Rapid reaction: Oklahoma State falls 73-67 at Kansas State
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma State fell 73-67 to Kansas State in the Big 12 opener in Manhattan on Saturday. Here’s some rapid reaction:
In the first 20 minutes, the inconsistent Rodney McGruder was a nonfactor, struggling through a 1/5 shooting performance for two points. But in half #2, K-State’s streaky shooting guard went all Reggie Miller on Oklahoma State, scoring 26 crucial point on a scorching 10/14 shooting (5/7 from three). Rodney McGruder got hot and the Cowboys got torched.
It was over when…
…McGruder delivered the final daggers, raining in back-to-back threes in the game’s deciding possessions. It turned a 64-64 game into a 70-65 Kansas State lead. The first came off an offensive rebound and kick out, with the other delivered after a bad defensive mix-up (which seemed to happening a lot in the second half).
Smart’s Big 12 debut
The loss was no fault of OSU’s spectacular freshman, who continues to ascend toward higher heights as the competition rises. Marcus Smart shot 7/10 from the field, scoring a career-high 25 points in his Big 12 debut. And he did it with a certain confidence and scowl, knowing he was the best player on the floor (sans McGruder’s lights-out streak) and continually proving it. The Cowboys have something special, and it’s becoming more evident by the day.
Rising – Markel Brown’s game
No longer just a one trick pony (however great that trick may be), OSU’s high-flying acrobat has refined his all-around game and developed into a compatible backcourt sidekick. Brown was, once again, elusive with the drive and smooth around the rim (two qualities he didn’t have upon arrival in Stillwater), scoring 19 points on 7/14 shooting. He’s scored double-digits in 12 of the 13 games this year, showing much-needed consistency. And don’t worry Pokes fans, the dramatic flair is still there. He had two monstrous dunks on Saturday, including this gem.
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