Five Guys is the new thing in Stillwater.
Not the burger joint, the basketball team.
Oklahoma State's fading hope to stay afloat as an NCAA Tournament team essentially comes down to five guys: Markel Brown, Le'Bryan Nash, Kamari Murphy, Brian Williams and Phil Forte.
Those five, because frankly, who else is there, in the aftermath of Marcus Smart's three-game suspension, which begins Tuesday night at No. 19-ranked Texas?
No other available Cowboy has played in every Big 12 game, or contributed more than one basket in league play.
And that's not one basket a game; one basket total.
Of course, OSU coach Travis Ford will be forced to find some help on his bench, an action he's resisted, although walk-on Christien Sager seems to be gaining favor of late. Leyton Hammonds, Marek Soucek and Gary Gaskins are likely to find minutes, if for no other reason than to give the starters some sense of a breather.
“We have opportunities for players to step up, opportunities for our team to grow right now,” Ford said. “Obviously, Marcus has been a major identity of our basketball team. This is going to give an opportunity for some of them who haven't been playing quite as much, to pick, up the slack while he is out.”
Except no one from the bench brigade has done much with chances so far.
Freshman Jeffrey Carroll would appear to be an option, but Ford seems committed to keeping him in redshirt.
The Cowboys are essentially three men down. Michael Cobbins is out for the season due to injury. Stevie Clark is gone, booted for multiple team and law infractions.
And now Smart sits for three games — three potentially critical games in Oklahoma State's NCAA Tournament résumé.
The Cowboys can still be found in bracket projections. Jerry Palm has OSU as a No. 7 seed, while Joe Lunardi slots the Pokes as a No. 8. But both scenarios are built on wins in the bank, what the Cowboys have already done, through a strong nonconference run and early in the Big 12.
There's still work left to do in completing the résumé.
Now losers of four straight, to stand at 4-6 in conference play, they can't afford many more setbacks.
Before the Smart suspension, OSU owned a fair chance at winning two of these three: at Texas, home against Oklahoma, and at Baylor.
“I feel like I let my teammates down,” Smart said. “Those guys mean a lot to me, and not being able to be out there with them will hit me in my heart.”
And it's likely to hit the Cowboys in the loss column.
Reasonable math suggests that OSU needs five more wins to secure an NCAA Tournament berth, at 9-9 in the Big 12. Four more, to get the Cowboys to 8-10, combined with a conference tournament win or two, might also add up, considering the Big 12's status as the nation's No. 1 conference in all of the major RPI categories.
Yet getting those four or five wins appears daunting, even with Smart.
And with seemingly no reinforcements riding to the rescue.
Ford has put out one call for help — to OSU fans.
“If you're a Cowboy fan, I would tell them to rally around this team and give this team your support,” Ford said. “No matter how you feel about a certain thing, if you're a Cowboy fan, give them your support and rally around this team. Help this team and rally around them as much as possible.”
The Cowboys are three men down.
And it's now up to the other guys.