The computer program used to spit out the Big 12 schedule did the Cowboys no favors, sending them on the road to No. 25 Kansas State for their league opener.
Not only was it a challenging matchup, it came against a veteran and physical team, providing a “Welcome to the Big 12” moment for some.
“This game was a little tougher than the other games I've had,” said OSU freshman forward Kamari Murphy, who found foul trouble immediately and was limited to 12 mostly ineffective minutes. “Now I've just got to bet back to practice and respond and be ready for the next Big 12 game.”
Marcus Smart, another freshman, didn't seem surprised by the physical play, yet noted it just the same.
“It's the Big 12, it's always physical,” Smart said. “A lot stronger guys and everything's faster and more physical. That's what it's going to be every night. You've just got to come out and prepare yourself for it and be ready for that physicality.”
FEW HELPING HANDS FOR OSU
Throughout a 10-2 start, the Cowboys had been much improved at sharing the ball, after ranking among the nation's worst in assists for 2011-12.
In the loss at Kansas State, OSU managed just six assists, with Smart's two the team high.
“It's very concerning, everything was one-on-one,” said Cowboys coach Travis Ford. Give (Kansas State) credit, their pressure bothered us. We didn't have an answer for that.”