Stevie Graham talent test
Oklahoma State went to the 2004 Final Four with five players who eventually made the NBA. Of those five, who figured that five years later the most productive pro would be the least heralded. Stevie Graham.
Graham scored 19 points Wednesday night to help the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Thunder 100-92, and Graham has become a solid member of Larry Brown’s rotation.
Stevie Graham has made eight starts, played in 57 games, averaged 4.3 points a game (he’s Charlotte’s defensive stopper) and has played 675 minutes.
Boston’s Tony Allen actually has played more minutes this season (735); he’s the Celtics’ defensive stopper, too. Joey Graham, Stevie’s twin brother, is now with the Denver Nuggets and has played 626 minutes.
The other two NBA players on Sutton’s 2004 roster — Ivan McFarlin and John Lucas — haven’t played in the league since 2007.
Stevie Graham often was in Sutton’s doghouse and was the sixth or seventh man most of his two-year career. If Sutton, who almost always drew the most out of ballplayers, had figured out how to capitalize on Stevie Graham’s talent, the Cowboys would have been even more of a powerhouse.
The 2004 Cowboys are a great example of the talent needed to have a superb season. You don’t need five NBA players, necessarily, to make a Final Four, but it doesn’t hurt. The current Cowboys, who by no means are Final Four contenders, have one clear NBA player, James Anderson. I suppose it’s possible, but unlikely, that someone else could develop, like Matt Pilgrim.
But the 2004 Cowboys show Travis Ford how far he needs to upgrade his talent to make OSU a national contender like it was periodically under Sutton.
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