Le'Bryan Nash seemed to almost be at odds with himself in the preseason, talking about satisfaction with his freshman season, yet also acknowledging how much better it could have been.
The most common critique from the outside: a lack of consistent effort.
So far this season, and especially at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Nash has flipped the switch, a big reason Oklahoma State has advanced to Sunday's championship game. With two wins behind them in Puerto Rico, the Cowboys face No. 6 North Carolina State at 5:30 p.m.
In tournament wins over Akron and Tennessee, Nash totaled 37 points and also engaged on the defensive end, where he's even been asked to play the low post, due to injury and foul issues.
“He's playing at a high intensity level,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford.
And the Cowboys couldn't need it any more, heading into a clash with one of the nation's top teams, owning an opportunity to put a signature moment on a solid start, while securing a resume-building caliber win.
OSU keeps taking personnel hits, with Jéan-Paul Olukemi and Marek Soucek suffering injuries on this trip, joining starters Brian Williams and Michael Cobbins as unavailable.