Oklahoma State basketball: How Philip Jurick cut out the drive-thru tacos and got well quickly

OSU center Philip Jurick suffered an Achilles tear barely nine months ago, but you wouldn't know it from the way he's been playing. He went to work on his rehab with an improved diet that helped him shed 30 pounds, aiding his recovery and his agility.
by John Helsley Published: December 7, 2012
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photo - COLLEGE BASKETBALL: OSU men's basketball player Philip Jurick (44) poses for a portrait at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.  Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: OSU men's basketball player Philip Jurick (44) poses for a portrait at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

While injury news has spun predominantly bad for the Cowboys, Jurick's rapid progress has been one of the team's most positive developments. For a big man — Jurick stands 6-foot-11 — Achilles tears can be devastating. During honest moments over the summer, Ford wondered how much Jurick would be available this season, if at all.

But the senior center went to work with strength and conditioning coach Jake Manzelmann on the rehab, formulating an improved diet that shed 30 pounds from Jurick, aiding not only his recovery, but his agility.

“I was up to like 290 when I got hurt,” Jurick said. “I've never been that big before. I didn't even notice I was getting that big until I tore my Achilles.”

Among other favorite treats, Jurick gave up late-night runs to Taco Bell, where he'd regularly grab five tacos … as a snack.

“And a couple of other things, depends how I felt,” he said.

Looking trim at 260 pounds, Jurick is moving — and playing — better than ever as a Cowboy. Still, he claims he's only operating at about 70 percent, leaving him room for improvement as he continues to practice and play and push toward full speed.

“I think I'll be a lot better,” Jurick said.

The injury happened during a simple play in practice, with Jurick out front, handing the ball off to Keiton Page.

“I kind of cut and it popped,” Jurick said.

Now, you'd hardly know Jurick was injured.

South Florida coach Stan Heath didn't know, which only made him appreciate Jurick's Wednesday night performance in OSU's 61-49 win even more.

“That is impressive,” Heath said. “I thought his physical presence — rebounding, he had a few shots and some scores inside — that helped them a lot in this game.

“If he can continue to do that, that's a big help for their basketball team.”


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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No. 23 Oklahoma State vs. Missouri State

* When: 3 p.m. Saturday

* Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater

* Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1

* TV: Fox Sports Plus (Cox 68, DirecTV 677), FCS (Cox 271)

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