Oklahoma State basketball notebook: Coach Travis Ford said Cowboys must regain defensive identity

Opponents are starting to reveal some cracks in the Cowboys' defense.
by John Helsley Published: January 16, 2013
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photo - Cowboy head coach Travis Ford talks with his team during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat  the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68  in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013  in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Cowboy head coach Travis Ford talks with his team during the second half as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) 77-68 in NCAA, men's college basketball at The Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Each visit to the doctor has revealed nothing but positive reports for Williams, who broke bones and stretched ligaments and tendons when he used the hand out to brace his fall following a dunk. The Cowboys guard is still mostly limited to strengthening exercises and conditioning work, although he could join on-floor workouts by next week.

Projections peg Williams' return to game action as early as Jan. 26 against West Virginia and as late as Feb. 2 at Kansas.

“At this point, it's when he feels he's ready to go,” Ford said recently. “It's healed greatly.

“My timetable is the beginning of February. Anything sooner would be wonderful.”

Williams will likely wear some sort of protective brace on the wrist, which is his non-shooting hand. Ford said OSU trainers have reached out to teams who have had players with wrist injuries, including the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had Kendrick Perkins undergo offseason wrist surgery.

ROAD APPROACH NEEDED

OSU's road woes continue to be a key story line for a team seeking to contend in the Big 12.

The Cowboys are 1-20 in their last 21 league road games.

“I think it's just a big mental approach,” said sophomore forward Michael Cobbins. “You're basically on the court with yourself. We're all we've got, coming into a different atmosphere where everybody's against you. You've got to stick together and everybody be on the same page and work it out.”

SMART NAMED MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICAN

Marcus Smart's play and impact on the Cowboys continues to gain attention across the country.

Now there's this: Smart has been named a midseason All-American by The Sporting News, an honor that rolled in Wednesday.

Joining Smart on the five-man team: Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott, Duke senior Mason Plumlee and Kansas freshman Ben McLemore — the Cowboy guard's main competition for major honors in the Big 12.

NEXT THREE

Saturday: Texas Tech, 1 p.m.

Monday: at Baylor, 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 26: West Virginia, noon

BY JOHN HELSLEY

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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