Oklahoma State basketball notebook: OSU focus shifts to Big 12 Tournament

Oklahoma State's 13-5 finish in the Big 12 is good for third place and the No. 3 seed in next week's conference tournament.
by John Helsley Published: March 9, 2013
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Oklahoma State's 13-5 finish in the Big 12 is good for third place and the No. 3 seed in next week's conference tournament.

But the opponent — Baylor — isn't a typical sixth-place finisher.

The Bears have a projected NBA Draft lottery pick in 7-footer Isaiah Austin and the league's leading scorer and assist man in point guard Pierre Jackson. It's a team good enough to rout No. 4 Kansas.

Yet that's the Thursday matchup at Kansas City's Sprint Center, with tip time 8:30 p.m.

“They are as talented as anyone in our league,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. “They gave us problems. Pierre Jackson is one of the toughest guys to guard in the nation. “They've got Isaiah Austin who's long inside, he gives us problems.

“They're a big team, their fours and fives are really big. We have our hands full.”

The teams split their two regular-season games, with the Bears winning 64-54 in Waco, while OSU won 69-67 in overtime in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“They beat us pretty good down there and we squeaked one out here, so they're going to have confidence going against us,” Ford said.

SMART PLAY CHANGES MOMENTUM

With Kansas State holding its last lead, 61-59, Cowboys guard Marcus Smart made one of the game's biggest plays without the ball.

On a K-State inbounds play near midcourt, Smart drew an offensive foul on Wildcats guard Angel Rodriguez. Moments later, Smart tied the game with two free throws, part of an 8-0 run that sent the Cowboys to the win.

“They had the ball with the momentum,” Smart said. “When they called it, the momentum just swung to our side and the fans erupted. And it gave our team a spark that we needed.”

Smart said that because of the physical play between him and Rodriguez, the officials had repeatedly warned both players. And that probably played into the call.

“Good call,” said OSU's Markel Brown. “Very good call.”

K-State coach Bruce Weber had a different view.


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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