John Helsley: Cowboys will best Baylor, fall to K-State in Big 12 Tournament
The Oklahoman's John Helsley took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Here's a look at the Q&A on all things OSU basketball and football.
The Oklahoman's John Helsley took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a look at today's Q&A, on all things OSU basketball and football:
ON OKLAHOMA STATE BASKETBALL:
We have rehashed everything about Pokes basketball until we are worn out. So the only way to be entertaining here is to be bold. Please give us your prediction on how the Pokes will fare in the Big 12 tournament. Who will they play, who will win?
Bold you want, bold you get. I say the Cowboys beat Baylor, but lose to K-State in another scrapping, down-to-the wire grinder in a less-than-neutral Sprint Center. I actually like OSU's chances much better in the Big Dance, where teams will be less familiar with them and their rugged style.
I know it's unlikely, but what happens if everyone from the current basketball roster stays (minus Jurick, of course)? What do coaches do when they've overextended themselves on scholarships?
As currently constructed, the Cowboys lose Jurick, and JP Olukemi. Minus those two, that leaves them with nine players on scholarship. With five signed, and assuming all qualify, that puts them at 14 next fall — one over the limit of 13. Typically, these things work themselves out. Somebody leaves in search of more playing time, or a recruit doesn't qualify. Otherwise, it gets sticky.
OSU has seeds ranking from 4-6 by most bracketologists. What is the highest seed they could get by winning the Big 12 tournament and the lowest seed they would likely receive losing to Baylor in the first round of the tournament?
I see the Cowboys rising as high as a No. 3 if they win the tournament, dropping no further than six in a worst-case scenario. Personally, I think they're pretty solid as a 4 or 5.
If you had to pick, which possibility would you say has a higher chance of occurring: Marcus Smart staying for another year at OSU, or Le’Bryan Nash and Markel Brown leaving for the NBA after this season?
Percentage chance Smart stays? Your best guess.
35 percent. I know he's a projected lottery pick. And I know that's hard to pass up. But this is a different kid, a different set of circumstances. I would not be stunned at all if he comes back for another year with what would be the Big 12 favorite and a legit Final Four contender.
Is there any reason at this point to think Smart will come back? What would be something that could happen over these next couple of weeks that might make him want to come back?
Answered above. Besides the money — which will be there a year later — which seems like more fun, playing with your best friend since 3rd grade with a chance to be one of the nation's best teams, or running the point for a bumbling franchise like the Charlotte Bobcats?
Not too sound greedy, because I think it's great that Marcus has received so many accolades, but I am confused about what the qualifications for Newcomer of the Year are. I mean, if he is Freshman of the Year and Player of the year how is he not Newcomer of the Year? Are freshman not considered newcomers? Just curious.
Good question. It's a bit of a tricked up category, a way for the coaches to recognize more players. Newcomer of the Year is devoted to transfers — either JC or from other four-year schools.
The Pokes are only favored by 2 vs. Baylor. Seems too low.
Did you see the previous two games between these two? The Bears are talented, the biggest underachiever in the Big 12 and maybe the country. They have a lottery pick 7-footer in Isaiah Austin. The Big 12's leading scorer and assist man. And a beast of a power forward in Cory Jefferson. They are a handful. Ask Kansas. It will be a struggle.
Ken Pomeroy rates OSU's offense last among top 25 teams. It seems they go through stretches of bad basketball. Can Ford control this during tournament play?
Seems to me that most teams go through bad stretches. Saw the Thunder do it last night. Nobody is "on" for 40 minutes. Doesn't happen. The goal is to limit the dry patches. I believe the Cowboys have gotten better at this, as they've transitioned from less of a 3-point shooting team to one that drives to the hole and challenges teams.
Is Markel starting to get much notice from the NBA?
Markel's improved shooting has definitely caught the attention of NBA evaluators. I don't know if he can rise enough to get into the first round, where you really need to be to leave college early, but I think he's set himself up as a player to watch.
I know OSU is likely to lose Smart to the NBA. With a perimeter shooter like Stevie Clark joining Murphy, Forte, Cobbins, Nash, and Brown do you see Oklahoma State with a significant drop off next season? Or is Ford building a highly competitive basketball program?
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