Oklahoma State basketball: Cowboys need to fix road woes — fast

OSU is now 1-20 in its last 21 Big 12 road games after Saturday's Bedlam loss to Oklahoma.
by John Helsley Published: January 13, 2013

Midway through his second season, Nash should be able to get himself going.

Should OSU change its approach on the road?

The common denominator in each of OSU's road losses: foul troubles.

At Virginia Tech, four Cowboys finished with four fouls and the Hokies scored 27 points on free throws in an 81-71 win.

At Kansas State, OSU's starting post players, Philip Jurick and Kamari Murphy, got into early foul trouble, allowing the Wildcats to dominate the paint in the first half.

At OU, Marcus Smart — the Cowboys' most important player — was saddled with foul concerns throughout, limiting his minutes and his impact on the game.

In opponents' arenas, where calls typically go the other way, should OSU adjust its physicality?

“You don't want to lose your aggression,” Cobbins said. “Fouls are going to happen. But we've got to be cautious of timely fouls. I think that's what it is … when not to foul.”

Should the Cowboys consider pressing more on defense?

Of course, this goes against the previous suggestion, although not entirely.

When OSU has pressed teams this season, it has produced turnovers, including Saturday at OU and last week at Kansas State. With turnovers come fast-break points and easier offense.

Depth is a concern for the Cowboys, but Williams is on his way back and Marek Soucek should be close to returning from a knee strain. So it'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys turn up the heat more and more.

Might a small lineup suit the Cowboys best?

When the Pokes have recently gone small — with Smart, Brown, Phil Forte, Nash and Cobbins or Murphy — the offense has opened up, allowing for drives that play to the strengths of Brown and Smart and also allow for kickouts to Forte on the perimeter.

It's not a great rebounding lineup, but the Cowboys haven't excelled on the boards anyway.

And it's a lineup that suits more pressing, particularly when Williams returns.

With the Pokes scuffling in the half-court offense with a more conventional lineup leaving the lane congested, maybe small ball is the best ball for OSU's athletes.

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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