OSU basketball: ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla previews the Cowboys’ upcoming season
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com – @anthonyVslater
And in preparation, he’s been traveling around to the league’s different cities, watching practice and learning the teams.
In a recent interview with The Oklahoman, he gave his thoughts on an experienced and potentially underrated Oklahoma team:
Le’Bryan Nash. The stats weren’t terrible last year, but considering the expectations and shooting percentages, it may have been a bit of a disappointment. What do you expect from him this year?
I watched him in high school and I felt expectations early last year were too high. But to Le’Bryan’s credit and the credit of the coaching staff, the last third of the season Le’Bryan became one of the best players in the Big 12. And the numbers backed that up. Quite frankly, I think he learned to play with more aggressiveness and energy in the second half of the Big 12 season. Because it’s a league that can embarrass you if you don’t bring it every night. And to Le’Bryan’s credit, I think he improved dramatically at the end of the season before he got hurt. And I think he’s going to be a much different player to start this season than he was 12 months ago. Plus the addition of Marcus Smart, a guy who has winning in his DNA, is gonna help Le’Bryan dramatically because Marcus is like a coach on the floor. He knows how to push buttons in a way that is motivational. So I think Le’Bryan is in for a great sophomore year.
Was the biggest adjustment for him maturity?
Very rarely does a Kevin Durant just come in and dominant this league from day one. I can cite multiple examples in the last decade I’ve covered the Big 12 of highly thought of freshman having a real adjustment period to the league. But in Le’Bryan’s case, he deserves a lot of credit for adjusting and becoming a good player by the end of his freshman year. He’s already taken what he’s learned, regarding the ups and downs of his freshman year, and I think he’s gonna channel it and be one of the better players in the Big 12. I don’t think there’s any question about it and the coaches certainly feel that way throughout the league.
You’re obviously high on Le’Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart, as most analysts are, but do you think people are sleeping a bit on Markel Brown and what he brings to this team?
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