STILLWATER — Oklahoma State's “time off” since a disappointing Bedlam loss demanded such intensity it warranted a tag.
And with the Cowboys in a rut, having lost three of their last four and starting 1-2 in Big 12 Conference play, coaches figured a re-check of the team's direction was in order with no mid-week game scheduled before Saturday's home contest against Texas Tech.
“We've had a chance to get back to some of the fundamentals we needed to work on, that I think we've gotten away from,” said OSU coach Travis Ford, “and kind of set a tone again for our basketball team.
“I thought we'd gotten away from our identity a little bit, what we were doing well. So we got back to a lot of the basics and had some really energetic practices.”
Like a lot of Cowboys fans, Ford didn't like the way his team showed up — or didn't show up — for the Bedlam game, when they sputtered from the start, falling behind quickly and never leading on the way to a 77-68 loss.
Defense and rebounding were a major focus of the week, although they were secondary to what ate at Ford the most from the Oklahoma game. Offense and defense aside, Ford said there's one thing that must be a constant from this point forward:
“Play with more intensity and urgency, period,” Ford said. “Now, that was one game. I didn't think we had that (problem) in any other game, like we did against OU. Hopefully that was just that one game. Hopefully.
“But I didn't like what I saw. I don't care if that was just one game, or a half a game.”
Neither, it seems, did the Cowboys players.
“Film doesn't lie,” said forward Michael Cobbins. “We saw exactly what he was talking about. We didn't like it ourselves. So we decided to go out there and change it.”
Ford gave the team Sunday and Wednesday off, otherwise it was a grueling week of work aimed at rebounding and defense and end-to-end effort.