Keiton Page Deserves Better
Opinions on Keiton Page vary widely.
I don’t get it.
The Cowboys haven’t been great this year – or last – but I shudder to think where they’d be without Page.
So he doesn’t pass the eye test. And he’s not the best athlete on the floor; heck, may be among the worst.
Maybe the Pokes have too many athletes. Page is a basketball player.
And a winner, lugging around a young team struggling to find its way, doing his best to will it to victories. And Wednesday night’s win over Texas Tech in a Big 12 opener – a must win, lest there be any doubt – featured Page pulling the Cowboys over the finish line again.
Happy to let Le’Bryan Nash shoulder the load early, Page answered the call when needed late. He finished with 23 points, the bulk of which came with the rest of the Cowboys tightening on the offensive end.
Page scored OSU’s final 12 points and 16 of its final 17.
And in his third game at the point, the Cowboys committed just two turnovers – a school record – with Page providing five assists.
What’s not to like?
After the game, Tech coach Billy Gillispie gushed about Page. And if you think it was just polite coachspeak, it sure didn’t play that way.
For two seasons now, Page has been the object of opponents’ bad intent, drawing major attention that makes it difficult for him to even catch the ball in a normal flow, let alone get shots. With OSU lacking true scoring options, teams focus first and foremost on slowing Page.
Bill Self. Rick Barnes. Frank Martin. All have saluted Page, whether verbally or by devising defensive schemes aimed primarily at him.
That, friends, is respect.
When James Anderson and Obi Muonelo were still around banging down shots, things were easier for Page, who often found himself left free to fire.
Those days are long gone.
So Page is asked to carry the load, as hard as that is for a 5-8 unspectacular athlete to pull off. And more often than not, he obliges. Beyond all that, no other Cowboy is as orange as Page, anOklahomakid with a sense of school history who always plays the good soldier, representing the program in good times and bad.
His reward: a mixed bag of love and hate.
C’mon, get off Page’s back.
His burden is heavy enough.
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