By John Helsley
Oklahoma State’s NCAA Tournament opener offers a contrasting matchup: the Cowboys gunning guards against Georgia Tech’s formidable front line of 6-10 Derrick Favors and 6-9 Gani Lawal, a pair of projected first-round draft picks.
The pressure is clearly on Matt Pilgrim to hold his own inside. And most importantly, to do so without getting in foul trouble, which has been the only thing to slow him of late.
We’ve got a story on Pilgrim’s adventurous and often difficult journey to this point in his career in Thursday’s paper.
The junior has clearly turned the corner this season, after struggling to deal with off-the-court issues and the push to remove the rust from a year of game inactivity.
Pilgrim credits coach Ford with spurring the emergence. Interestingly not Travis Ford, but Travis’ father, Eddie Ford.
“Coach Ford’s father said something to me: ‘You’re holding yourself back.’ At first when he said that, I was like, ‘What is he talking about?’ Then I just sat and thought about it. I wondered, ‘What can he possibly be talking about.’ I examined it and thought about it for about a week and I came up with, ‘Maybe if I stop worrying about everything and just play, just play the way coach Ford wants me to play and do everything to help the team and do everything I feel comfortable with…’ As long as I’m comfortable with myself, I don’t have to worry about anything else.
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