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OSU men's basketball: Depth gives Cowboys versatility, options

Oklahoma State has six players on its roster who have made double-digit starts.
by John Helsley Published: November 11, 2013

photo - OSU freshman guard Stevie Clark jumps around a defender to score in an exhibition against Emporia State. Photo by KT King, for the Oklahoman
OSU freshman guard Stevie Clark jumps around a defender to score in an exhibition against Emporia State. Photo by KT King, for the Oklahoman

Travis Ford clutched a sheet of paper with numerous names and numerous lineups.

All Cowboys.

“With our top eight guys, I've got about 15 different ways I can go right now,” Ford said. “I like our top eight right now. With our depth, there's some versatility.

“We've pressed quite a bit and hopefully we can do that, continue to be aggressive in our presses without fouling. The biggest thing our depth gives us is versatility, options. And everybody's a little bit different and gives us a little different strength.”

Oklahoma State has six players who have made double-digit starts: Marcus Smart, Markel Brown, Le'Bryan Nash, Mike Cobbins, Brian Williams and Kamari Murphy. Phil Forte played major minutes a year ago as a freshman, and Stevie Clark figures to do the same this season.

And the possibilities don't end there, as freshman Leyton Hammonds offers even more flexibility as a 6-foot-7 swingman, while 7-footer Marek Soucek and 6-10 Gary Gaskins have something the Cowboys need: legitimate height.

Any and all — and more yet, still — should play when OSU hosts Utah Valley Tuesday night at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip time is 7.

“We have people who can score the ball,” Smart said. “We have people who can rebound, change and alter shots. We have shooters who come off the bench. We have a lot to our arsenal this year.”

Through two exhibitions and the season opener, Ford has experimented with various combinations. And there's no reason the Cowboys won't be able to utilize such flexibility throughout the season.

Smart has played three positions, with Clark's development at the point freeing him to move off the ball. Williams plays bigger than his 6-5 size, able to guard four different spots on the floor. When Cobbins got in foul trouble and Murphy was hurt Friday night, Nash slid inside to the post, producing his first career double-double.

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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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