“We have some guys on this team who aren't used to losing, so hopefully that will help us,” Ford said.
OSU's 5-1 start and a rise as high as No. 15 in the rankings should help as well. The Cowboys got a taste of winning and relevancy, and enjoyed it. And they want more of both.
Beginning with South Florida, a solid Big East team at 5-2, OSU gets a chance to build momentum into a New Year's Eve showdown with No. 10 Gonzaga, playing its next six games inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.
And now the Cowboys have a renewed focus.
“We started off the season on a pretty good note,” Smart said, “then we came in with that loss. It opened a lot of eyes on the team. It's a big reality check for us. We took a lot of things for granted.
“But lesson learned. Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way.”
Looking for a hint on his Cowboys' mood after the loss, Ford called his guys in for an 8 a.m. film session Monday morning. Not normal protocol, Ford did so with a plan.
“I wanted to see how they would come in,” Ford said. “They were attentive. There were some guys who were very disappointed in losing.
“We'll see how we respond. We'll see. You've got to hate losing. We've talked about that. You should feel bad when you lose. It's not fun.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
No. 23 Oklahoma State vs. South Florida
* When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
* Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater
* TV: ESPNU (Cox 253)
* Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
* The Bulls earned an NCAA Tournament berth a year ago and are expected to finish in the top half of the Big East.
* South Florida is coming off a 64-53 win over Georgia in the SEC/Big East Challenge.
* OSU's defense is responsible for allowing just 61.7 points and 35.9 percent shooting per game, while producing more than five blocks and nearly seven steals.