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Oklahoma State basketball: One more issue for the Cowboys

by John Helsley Modified: January 6, 2014 at 12:10 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014

The Cowboys have go-to players for crunch time. And they need to recognize it. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.
The Cowboys have go-to players for crunch time. And they need to recognize it. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.

I wrote about some important pending issues for the Monday paper. You can read that piece here.

But I ran out of room (a newspaper issue; all the news that fits) and one item missed the cut. But here it is…

The Cowboys have go-to guys for important stretches of tight games.

Multiple go-to guys. And they need to recognize that.

Down the stretch against K-State, too many unwise shots were fired up as OSU’s big guns made a bid to save the day. Le’Bryan Nash, who has all but abandoned his perimeter game, launched a 3-pointer with the Cowboys down three in the final minute. Nash is now 0-for-4 on 3-point attempts this season. Marcus Smart missed two running attempts, although the last one came as time was running out.

This is no knock on Nash, who played a magnificent game as an aggressive presence, or on Smart or Markel Brown — all of whom are capable of taking the big shot. It’s a matter of when the shot is there.

This team is filled with competitive and prideful players who want to get it done, not so much selfishly, as in a let-me-do-this sort of way.

Sometimes that works. Often not, if it’s not the right shot.

The focus should always be on getting the optimum shot. Having three go-to guys should be a positive for the Cowboys, who don’t have to rely on one obvious choice down the stretch, allowing defenses to focus on that guy.

One guy doesn’t have to shoulder that load. And more importantly one guy doesn’t have to force that role.


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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