Sean Sutton came as close to being a head coach as any assistant could when he worked for his father. He still didn't know everything about being the main man. Late this season, though, the Oklahoma State men's basketball coach looked like he might be getting it figured out. His Cowboys looked better. So did he. But now, Sutton is out. He came to a mutual agreement with OSU athletic director Mike Holder on Monday to resign, less than 23 months after officially taking over the reins in Stillwater. It's too soon. These past two seasons have been disappointments for lots of reasons. No NCAA Tournament bids. Off-court troubles. Empty Gallagher-Iba seats. Still, there were signs as this past season went on that Sutton was figuring things out. No doubt the last few years coaching under his legendary father, Sutton learned tons. He watched how Eddie Sutton worked, how he handled problems, how he dealt with alumni and administrators. He also headed up the recruiting and the offensive game planning. When the younger Sutton became the OSU head coach in May 2006, he was as prepared as any assistant could be to make that leap. He still couldn't know all the potholes and the pitfalls. No one does until the sign on the big office has their name on it. And for the better part of two seasons, Sutton floundered. He looked ill-prepared to coach, and many nights, his teams looked just as sickly. Then when conference play started this season, the Cowboys turned a corner. They started playing better, and even though that didn't equate to wins until February — their first six losses in Big 12 play were by an average of 5.0 points — this was an improved team. Credit the players, but credit Sutton, too. He looked more and more like a head coach as the season went on. He seemed to have better command of the huddle and the players. Granted, Sutton is never going to be Mr. Smooth. He sweats. He snarls. But you don't have to be a GQ cover boy to be a good basketball coach. Sutton looked like he might be growing into one of those, and he might very well get there one day soon. It just won't be at OSU. That sets a dangerous precedent for every other coach in Stillwater, not to mention the coach who replaces Sutton. Had he been given even one more year and still struggled, then going a different direction would've been understandable. Instead, Sutton is being booted just when he seemed to be getting his feet on the ground.