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Struggling OSU men face difficult stretch of games

By John Helsley, Staff Writer, Published: December 6, 2011

Of concern:

*Rebounding. With little bulk beyond 6-11 center Philip Jurick, the Cowboys haven't responded to Ford's call to collectively hit the boards.

*Consistency. Whether it's freshman phenom Le'Bryan Nash or junior Jéan-Paul Olukemi, OSU needs to be able to count on regular production from one, if not both. So far, it hasn't happened.

*On-floor chemistry. With a rotation that can stretch 10 deep, Ford has been mixing and matching lineups in an effort to find the right fits. That hasn't helped with flow on the offensive end.

“In my staff meeting (Sunday), I was talking to my coaches and I told them we have got to find the right people for the right places,” Ford said. “I like all of our players, and it is difficult getting everybody time. It is a challenge.

“We're asking certain guys to play different positions, and I'm really starting to see the effects of them not understanding different positions, right now. It's something we have to work on.”

And the immediate work must come away from Gallagher-Iba, where the Cowboys are 0-2 this season after going 6-12 outside Stillwater a year ago.

And the wolves are circling.

“There's no air. There's no breathing room,” Ford said. “In June and July it didn't look that bad. I look at it now and it's, ‘This is actually what we're doing? This is what we have to do?'

“It could be good. It could be bad. That's why these guys came here. And that's what I told them.”

Oklahoma State

at Missouri State

When: 8:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: JQH Arena, Springfield, Mo.

TV: ESPNU (Cox 253)

Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1

Three things to know

The Bears have lost two straight, falling at Oral Roberts and at New Mexico in the past week.

OSU is 6-0 all-time against Missouri State, including an 84-70 win over the Bears in Stillwater a year ago.

The Bears are led by center Caleb Patterson, who starred at Ringwood High and started his career at Colorado.

Projected Starters

Oklahoma State (5-2)

Pos., Player, Ht., Cl., Pts., Reb.

F, Jéan-Paul Olukemi, , 6-6, Jr., 8.6, 5.0

C, Philip Jurick, 6-11, Jr., 2.4, 6.7

G, Cezar Guerrero, 6-0, Fr., 9.9, 1.9

G, Keiton Page, 5-9, Sr., 11.5, 1.5*

G, Markel Brown, 6-3, So., 12.0, 6.9

Missouri State (4-2)

Pos., Player, Ht., Cl., Pts., Reb.

F, Kyle Weems, 6-6, Sr., 12.5, 6.7

F, Isaiah Rhine, 6-10, Sr., 2.3, 1.5

C, Caleb Patterson, 6-11, Sr., 13.7, 3.8

G, Nathan Scheer, 6-4, So., 4.2, 2.0

G, Michael Bizoukas, 6-1, Sr., 7.2, 5.3*

* assists

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