STILLWATER — This is the beginning of the end for Tiffany Bias.
Not that Oklahoma State's four-year starter at point guard is thinking about that.
“I'm more focused on getting the team ready, especially we have a lot of young ones,” said Bias, referring to the Cowgirls' eight newcomers. “I'm trying to lead them the right way. So I'm really just excited to see how good we can be.”
That journey starts Friday, when Bias appears in her 100th career game and the No. 21 Cowgirls open a season full of high expectations with a matinee showdown against Lamar at Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Bias already returns as one of the top players in the Big 12 and beyond, with ESPN.com this week ranking the senior as one of the nation's top 5 point guards.
She's been scoring (12 points per game last season), distributing (6.5 assists) and defending (2.3 steals) since being thrust into a starting job as a freshman. She's on pace to pass Andrea Riley as OSU's all-time leader in assists this season. And she's known for her tenacious motor and never losing a wind sprint during practice.
Yet she's worked to refine parts of her game during the offseason. Cowgirl coach Jim Littell asked her to concentrate on her outside shot. She's learning to change speeds — rather than always going her natural pace of 100 mph — to allow plays to develop and teammates to get open. And Littell said she could still improve her decision-making at times, such as when to drive hard to the basket and then when to kick it out to a teammate.
Bias also has those youngsters to help groom, with freshmen Roshunda Johnson, a top-50 national recruit, and Lakota Beatty, a star at Anadarko, both expected to get minutes right away.
With that added depth, plus four returning starters, Bias knows her final season has the potential to be a special one.
“We finally have a total package where we everyone on our team can contribute to us,” she said. “I'm so excited to see what we can do. I think I'm just overwhelmed. I'm not nervous, I'm more ecstatic about (that) I know we're gonna do so well, but I don't want to overthink it.”