possibly want on offense: Baylor had more offensive rebounds (23) then the Cowboys had overall (18.) In fact, Bears forward Rico Gathers came within one rebound of personally equaling the Cowboys’ team total. It’s a miracle that the Fighting Fords even got within three points during that valiant second half run.

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Saturday’s game in Morgantown against West Virginia was more of the same. The team was already at a disadvantage, with center Anthony Allen and guard Tyree Griffin both missing the game for different reasons. The Mountaineers grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and put up 15 more shots than the Cowboys, while also forcing 16 turnovers en route to a 77-60 win. Another conference road game, another 17-point loss.

The Cowboys are now 9-6 overall, and 1-2 in the Big 12. With 15 conference games remaining (and a road game against Auburn on Jan. 30,) now is a fair time to look at the remaining schedule and try to gauge how many wins this team will have come March 4, broken down by matchups remaining with each team.

Spoiler alert: It’s not many.

Oklahoma – The Sooners are on a mission this season, and have a player in Buddy Hield who is likely to win Player of the Year when is all said and done. OU has pretty much owned Bedlam in recent years, and that’s not changing this season. Prediction: 0-2.

Texas – How did this team beat North Carolina? Not only do the Longhorns have the same record as the Cowboys right now, they also match up the same. Don’t be surprised to see this one split. Prediction: 1-1.

Kansas – Nope. Prediction: 0-2.

Kansas State – Yeah, the Wildcats are 0-3 in the Big 12 so far, but they will likely finish 6th. For whatever reason, Travis Ford teams fare pretty well against KSU. We’ll call this one a split too. Prediction: 1-1.

Baylor – I don’t see this one being much different when the Bears come to Stillwater. Gallagher-Iba Arena isn’t what it used to be, and for good reason. Prediction: 0-1.

Texas Tech – People tend to forget that the Red Raiders have Tubby Smith as a coach. They are currently 11-3, and share two common opponents with OSU in Missouri State and Minnesota. The scores were pretty close too, but at least Tech managed to beat Missouri State. Still, the Cowboys have mostly owned the Red Raiders in the Ford era. Prediction: 1-1.

TCU – The Cowboys managed to capitalize on some matchup issues in the first game. Don’t expect the Horned Frogs to go 1-17 from three-point range again, but do expect them to lose. Prediction: 1-0.

Iowa State – The Cyclones’ defense leaves much to be desired, but the Cowboys will have no answer for the inside/outside combination of Georges Niang and Monte Morris. Prediction: 0-2.

West Virginia – There is zero reason to expect a different outcome from the first time, even with Anthony Allen and Tyree Griffin in the lineup. Prediction: 0-1.

**Bonus game** Auburn – This team is not good. Their 301st-ranked defense should bode well for Evans and company, even on the road. Chalk up a win for the Big 12 in this season’s edition of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Prediction: 1-0

So, that’s 4-11 to close the season, with the predicted Auburn win pushing the record to 5-11. Combine that with 9-6 and you’ve got a 14-17 team with a 5-13 conference record.


If all goes as predicted, this will be Ford’s second losing season since 2011-12. Prior to that season, the Cowboys hadn’t had a losing season since 1987-88. But will it be enough for Ford to be shown the door? That’s been the question for the last several seasons now — so don’t expect anything to change.

On the bright side, there are only 236 more days until football season kicks off.