OSU basketball, Le'Bryan Nash returns to Dallas to take on SMU

OKLAHOMA STATE BASKETBALL — OSU coach Travis Ford has plenty of reasons to take his squad to Dallas to take on SMU, the main reasons being the ability to play in front of a large alumni base and the ability to play near big-time recruits in the Dallas area.
by John Helsley Published: December 27, 2011
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You might say Le'Bryan Nash proudly wears his Dallas roots on his sleeves. Permanently.

Tattooed alternately on Nash's upper arms: “South” on the right arm, “Dallas” on the left.

So when Nash and the Cowboys play SMU inside American Airlines Center Wednesday night, it'll mean something to the Oklahoma State freshman making his first trip back to his home state and hometown.

“It means a lot,” said Nash, a product of Dallas Lincoln High. “I have had people cheering me on since I was little. Just going back there showing them love and showing them a good game and having a good game for them, and just putting on for my city.”

Means something to Cowboys coach Travis Ford, too.

Ford finds many good reasons for playing a game in Dallas, from OSU's alumni influence in the area to the desire to recruit a fertile region of talent.

“The first reason is because it's a big strong alumni base,” Ford said. “I went and spoke there this past summer. More than anything, that's something I've heard from our alumni: ‘Can you get to Dallas?'”

Still, don't discount the recruiting appeal.

The area, long mined by the Mike Gundy and the football Cowboys, offers some of the nation's premium players. Ford and his staff worked Dallas to land Nash last year and have two more coming in teammates Marcus Smart and Phil Forte from nearby Flower Mound.

“There's that, too,” Ford allows.

This game specifically – tip time is 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU – also offers the Cowboys something of a hope for a fresh start.

The Cowboys, at 6-5, are losers of three straight and in danger of falling to .500 late in the nonconference schedule. There is turmoil, too, with the team losing a second point guard in a week, with Reger Dowell following Fred Gulley out the door in search of a transfer.

Dowell's departure hints at a move to Keiton Page running the point and the team. A last grasp at salvaging what has so far been a disappointing season?

Continue reading this story on the...

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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MEN'S BASKETBALL

Oklahoma State vs. SMU

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas

Radio: KXXY 96.1 FM.

TV: ESPNU

Three things to know:

1. OSU is 19-6 all-time against SMU, with nine straight wins dating back to 1992 in the series.

2. The Mustangs went 1-3 in the NIT Season Tip-Off, beating only Arkansas-Pine Bluff, while losing to Colorado State, Fresno State and Oral Roberts.

3. The Cowboys are playing their fifth consecutive game outside Gallagher-Iba Arena. They've lost six straight on neutral floors, the sixth longest such streak in school history.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Oklahoma State (6-5)

Pos. - Player - Ht. - Wt. - Cl. - Pts. - Reb.

F - Le'Bryan Nash - 6-7 - Fr. - 13.1 - 5.1

F - Jéan-Paul Olukemi - 6-6 - Jr. - 9.9 - 5.2

C - Philip Jurick - 6-11 - Jr. - 1.9 - 6.5

G - Keiton Page - 5-9 - Sr. - 11.7 - 1.3*

G - Markel Brown - 6-3 - So. - 9.2 - 5.9

SMU (7-4)

Pos. - Player - Ht. - Wt. - Cl. - Pts. - Reb.

F - Leslee Smith - 6-7 - Fr. - 4.5 - 5.0

F - Robert Nyakundi - 6-8 - Sr. - 16.7 - 5.3

G - London Giles - 6-3 - Jr. - 13.2 - 3.1

G - Jeremiah Samarrippas - 5-10 - So. - 5.8 - 3.5*

G - Aliaksei Patsevich - 6-4 - Sr. - 2.3 - 2.1

* assists

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