Oklahoma State steps into a major spotlight Monday.
In a key road game at Baylor, for sure.
Yet also in one of a series ESPN-televised games celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
So for the Cowboys, it's a Big, Big Monday.
And they recognize it — on both fronts.
OSU seeks a road win over a quality club, the kind that could restore their contender status in the Big 12. So there's that.
But there's also an opportunity to share the stage with the day. It's an opportunity that has long put the NBA on this holiday stage, but is now opening up to the college kids, too.
The day on ESPN starts at noon with the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Memphis, then shifts to the college game at 2:30 with Cincinnati-Syracuse, includes the Cowboys and Bears at 4:30 p.m., Georgetown-Notre Dame at 6 and concludes with Texas-Oklahoma at 8:30.
Several Cowboys talked about what their game — and the day — means to them:
Sophomore forward Michael Cobbins
The Day: “I feel honored to be a part of something like that. It's a great day to be playing, for a great man. It's about freedom; doing things, not being afraid to voice your own opinions. Standing up for what you believe in. Never forget. It'll live on forever. Great day. I'm sure it'll be talked about a lot.”
The Game: “As far as a basketball standpoint, it's just another game for us. A big game. And we've got to prepare accordingly.”
Sophomore forward Le'Bryan Nash
The Day: “It honors one of the great men who made this country greater. He did so much with the ‘I Have A Dream' speech. And all he did to help us, the black people, making black people feel equal in society. And what he did made this country greater. I thank him for that every day.
The Game: “It means a lot to play on Martin Luther King Day, what he did for this great country, on ESPN. Everybody's going to be watching. I think it's going to be exciting. We're going to try to go out and get a big win on the road, because we need one right now. Baylor and Oklahoma State, two of the top teams in the Big 12 in the preseason. It's going to be an exciting game.”
Freshman forward Kamari Murphy
The Day: “The day is pretty special for all of us. Martin Luther King, everybody knows what he did for us, getting everybody equal rights. Just to come out and play hard, knowing that if he was still here and watching, we'd be playing hard for him.”
The Game: “It's a great time to expose what we have and come out and play hard. The game is one of the biggest games we're going to have. One of the toughest teams we're going to play in conference.”
Freshman guard Marcus Smart
The Day: “It's a reminder of what he did for our rights and giving us the opportunity to go to schools like this, just to have the same equal rights. That means a lot to me. So it's incredible, just for two schools to be going at it on a significant day like that, it just adds to how significant a game it's going to be and how big a game it's going to be.”
The Game: “I'm pumped. We get to go in and play against a great team on their home court. It's going to be a great game. We're going in to put on a show for the crowd. Both teams will be going at it.”