Travis Ford pleads an impassioned case for Keiton Page's inclusion on the list of Oklahoma State's all-time great players.
“He's going to go down as one of the great, if not one of the best players to play at Oklahoma State,” Ford said. “The statistics say so. And I know there haven't been many who have meant as much to a team and a program.
Ford creates an intriguing debate, based in part on Page's place at No. 7 on OSU's career scoring list – and he has more points than any Cowboy under 6-feet tall – his soon to be No. 1 spot in made 3-pointers, his No. 1 ranking in minutes played and No. 5 rank in games played.
And there's this: “I can't overstate,” Ford said, “he's the best leader I've ever had. In 15 years, by far the best.”
There have been many Cowboy greats, including 17 All-Americans, clouding Ford's debate.
Still, Ford is right, Page is special. And if not a Cowboy great, then for sure a great Cowboy.
As Page winds down his college career with but a handful of games remaining, marked by Monday's Senior Night clash with No. 4 Kansas inside Gallagher-Iba Arena, his greatest legacy – his captain's legacy – might be realized in the years to come.
Because while this farewell season rates as a wins-and-losses disappointment for OSU's lone senior, Page remains the consummate Cowboy, shepherding along a young core of players, hopefully toward better days ahead.
“His legacy began as a young freshman, starting in the NCAA Tournament,” Ford said. “His legacy will be scoring all the points, playing all the minutes. His legacy will be doing it the right way, as a great person, a great player. His legacy… you can go on and on.
“But part of it will be how much he has taught these guys on leadership and how to go about your everyday life on the court, off the court, and the type person he is. Hopefully, that has rubbed off on a number of these guys and they've learned from it.”
Said redshirt freshman Michael Cobbins: “Keiton's been a great leader for us. Being vocal and being a leader by example. He's shown us how it's done and showed us the ropes.”