Satisfaction from Saturday's win — an elusive win for his Cowboys — could linger only so long for Travis Ford.
Midway through the postgame press conference, after Oklahoma State finally halted its losing streak at seven games against Texas Tech — a cause worthy of some satisfaction and an exhale of relief — Ford fixated on TCU.
And it wasn't one of those obligatory mentions coaches like to toss out in letting everyone know they're aware of the next challenge on the schedule.
Ford literally was forced to immediately shift to TCU.
Once again, the Cowboys face the killer crossover, a Saturday-Monday turnaround they've grown to know, and dread, so well.
When OSU plays at TCU on Monday night, it will mark the fifth straight week it's played on abbreviated rest. This will be the fourth Saturday-Monday turnaround, with one quick turn involving a Saturday-Tuesday flip with both games on the road.
“I don't remember ever having these quick turnarounds, except when I played in the (Ohio Valley Conference) and every game was Thursday-Saturday,” Ford said of his days coaching at Eastern Kentucky.
“Every time we turn around, the schedule's been tough.”
Tough results, too.
Each time, the Cowboys have lost the back end of the swing, with the trip to Fort Worth representing the fourth time they've had to hit the road for Game 2. So the Cowboys are playing Saturday and traveling Sunday (or Monday in the one case), with little or no prep time.
OSU hasn't played a Wednesday game — one of the Big 12's normal game days — since hosting TCU on Jan. 15. And the Cowboys won't play one in these final two weeks of the regular season, with another Saturday-Monday turn coming up.
More like bad luck, which seems to chase the Cowboys these days.
Initially, OSU's Big 12 basketball schedule seemed ideal. Picked by ESPN for repeated appearances on its Big Monday lineup, the Pokes had a premium team ready for prime time, propped up to play for the nation and for potential recruits.
Now, however, as multiple factors have sabotaged the season, the schedule has become a burden.
With a rotation squeezed by injury to Michael Cobbins, the dismissal of Stevie Clark and a recent three-game suspension to Marcus Smart, an already taxed Cowboys team has been afforded little rest.
And OSU has been forced to lean on Markel Brown, Le'Bryan Nash, Kamari Murphy, Phil Forte and Smart for extensive minutes. Brown and Smart each rank in the league's top five for minutes played in conference play.
Consider it just one more thing that has turned sideways this season.
And while fatigue is recognizably setting in, the Cowboys can't afford to back off in a last-ditch push to earn an NCAA Tournament spot.
“We don't have time to worry about it, to be honest with you,” Ford said of fatigue. “Is it a factor? Could be. We're trying to get more guys in there. But we're counseling our guys to get their rest off the court and make sure they get plenty of time because there are guys who are going to have to play a lot of minutes.
“You need to figure out how to get them some rest within the game, but we're not going to make any excuses. They're going to have to play.”