The Cowboys showed little polish in their 73-65 season-opening win over UC Davis.
Some of that's to be expected, perhaps, with the team still learning to deal with injuries to Brian Williams and Michael Cobbins.
And at least OSU got a win with its learning experience.
“For us to come back in the second half and dig down deep and win, that was a positive,” said freshman point guard Marcus Smart. “Obviously, we have some negatives that we need to work on. That's OK, it's the first game.
“We need to get everyone meshing together, because we got some players hurt. We'll fix all that with practice.”
Smart, in his Cowboys debut after arriving as a touted recruit, had an off night shooting, making just one of six shots from the floor. Still, he was a major contributor, making 6-of-7 shots from the foul line and adding seven rebounds and seven assists with just one turnover.
“For a point guard, that's a great stat to have,” Smart said. “I think I commanded the floor pretty well.”
UP NEXT: PUERTO RICO TIP-OFF
The Cowboys return to action Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, where they're set to play three games in a true tournament setting.
OSU opens against Akron in a game set for 9:30 a.m. CT, with ESPNU handling the broadcast. The Cowboys will play either Tennessee or UNC-Asheville Friday.
OLUKEMI RETURNS TO STARTING LINEUP
Cowboys senior Jéan-Paul Olukemi is still dealing with some swelling in his surgically repaired knee, enough to limit his practice availability.
Still, Olukemi started and played 22 minutes Friday night, contributing 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Joining Olukemi among the starting five: Smart, Le'Bryan Nash, Kamari Murphy and Markel Brown.
INJURY SCARE FOR BROWN
Midway through the second half, Brown crashed to the ground, then rolled around on the court, grasping his left shoulder.
With Williams and Cobbins already missing, it was a scary sight. Brown left the floor, but eventually returned and coach Travis Ford said he was OK.
“When I saw him grab his shoulder I thought, ‘That's the last thing we need,'” Forte said. “That was the first thing that entered my mind, ‘C'mon, can't we get a break?'”