The Oklahoma State basketball team splits their time between the conference’s Kansas teams this week — which will likely yield some mixed results.
Travis Ford’s bunch mounted two furious comebacks last week, but both ended with losses.
On the bright side, we now have an actual reason to look forward to watching this team, and that is freshman phenom Jawun Evans’s emergence. The Cowboys’ budding star exploded for for 42 points on 18-31 shooting against the Sooners last Wednesday in a narrow Bedlam loss. He wasn’t nearly as aggressive the following game against Texas on Saturday, but he still finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, while displaying his increasingly-confident playmaking ability. Evans is averaging 17.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.8 rebounds to go along with 44% field goal shooting since conference play began.
Oklahoma State enters this week on a four-game losing streak, with a 1-4 conference record, and 9-8 record overall. The good news is that there are three other teams with the same conference record at the moment. The bad news is that the Cowboys play Kansas on Wednesday, so the losing streak is very likely to hit five.
Let’s take a quick look at what to expect over the next two games.
Kansas (15-2, 4-1)
Bill Self’s team hasn’t been very impressive since that incredible win over Oklahoma back on Jan. 5. Kansas followed that game with a mediocre win over a decent Texas Tech team, but subsequently fell to West Virginia on the road 74-63 last Wednesday. A 70-63 win at home over TCU on Saturday did little to make the Jayhawks feel better, and now they are visiting an arena where they have gone 0-2 over the past two seasons.
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If the last few games are any indication, expect the Pokes to get down big, only to fall short after some ridiculous comeback. OSU’s respectable defense against the nation’s sixth-best scoring team is an intriguing matchup, but the Jayhawks are just too loaded for the Cowboys to handle. Expect Perry Ellis to have his way in the interior, especially on the boards. There won’t be a court-storming for the Gallagher-Iba faithful this year unfortunately.
@ Kansas State (11-6, 1-4)
KSU is actually a welcome sight for the Cowboys after a brutal five-game stretch, even if it’s on the road. The Wildcats have the same conference record as OSU, but have hung tough in all of their conference losses, aside from Saturday’s 13-point home loss to a confusing Iowa State team.
Kansas State is pretty bad at both scoring and rebounding, which plays into the Cowboys’ strengths and weaknesses rather well. The Wildcats are a fairly young team, and have a promising freshman point guard of their own in Kamau Stokes who is averaging 9.3 points per game, and should provide an interesting matchup against Evans. Expect the Cowboys to show some of the grit they’ve acquired from playing five superior teams in a row, and come away with a close road win — if they can manage to shoot over 30% that is.