STILLWATER – Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball team is taking aim at big things in 2013-14, behind a team that returns Marcus Smart and more.
The Cowboys are taking aim at a more challenging schedule as well.
OSU and Memphis have agreed on a home-and-home series that will bring the Tigers to Gallagher-Iba Arena first, on Nov. 19, before the Cowboys return the trip the following season. The game will be nationally televised, likely by either ESPN or ESPN2.
Memphis, which finished last season ranked No. 18, went 31-5 after romping unbeaten to the Conference USA regular season championship at 16-0, then winning the C-USA tournament. The Tigers return three starters, plus two key reserves, including leading scorer Joe Jackson, who averaged 13.7 points and 4.9 assists. Sophomore Adonis Thomas, who averaged 11.9 points, declared as an early entry for the NBA Draft.
The Tigers advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, beating Saint Mary’s, before falling to Michigan State.
OSU, coming off a 24-9 season, will return six players with extensive starting experience, including Smart, a consensus All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year. Also back: Markel Brown, Le’Bryan Nash, Mike Cobbins, Brian Williams and Kamari Murphy, as well as top reserve Phil Forte.
Beyond Memphis, OSU’s non-conference schedule is beginning to take shape.
The Cowboys will also play at South Florida Nov. 25; in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando Nov. 28-Dec. 1; home against South Carolina in the Big12/SEC Challenge Dec. 6; against Colorado at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Dec. 21; and home against Robert Morris on Dec. 30.
The Old Spice Classic is an eight-team tournament that also features Memphis, Butler, LSU, Purdue, Washington State, Sienna and St. Joseph’s.
Colorado went 21-12 a year ago and made the NCAA Tournament. Robert Morris finished 24-11 and beat Kentucky in the NIT.
The Cowboys are still seeking an opponent for the All-College Classic on Dec. 14.