Bedlam basketball: Cowboys struggle with foul trouble again in loss

Since starting post man Michael Cobbins went down just before Big 12 play, the Cowboys have found themselves in repeated uphill battles. And foul trouble has been a recurring theme, with players sliding into unfamiliar roles to help offset the void of Cobbins.
by John Helsley Published: January 27, 2014


photo - Oklahoma State's Kamari Murphy (21) reacts after an OSU foul in the second half during the NCAA men's Bedlam basketball game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. OU won, 88-76. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Kamari Murphy (21) reacts after an OSU foul in the second half during the NCAA men's Bedlam basketball game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) and the Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. OU won, 88-76. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“Mike is down. And we've got to move on from that. We've got to move on from that and get some wins.”

And get some stops. And some rebounds. And some garbage points inside.

All the things that Cobbins aided.

And the Cowboys must quit fouling so much.

The Sooners attempted 42 free throws and outscored OSU 30-15 at the foul line.

“I don't want to make excuses, but it's a major issue,” Ford said. “We can't keep getting in foul trouble. We know that. It's tough to go to our bench, especially in this game, the way they play.

“Our room for error is very small, especially in this game.”

The Sooners play fast, not a style for 7-foot reserve Marek Soucek, who did not play.

Junior college big man Gary Gaskins remains locked on the bench. He's battled some knee issues, as well as adjusting to the speed of the game at this level.

Has Ford given up on the two?

“No, it's just the nature of the game, the way the game's being played,” Ford said, again referencing the fast tempo.

Ford keeps trying to get freshman Leyton Hammonds going, but little good has happened for the rookie, whose confidence appears shaken.

So Ford's options are few.

And small.

Phil Forte's role continues to expand and he's responding. He made six 3-pointers in a 20-point performance off the bench Monday night. And Clark seems in line for more play.

Not trusting the big guys off the bench, Ford went to walk-on Christien Sager for a season-high 18 minutes against the Sooners.

As Brown said, Cobbins isn't coming back.

So it's up to the Cowboys to fix their woes.

“We have a lot of guys in that locker room who can better than they did,” Ford said. “Our team just needs to play better. We're not playing as well as we're capable of playing right now. Not just in this game.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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