Oklahoma State Cowboys
Good Wins: N-Siena, Texas A&M, Texas, N-Oklahoma
Bad Losses: None.
1. Explosive Offense. Even with Missouri’s frenetic style, Kansas talent, and Oklahoma’s plethora of easy buckets, the Cowboys are actually the Big 12 scoring leaders at 81.1 per game. Four players (James Anderson, Byron Eaton, Terrel Harris, and Obi Muonelo) all average in double-figures, and in-state stud Keiton Page can drill threes with anyone in the country. 1 Eaton and 3 Anderson do an excellent job getting into the lane and either dishing or creating their own shot.
2. Cool in the Clutch. The Cowboys shoot better than 74% from the line and don’t turn the ball over all that much. James Anderson and Byron Eaton both have icewater in their veins, and Muonelo and Harris might surprise you with their ability to pull down key rebounds at both ends of the floor against larger post players.
1. True Post Presence. The Cowboys have long and athletic wings, but no real size inside. Muonelo and Anderson are both listed at 6’6. Neither Anthony Brown nor Marshall Moses is a real threat to score in the paint. OSU ranks in the bottom half of the Big 12 in rebounding. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have proven they can do a decent job against even the best post players in the country, having taken OU to the wire in Norman and beaten them in the Big 12 Tournament.
2. FG% Defense. Part of this stems from a lack of true post presence, as opponents are able to get a disproportionate number of high percentage shots in the paint. But OU also gives up 34% from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Departing: Byron Eaton, the heart and soul of this team, graduates at the end of the year, as does Terrel Harris. But the nucleus of Muonelo, Anderson, and Page will return for Travis Ford next year.
Potential sleeper on the #10 line, otherwise one-and-done. Pending OSU’s seed, this team has the components to make a deep run in the Tournament, and they’ve been the hottest team in the Big 12 towards the end of the season. This team’s ability to score and shoot the three will keep them in a lot of games, and it’s hard to see them getting blown out, even by a #1 seed.