Across Cezar Guerrero's chest, stretching in an arc from one side to the other, read the words “Ceez The Moment.”
A clear play off his name, Guerrero nonetheless seized the decisive moments of Oklahoma State's wild 90-85 overtime win over Texas-San Antonio last week, scoring 29 points and all but single-handedly lifting the Cowboys in the end.
So, did Guerrero also seize a larger role, even a starting role in the process?
OSU coach Travis Ford is trying to preach patience, perhaps with himself as much as Guerrero.
“He's still a freshman,” Ford said. “Now, I do think he is showing me each and every day that he can carry a little bit more than maybe I thought a freshman could at this point.
“CJ is somebody we talk about frequently in our staff meetings. His role is continually getting bigger and bigger.”
Guerrero played huge against UTSA, first keeping the Cowboys in the game, then rallying them in the final two minutes of regulation, before carrying the team in the overtime. Without him, OSU wouldn't be unbeaten and wouldn't be in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off, where it faces Stanford on Wednesday night inside Madison Square Garden.
Ford recognizes all of that.
“Obviously his plays were the difference,” Ford said, “but his energy level was what I think brought us back. I think he got everybody else energized. That's his game.
“We've got to channel it in the right direction at times. But for a freshman to have done that, that's one of the more impressive things I have seen in a while.”
And yet, Ford seems hesitant to completely and trustingly hand over the offense to the rookie so soon, even if it appears inevitable.
Guerrero is willing to wait.
“He's the coach and he knows what he's doing,” Guerrero said. “He knows when to put people in certain situations.
“My time is every time I go onto the court. I just give them my hardest every time. Every time I step onto this court and it's between these lines, it's my time.”