OSU basketball: Cowboys gave a flash of the future in second half vs. Kansas

Young, inexperienced team could have given up after halftime. But OSU battled back and had an impressive second half.
by John Helsley Published: February 12, 2012
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There are also the hopeful returns of Darrell Williams and Jéan-Paul Olukemi, both of whom would have been starters on this year's team. And then there's the new blood, led by five-star recruit Marcus Smart, who was recently named to the McDonald's All-American team and once projected to provide a missing ingredient of toughness, until Saturday's second half suggested there's more grit to the current Cowboys than previously believed.

“We have been through this before,” Ford said. “We have been punched in the mouth before. And our guys, I don't think liked the taste of it at halftime.”

Ford didn't like it either, but found himself in the spot of needing not to jump his team, but poke it and prod it.

Apparently, he said the right things.

Is this the optimistic take? Absolutely.

Yet for a young team with talent and upside even KU coach Bill Self admired for the future, why not?

Ford warns that the growing pains will continue this season. There are some matchups, like Saturday, that just tilt too heavily against the Cowboys. Playing bigger teams, they struggle to defend the interior and rebound. And their efforts to cover up their size limitations often leave holes exposed elsewhere.

A return of Darrell Williams and further development of Jurick, Soucek and Cobbins would go a long way toward shoring that up.

And there's something to be said for OSU's athleticism and skill. And in time, it only figures to get better.

Maybe Saturday will prove to be nothing more than a tale of two halves, one team's lost interest and the other's accompanying rise.

Or maybe it'll prove to be a turning point.

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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