OSU basketball notebook: Gardner steps in
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 09, 2012
12/09/12 at 6:42 AM
Related Story: Tight defensive start carries OSU past Missouri State
When Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart picked up his fourth foul with 15 minutes left Saturday against Missouri State, backup Kirby Gardner filled in at point guard nearly the rest of the way.
"That's the best he's played," coach Travis Ford said. "Normally when you lose Marcus as early as we lost him, you get worried about it a little bit, especially as the game is getting a little closer."
Gardner, a transfer from San Bernardino Valley (Calif.) College, came into the contest averaging 10 minutes a game. He doubled that against Missouri State and contributed five points and three rebounds.
"Kirby did a terrific job of running the team defensively, got into a flow of things and did more than hold his own," Ford said. "Maybe that's what he needed. Maybe he needed more than two or three minutes at a time."
Big day on the boards: The Cowboys grabbed 28 rebounds before intermission, tying a 2009 game against Texas for the most by OSU in the Ford era in the first half.
OSU outrebounded the Bears 46-22, the biggest rebounding margin against a Division I opponent since Nov. 20, 2005, when the Cowboys outrebounded Jackson State 51-22.
Study break: Because the Cowboys don't have a game scheduled during finals week, they will take a break from practice for a couple of days.
"The priority has to be their academics," Ford said. "I just gave the guys the big finals speech - this week you turn a 'C' to a 'B' or a 'B' to an 'A,' or you can go the other way, too."
Local ties: Missouri State forward Drew Wilson, a redshirt freshman who attended Tulsa's East Central High School, started the game but got into foul trouble early. He played seven minutes and scored two points.
"Drew's doing some good things, but we need him out there," second-year coach Paul Lusk said. "He made some fouls that he can't do."
Oklahoma City native Dorrian Williams, also a redshirt freshman, came off the bench to score six points.
Brown sidelined: Guard Markel Brown will miss several days of practice after having his wisdom teeth pulled Monday.
"He'll be out most of the week," Ford said. "I hope we get him back for (practice) Friday and Saturday."
Up next: The Cowboys are off until Dec. 16, when they host Central Arkansas at 3 p.m.