2008 Oklahoma State Cowboys Basketball Preview
New head coach Travis Ford will introduce the Oklahoma State Cowboys (17-16 overall, 7-9 Big 12) and their fans to up-tempo basketball. Last season, the Cowboys lost in the first round of the NIT to Southern Illinois 69-53. In Ford’s first season with the team, they have a chance to get back to the NIT, but it looks like the NCAA Tournament will have to wait.
Sophomore Ibrahima Thomas (17.4 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.2 APG, 50.3 FG%, 58.2 FT%), the team’s six-foot-eleven center, improved markedly last season. He’s bulked up since last year and should command the floor with more aplomb. Thomas can hit from the outside and runs the floor well. The rest of the frontcourt is sketchy. Senior Anthony Brown (12.9 MPG, 4.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 45.3 FG%, 53.8 FT%), who missed part of last season due to injury, will certainly see time as will power forward Marshall Moses (6.0 MPG, 1.5 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.1 APG, 51.9 FG%, 50.0 FT%). The athletic Moses, a sophomore, saw limited action in 2007-2008.
Senior guard Byron Eaton (29.7 MPG, 11.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 3.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 79.2 FT%) broke-through at the end of last season, leading the Cowboys on an inspired winning streak that included beating national champs Kansas. But Eaton has been held back by weight problems. If he can slim down, it’ll help his game greatly. Three guys are in line at the wing spot—junior Obi Muonelo (26.2 MPG, 9.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 40.1 FG%, 66.3 FT%), senior Terrel Harris (29.5 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.8 FG%, 83.2 FT%) and sophomore Nick Sidorakis (7.0 MPG, 1.5 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 43.2 FG%, 62.5 FT%). The backcourt is deep.
There’s fine outside shooting but not a whole lot of defense
or rebounding upfront. That could pose problems for Ford and company
when the perimeter game fails. This is a transition year for this
team. Ford is replacing Sean Sutton, who coached for two years,
and his dad, long-time Cowboys coach Eddie Sutton—both defensive
specialist. Look for the team to finish somewhere in the middle
of the pack this season, which is better than their eighth place
finish in 2007-2008.