2007 Oklahoma State Cowboys Basketball Preview
Last season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys (22- 13 overall, 6- 10 Big 12) proved to be unpredictable in NCAA predictions, as in January they looked to be headed to the NCAA tourney and in March they were bound for the NIT. First year coach Sean Sutton (22- 13 in one year at Oklahoma State and overall) saw his club lose to Marist 67- 64 in the NIT’s first round. For Sutton, it was a bittersweet beginning as he helped the team win five more games than they did the previous season but was unable to get them back into the conference tournament brackets.
The Cowboys were third from the free throw line, hitting at a .726 rate. The club was sixth in scoring, dropping in 75.0 PPG, great for the college basketball betting odds. That got them a 62nd ranking nationally. But those were the statistical highlights. Defensively, Oklahoma State proved to be weak, allowing 70.3 PPG, putting them eighth in the conference and 209th in the nation. They also placed in the bottom third in rounding margin and turnovers.
The frontcourt is exceptionally sparse as far as experience is concerned. Swingman Marcus Dove (4.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 58.3 FG%), the club’s only starting senior, is a solid defensive force. He’ll have to stabilize this team, and he must start to excel in scoring and rebounding. Junior center Kenny Cooper (4.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 47.7 FG%) should see more action but that has to result in more points and rebbies. Junior college transfer Anthony Brown, a power forward, will contribute immediately.
In the backcourt, Byron Eaton (7.7 PPG, 3.6 APG, 41.2 FG%) has the potential to become one of the conference’s best point men. Talented guard/forward James, Anderson, who has miles of explosive talent, could quickly become this team’s go-to guy. Junior guard Terrel Harris (10.0 PPG, 4.1 APG, 40.2 FG%) needs to be more consistent.
For the Cowboys to win and get back into March Madness coverage, they must play much better defense. Oklahoma State started last season 15- 1, and then, due to uneven play, injuries and a lack of depth, spiraled into a NIT berth. Last year, the Cowboys suffered from complacency and a thin bench. Coach Sutton believes both problems have been rectified and his team will be back on track in 2007- 2008.