Men's Basketball: Oklahoma State
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Monday, January 14, 2013
1/14/13 at 5:52 AM
11-4 overall, 1-2 Big 12
with Marcus Smart
Weight: 225 pounds
Hometown: Flower Mound, Texas
This week, the Cowboys' floor general was named one of 20 finalists for the Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard, and one of 25 on the midseason watch list for the Wooden Award, given to the player of the year.
You and Markel Brown have been consistent scorers. How do you get other teammates involved in scoring?
As a point guard, you're always looking and trying to figure out a way to get your other guys involved and pick their spirits up and get them involved in the game. I could have done a lot of things differently to find guys open. ... We've got to find Phil (Forte) a lot more, for him to open up the inside for us and keep defenses honest. We've got to find Le'Bryan (Nash) a lot more, find him in the post and get him the ball at times where we need it, to help him get his confidence back. He's kind of down right now, but that's partly my fault and I take blame for that as the point guard. You've got to know where and when to get players the ball.
How important has defense been, especially when the offense hasn't always clicked?
The offense is going to be there, but on nights when it's not, there can't be any question of whether (defense) is going to be there or not. Defense wins games and everybody knows that. Your defense has to be on point every night.
How do you adjust to playing on the road?
In order to get comfortable at somebody else's house, I feel like you should just go in and just play like you're playing in your own gym. You can't let anything faze you. You have to let what everybody is saying go in one ear and out the other. You have to stay close with your teammates, and that will help a lot.
OSU got back in the win column by beating TCU 63-45 on Wednesday despite a season-high 24 turnovers. In Round 1 of Bedlam, the Cowboys stumbled 77-68 on Saturday in Norman, in part because of a lackluster start and in part because of Smart's foul trouble.
The week ahead
Saturday: vs. Texas Tech, 1 p.m.
The 8-6 Red Raiders visit Stillwater coming off home losses to Baylor and Kansas. They also play at Oklahoma on Wednesday.
The big picture
Where does OSU go from here?
The Cowboys' longest break in Big 12 play couldn't come at a better time. With a week between games, they can regroup and work to get back on track after dropping three of their last four. And Texas Tech has lost nine straight games in Stillwater.
Will there be any changes to the starting lineup?
Look for a surging Michael Cobbins to start at forward Saturday after coming off the bench, returning from a fractured toe. Kamari Murphy has started every game this season, but the freshman has struggled recently (see Wednesday's six turnovers). In the second half Saturday, Cobbins was inserted into the starting lineup and finished with eight points and four rebounds, while Murphy was scoreless with three boards.
Why the struggles on the road?
Saturday's loss moved OSU to 1-18 in Big 12 road games in the past three seasons. Afterward, Markel Brown said he thinks his team is under "some kind of spell" that causes them to fall on the road. The Cowboys need to get that notion out of their heads if they are going to find a way to win those games, and they must do it soon. The next road game is Baylor on Jan. 21, and it doesn't get easier from there. As seen in previous years, no conference road games are automatic wins.
Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart completes an acrobatic layup in the Cowboys' win over TCU last week at Gallagher Iba Arena. KT KING / For the Tulsa World