Travis Ford huddled with his staff long and late in a visitor's dressing room in the depths of United Spirit Arena on Saturday.
Never mind that the bus was loaded and waiting for a getaway to the airport and out of Lubbock after a deflating 75-74 overtime loss to Texas Tech. More than ever this men's basketball season, if not in Ford's tenure at Oklahoma State, there's a serious need for a regroup.
The Cowboys' NCAA Tournament hopes are in danger of being extinguished by the midway point of the Big 12 schedule.
The regroup extends beyond the basics – the facts and figures, the wins and losses, the failing shooting and mounting opponent foul shots – the tangible factors at play in OSU's current predicament.
The inner dynamics of this squad are in flux as well, with Ford flipping through his roster in search of answers and unquestioned commitment. How else to read Ford's rotation at Tech? Ray Penn, his starting point guard in 10 games, played less than a minute. Forward Matt Pilgrim, who finished last season on a promising high, was on the floor for three minutes as his alarming regression continues.
Both guys figured to be key cogs in any forecast involving an NCAA bid. Now they've been put on alert that they're either all in with Ford's plan, or, apparently, out.
Meanwhile, guys such as Roger Franklin, Reger Dowell and Jarred Shaw played significant minutes after being bit players much of this season.
Freshman Markel Brown, making his third start, had even worked at the point guard position some in the days leading into the Tech game, offering another option to what had been a Penn-Keiton Page production.
Drastic times… drastic measures.
“I think coach is just putting guys out there who are going to give it everything they have,” Page said in offering his take on the playing time distribution.
Who is this team – literally?