Cowboys playing down to lesser foes
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
12/19/12 at 4:29 AM
STILLWATER - The early test for Oklahoma State was facing a few big-name teams. The recent challenge has been not facing any.
"That's one of my weaknesses in my game," standout sophomore Le'Bryan Nash said. "I play to the level of my competition. It happened earlier on this year, playing guys like Tennessee and N.C. State.
"I've been better about it now, and I can play how I want to play. I just have to keep telling myself to play hard and go out there to get the win."
The Cowboys have been winning, but the current stretch hasn't exactly been inspired. Missouri State used a 10-0 run to claw back into a Dec. 8 game, and on Sunday OSU trailed 22-11 early against Central Arkansas. OSU won both games by at least 20 points, but not until after some heated timeouts called by coach Travis Ford.
Games against UT-Arlington on Wednesday and Tennessee Tech on Saturday might not be as appealing after beating big-name foes.
"It probably is human nature, but you'd hope as a coach you would get your team ready to go," Ford said. "But also it's a little bit of youth, too."
One possible distraction might be a New Year's Eve date with No. 14 Gonzaga. The game is one of the biggest nonconference matchups at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the past decade.
"I can't tell you how many questions I've gotten about Gonzaga," Ford said Sunday. "We've got three games before we play Gonzaga. ... Everybody's been wanting to talk about that, and that game seems so far away it's unbelievable."
The Cowboys would rather talk about their next opponent. The Mavericks' two losses have been to Oklahoma and Texas, and neither was a blowout.
"Right now, we're just taking it one game at a time and preparing for teams one team at a time," guard Markel Brown said.
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452