OSU men's hoops: Pokes’ 7-footer declared eligible

By Andrea Cohen Modified: December 2, 2008 at 12:36 am •  Published: December 2, 2008
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STILLWATER — Analyzing his team’s two-loss performance in The Old Spice Classic, Oklahoma State men’s basketball coach Travis Ford said there are some things the Cowboys can fix — such as turnovers and fouls — and some things that aren’t fixable.

"We aren’t going to get bigger and stronger overnight,” Ford said.

Actually, they did.

The NCAA declared Oklahoma State freshman Teeng Akol eligible on Monday. The 7-foot center from Sudan practiced with the Cowboys for the first time on Monday afternoon.

"He’s ready to roll,” Ford said.

Said Akol: "I’m very excited about it.”

Akol will make the trip to Seattle for Thursday night’s game against Washington. Ford, who said he hasn’t seen Akol play since he recruited him a year and a half ago, doubts that Akol will be ready to play against the Huskies.

"I don’t know how quickly he’ll play or when he’ll be ready, but no question, he’ll make us look better in warmups and when we go to the airport tomorrow,” Ford joked.

The coach has high hopes for Akol this season. The Cowboys have a serious lack of depth inside, which was on display in Orlando as starter Ibrahima Thomas got into foul trouble quickly in all three games.

Ford said he plans to play Akol and Thomas together at times for a different look, going big instead of the four- and five-guard lineups he’s been using.


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