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OSU basketball: Issues, issues and more issues

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford was exasperated after a 66-56 loss to New Mexico. All-to-familiar story lines contribute to Cowboys dropping to 6-4 on the season.
by John Helsley Published: December 18, 2011

Travis Ford dragged into the postgame press conference Saturday night, revealing a body language previously unseen in his four basketball seasons at Oklahoma State.

Ford was exasperated for sure, having just seen his team wilt late in a 66-56 loss to New Mexico in the All-College Classic. Yet it wasn't just the loss, but all-to-familiar story lines that dropped the Cowboys to 6-4 nearing the end of the nonconference schedule that seem to be taking a toll.

* Dreary dry spurts that routinely sink the Pokes into double-digit deficits.

* Unreliable point guard play, leaving the Cowboys with little flow or direction on offense.

* Disappearing acts by key figures, continuing a trend of inconsistent play by guys Ford counts on to carry the day in most games.

* And plenty of regrets, this time a dreadful shooting night – 18-of-56 from the floor, with many of the misses from close range – and vital stretches that beg for playmakers, often in vain.

OSU has played five defining basketball games: Stanford, Virginia Tech, Missouri State, Pittsburgh and New Mexico.

All but Missouri State resulted in losses. And even the win in Springfield required a frantic late rally, at the time hinting of a possible breakthrough, but in hindsight reflective of a disturbing trend that has seen OSU fall far behind time and again.

Where do the Cowboys go from here?

Minus a fast-flip turnaround, this team will be forever pressed to overcome its many major flaws. And there's little evidence that it can right itself into a Big 12 contender or an NCAA Tournament team.

As Ford slumped into his chair to reflect on another disappointing loss, he almost gave off a vibe of defeat, although his signature competitiveness and fiery spirit suggest it was but a moment of weakness.

“Not a whole lot to be said,” began Ford, who is seldom at a lack for words.

And yet, what is there new to be said about a team that stubbornly repeats the same mistakes and poor decisions?

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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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