Cowboys coach Travis Ford said he liked his team's energy and devotion to defense and rebounding in a 79-45 rout of Texas Tech Saturday.
But he said, too, that it's only a start.
“No way around it, that's great for today,” Ford said. “I told the team, ‘This is who you need to be. This is who you should be. And this is the only thing we're going to accept. And, guys, if you're not going to do it, we've got other guys who are playing.
“‘If you're not going to do it, you're going to sit over there. There's an approach. There's an attitude. There's a body language that we want to portray that we are. That's business for us right now. That's the way we're approaching it.'
“As young a team as we are, I feel like we've got to keep our thumb on that.”
The effort came following a rugged week of work that featured several 6 a.m. practices, a response to the team's ragged effort in a loss at Oklahoma last Saturday.
One other thing Ford is looking to see — and he said it was there Saturday:
“They need to enjoy it,” he said. “The look and glee in their eye on almost all of them, they were having fun playing hard. They were enjoying playing with that intensity. And that, as a coach, is fun to see.
“Consistency is the word.”
WACO 2012: NO LOOKING BACK
One of OSU's lowlights of the 2012 season came at Baylor, where the Cowboys were beaten 106-65 in what went down as the Cowboys' second-worst defeat — ever — and the worst since 1932.
Heading back to Waco for a Monday clash with the Bears, Cowboys guard Markel Brown said there's nothing to glean from that game.
“We left that game behind,” Brown said. “That was a terrible game we played. But it's time for us to go down there and respond and play the way we're capable of playing and kind of put some pressure on them.”
OSU has lost 20 of its last 21 road games in the Big 12, yet needs to find a few breakthroughs to reestablish itself as a conference contender.
“We'll have our hands full with Baylor,” said freshman Phil Forte. “It'll be a tough road game that we have to find a way to win. Everyone will have to be committed and focused to win that game.”
FOULS FIND SMART, AGAIN
For the second straight game, Cowboys point guard Marcus Smart found himself sitting for an extended period due to foul trouble.
Ford sat his star much of the first half, with Smart playing but six minutes in the period and 21 minutes overall.
“He's an aggressive, physical player, that's who he is,” Ford said. “Some of them … there's good fouls and bad fouls. He's picking up a couple that don't need to be had. We've got to work on that, definitely.”
With Smart not as needed against Tech, Ford admitted that there may have been some benefit in sitting Smart, who has played nearly nonstop since a summer run with Team USA.
“In the second half, I wanted him to play a little bit — I wanted him to get into a flow,” Ford said. “But also, I was telling the coaches that maybe I should just get him out and rest him for Monday.”
Monday: at Baylor, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: West Virginia, noon
Jan. 30: Iowa State, 7 p.m.
* Oklahoma State held Texas Tech to just 45 points on 28.3 percent shooting. It marks the seventh time this season that the Cowboys have held an opponent below 50 points, and the shooting from the floor was the second-lowest of the season (Tennessee shot just 26 percent). Not since 1962-63 has OSU held seven or more opponents under 50 points; that year, the Cowboys held 10 opponents under 50 points.
* Brown scored 21 points against the Red Raiders, his second 20-point game of the season and his 12th-consecutive double-figure scoring game. His six assists were a season high.
* Forte's 19 points were three shy of his career best of 22 he scored against Tennessee Tech. It was his eighth double-figure game of the season.
* OSU's 50 percent shooting (8 of 16) from beyond the arc is a season high, besting a 7 of 15 (.467) effort against Portland State.
* Sophomore forward Marek Soucek made his first appearance in a game since Nov. 16, having missed the last 12 games with a knee injury.
* Sophomore guard Christian Sager matched his career high with five points against the Red Raiders.