Actually heard a rumor a few weeks back that Nick Sidorakis was leaving the OSU basketball program.
Sounded off. Still, I sniffed around, and as instincts suggested, it was bad information.
Way bad, turns out.
Tuesday, Cowboys coach Travis Ford named Sidorakis a team captain for next season.
“Nick has done an outstanding job since the end of this past season in stepping up as a team leader. He has done a terrific job of leading the team both vocally and in leading by his actions. he has been handed this honor deservedly.”
The Pokes need a leader, after losing James Anderson and Obi Muonelo. Anderson was the silent type who got guys to respond with his work ethic and quest for excellence. Muonelo was never afraid to get in a guy’s grill when necessary.
That tandem carried enough clout to command respect, and got it.
Now, OSU is in transition, with its roster and its leadership. And, frankly, Marshall Moses and Matt Pilgrim, for now, must prove they can lead themselves, let alone a team.
Sidorakis is a natural. He’s smart. Works hard. A senior. Has an investment, as an Oklahoma kid, in being a Cowboy. It means something to him and he’ll press his teammates to invest as well.
Now, Ford’s attention spins to finding another captain or two to stand alongside Sidorakis.
“We’re looking for someone who holds himself accountable, as well as someone who motivates and holds others accountable,” Ford said. “We’re looking forward to possibly naming one or two others who could show these same qualities.”
Ford has typically pegged seniors to be captains, with Anderson the exception. But Ford isn’t locked into an older guy. So, who then?
Maybe Keiton Page, who came out of his shell some last year. Maybe Ray Penn and/or Fred Gulley, point guards who have exhibited leadership traits.
“The team captain certainly doesn’t have to be a senior,” Ford said. “Nick is a senior, but he has proven to us that he’s willing to not only lead by example, but to speak up and be a solid leader vocally. We need another player to do the same thing and join Nick as a team captain.”