Doug Gottlieb, as one of ESPN's most visible college basketball analysts, is deep in analyzing the teams hopeful of making a run through March Madness. As a former Cowboy, he's tuned into OSU, too.
While cruising through the Starbucks drive thru for a triple grande, one-pump soy latte, Gottlieb shared his thoughts on a few Cowboys topics:
What do you identify as the major issues hampering OSU this season?
“They haven't had great point guard play. I think Keiton (Page) is obviously their best shooter. And they don't have a lot of shooters around him, so he's forced to be more of a shooter and he's not the truest of point guards. He can't create as much as he needs to, nor does he have guys to create for.
“Their bigs, while Marshall Moses has made himself into a nice little scorer and he does play hard, there's a lot of things he doesn't do. He's not a great defender. He's undersized. So when you play against legit length and guys with size, there's just a limit to what he's going to be able to do.
“And I don't think they have enough shooting. They're the worst 3-point shooting team in the league.”
How do you judge the chemistry of the team?
“I think you have some character issues, and it's pretty obvious. Anytime you're having different guys get arrested, investigated, charged, suspended… when you start having a guy like that – two or three guys like that – now we've got some problems.”
Do you see this season as a major disappointment?
“I thought they'd be a little down this year, I didn't think they'd be this down. I obviously didn't see some of these issues coming up that have hurt them.
“Redshirting (Mike) Cobbins and him not being ready to play hurts them. They thought Markel Brown would be a better player right away than he's been.
“And then they got a lot of mileage out of Ray Penn when he was healthy last year. But he's forever seemingly in the doghouse. So he can't get consistent minutes. And I know how that is, if you can't get consistent minutes, you can't play your game.
“It's a flawed team, no doubt about it. But they're not terrible. They can beat some people. They have little or no margin for error.”
So, there's hope for 2011-12?
“They're going to have a major talent uptick. With Nash and Cobbins, then they can play Keiton with those guys, they'll be all right. “