Men's Basketball: Oklahoma State
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
1/21/13 at 5:45 AM
12-4 overall, 2-2 Big 12
with Michael Cobbins
Weight: 220 pounds
After starting 24 games as a redshirt freshman, Cobbins missed five games with a fractured toe. In Saturday's win against Texas Tech, Cobbins was back in the starting lineup for the first time this season and finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
What's the difference for you in starting and coming off the bench?
I'm a bigger contributor. I can get things rolling quicker. Not really a big difference, but you're out there to set the tone.
Which Big 12 venue is the coolest place to play?
I like playing at Kansas. I feel like they've got some springs in the court. I like that they play the same basketball as us, too.
What are you studying in school and what do you want to do with that?
Business. Maybe run my own business one day. My family's got a barbecue-sauce business, so I might take that over. ... My grandfather passed away, but before he did, everyone used to call him Happy because he was always happy about everything. So we named it Haps Barbecue Sauce. ... It's got kind of a kick to it because he made it up himself, but it's pretty good. It's like a sweet and spicy thing.
After a disappointing effort in a loss at Oklahoma, the Cowboys labeled their week "Commitment Week" and used 6 a.m. practices to get refocused. The result was a 79-45 throttling of Texas Tech for the Cowboys' largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game since 2000.
The week ahead
Monday: at Baylor, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: vs. West Virginia, noon Saturday
On Monday, OSU returns to the scene of last season's brutal 106-65 loss while desperately needing a conference road win to get some confidence back. On Saturday, the Cowboys face West Virginia for the first time in program history. The Mountaineers were humbled with a 79-52 defeat against Purdue on Saturday and are 1-3 in their first season in the Big 12.
The big picture
What's the difference in Markel Brown now vs. a year ago?
Brown's teammates have identified him as the most improved shooter on the team, and it's been obvious in the first half of the season. He has scored in double digits in 15 out of 16 games.
Brown has always been athletic and had incredible dunking abilities, but now he's found his stroke on mid-range jumpers and from behind the arc.
How important has Phil Forte been off the bench?
Offense hasn't been the strength of this team, but when Forte comes in, he provides an instant spark. He's hitting 39.2 percent of his 3-pointers, and typically is unstoppable when he gets hot. Seven times this season he's nailed at least three treys. And defensively, Forte is underrated.
Could Brian Williams return this week?
It's possible but unlikely. Travis Ford says Williams will soon be cleared by doctors to play, but after missing 16 games he probably needs some time to get back into the rhythm of things. Next week (home against Iowa State, at Kansas) seems more probable.
Oklahoma State's Markel Brown dunks against Texas Tech's Kader Tapsoba during the Cowboys' win Saturday in Stillwater. NATE BILLINGS / The Oklahoman