Men's Basketball: Oklahoma State
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Monday, January 07, 2013
1/07/13 at 5:50 AM
with Markel Brown
Hometown: Alexandra, La.
Brown is the most veteran player on the Cowboys' young squad and seemingly the most athletic. Last season, he was named the "Dunker of the Year" by CollegeBasketballTalk on NBCSports.com and received the "Best Body of Work" award on ESPN's Dunks of the Year segment.
Which of your dunks in the past two years has been your favorite?
Probably the dunk from this year where I did the alley-oop 360 (last month against Tennessee Tech).
How do you choose which one you'll do?
I don't know. I kind of let my body take over. It depends where the pass is and which angle I'm taking. If I'm able to catch it, I can do whatever I want to with it. ... I'm never worried about missing it. I'm just trying to hurry up and get to the rim and do it before anybody comes by me and tries to contest it.
When you have a good dunk, do you watch "SportsCenter" hoping it will be in the Top 10?
Sometimes if I miss it, people will let me know and then I'll go watch it. I don't really look for it on there. ... I have (been No. 1) before. It's pretty cool having everybody talk about it and thinking you do some pretty awesome dunks.
OSU went 0-2 last week, with losses at home against No. 10 Gonzaga and at No. 25 Kansas State to open Big 12 play. Freshman phenom Marcus Smart recorded a career-high 23 points on Monday, and then followed that with a 25-point performance Saturday.
The week ahead
Wednesday: TCU, 7 p.m.
Saturday: at Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
After perhaps the toughest week of the season, the Cowboys look to get back on track with a home game against the Horned Frogs, who were picked to finish last in the Big 12. TCU is 9-5 overall and 1-1 in true road games this season, including a 50-49 setback at Tulsa a month ago.
For OSU, which has one conference road victory in the previous two seasons, Saturday's Bedlam game offers a significant opportunity to win on the road, but the Sooners are coming off an impressive comeback win at West Virginia.
The big picture
Are last week's losses cause for concern?
At this point, no. Either would have been a big win for the Cowboys, but their goal of contending for a Big 12 title remains intact. While Travis Ford knows his team needs to snag a few conference road victories, which have been elusive in recent years, OSU will have better chances throughout conference play. Kansas is the only other remaining opponent currently in the Top 25.
What is the update on injuries?
Sophomore swingman Brian Williams, who has been out since the preseason with a fractured left wrist, is expected to be ready to return by early February, Ford said last week. Since getting his cast off, Williams has been progressing in his strength exercises, and the team is looking into splints used by Louisville's Gorgui Dieng and the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kendrick Perkins for their similar injuries.
Center Marek Soucek, who has been out with a knee sprain since Nov. 16, has been cleared to return to action but wasn't ready as of last week, Ford said.
Which of the other players can providing scoring relief?
Leading scorers Smart and Brown have the ability to create their own shots, but they need help. In Saturday's loss, the pair combined for 44 of OSU's 67 points, while Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte combined for three field goals. Nash and Forte have shown they can knock down shots, but they must be consistent for the Cowboys to survive in the Big 12. If they are double-teamed as often was the case against Kansas State, that should leave someone else open to score.
OSU freshman Marcus Smart, shown shooting against Portland State earlier this season, scored 48 points in a pair of losses last week. KT KING / For the Tulsa World