Senior shooting guard Phil Forte only has four regular season games remaining in his career with the Oklahoma State basketball program.
The Oklahoma State basketball program will lose the best shooter to ever come through Stillwater in less than two months. Senior shooting guard Phil Forte is a fifth year player and only has four regular season games left in a Cowboy uniform. He’s become a fan favorite during his five years with the OK State basketball program and has been one of the longest mainstays of any Cowboy in school history.
Forte was originally recruited as somewhat of a package deal with former five-star Cowboy point guard Marcus Smart. They both attended the same high school in Flower Mound, TX, and former OK State head coach Travis Ford was able to recruit them both to come to Stillwater. Yet, Smart ended up declaring for the 2014 NBA Draft and Forte still remains on campus so it’s not too far out to say that Forte ended up having a bigger effect on the program than Smart did.
Buzz surrounding Forte’s possible transfer surfaced after Ford was fired last offseason and that the Cowboys hired new head coach Brad Underwood. However, Forte decided to stick out his last year in Stillwater and that has ended up paying dividends.
After missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in college last season, Forte might be able to have the deepest run of his career this season. Bleacher Report projects the Cowboys as a seven seed in the Tournament right now.
The newfound combination of Forte along with star sophomore point guard Jawun Evans and junior forward Jeffrey Carroll powered the Cowboys to the point they’re at now. All three players average at least 13.8 points per game this season.
This season really has been one of achieving certain milestones for Forte. He broke Keiton Page’s three-point record earlier this season as Forte hit his 301st career three pointer.
Forte also leads the NCAA in free throw percentage, proving once again he is one of the best shooters in college basketball.
Another thing Forte achieved this season that he had not done in his four years previous was sweep the Bedlam series. OK State defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 96-92 to complete their first regular season sweep of the Sooners since 2004.
The first time OU and OK State met this season was at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. Forte ended up draining the game-winning three-pointer to give the Cowboys their first victory against the Sooners since 2013.
Forte is a large reason why the Cowboys are as hot as they are right now owning an 18-9 (7-7 Big 12) record. They take on the Kansas State Wildcats tomorrow in Manhattan, KS, as they look to get closer to notching 20 wins on the season.
There is still a great chance for Forte to help make this season even more special for the Pokes and their fans. A bid for the NCAA Tournament is nearly solidified right now and it looks like OK State could make a good run in the Big 12 Tournament as well. It would be great to see Forte achieve even more in his final months in Stillwater.