OSU coach Travis Ford has now gone through four Senior Nights in Stillwater, but Keiton Page is the first Cowboy he coached from his freshman through his senior season.
Ford admitted that made Monday's festivities a little bit more emotional.
“He and I have gotten to be very close,” Ford said. “Somebody who I've got an enormous amount of respect for. Somebody who I love dearly. Somebody who I care for. It's developed, as much as it can between a player and coach, (into) a friendship. And it will develop even more as a friendship as we move on.
“I was not looking forward to this.”
Before Page was honored in front of the crowd at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Ford showed the Cowboys a highlight reel of the 5-foot-9 guard, starting from his freshman year and building up to his senior year.
“It was fun to kind of watch things go by,” Ford said. “(He) just always responded to the challenge. I'm so proud of him, because it was his dream to play basketball here.”
MORE SENIORS, TOO
While Page is OSU's lone senior player, five team managers were honored on Senior Night along with the Cowboy standout.
Josh Harris, Broken Arrow; Barrett Reed, Dallas; Jarin Janecka, Cypress, Texas; Stephen Lewelling, Oklahoma City; Jacob McLafferty, Stillwater.
The Cowboys close out the regular season Saturday at Kansas State.
OSU, which lost 66-58 at home to the Wildcats, is 14-16 overall and 7-10 in the Big 12. K-State is 19-9 and 8-8.
Tip time is 12:45 p.m. inside Bramlage Coliseum.
8STR8 TITLES FOR KU
KU's Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor walked into the postgame interview room at Gallagher-Iba Arena wearing blue shirts with “8STR” across the chest, recognizing the Jayhawks' eight consecutive Big 12 championships.
And this year's conference crown felt particularly sweet.
“I just want to thank everybody that said we weren't going to win it this year,” Robinson said. I'm sorry for saying that, but…”
Added Taylor: “A lot of people didn't think we were going to be this good this year. I think if you asked us at the beginning of the year, our goal is to always win a Big 12 championship. We prepared like we wanted to win.”
KU and Texas A&M were pegged as the co-favorites to win the Big 12 in the coaches' preseason poll. But the Jayhawks clinched at least a share of the title with its dramatic overtime win against Missouri on Saturday and then the outright championship with the victory against the Cowboys.
“I thought 15-3 would win it outright, and it has,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I hope we go 16-2. To me, you're supposed to win at home when you have a crowd like we have. But for them to go 7-2 on the road, that's pretty special, and the two games we lost, we could have easily won either one of those games.
“This has been a fun group to coach from start to finish.”