Men's Basketball: Oklahoma State
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Monday, January 28, 2013
1/28/13 at 5:41 AM
13-5 overall, 3-3 Big 12
with Brian Williams
Weight: 205 pounds
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
Initially ruled out for the season with a left-wrist injury, Williams has recovered faster than expected and could return to playing as early as this week.
Have you been cleared?
Not yet. I hope for it Tuesday. ... They say it's healing great. I've just got to get back comfortable with it. I practiced for the first time (last Wednesday) and got hit a couple of times. I had to walk it off and then I got back in. But it's doing better than they thought.
How ready are you to get back out there?
I'm really excited because I see we keep losing these games. The ones we lost by six to eight, I feel like I can come up with six to eight points and get a few rebounds, a few stops.
Is your return from this point more physical or mental?
I don't have all my motion in my wrist back, but I feel like a lot of it is mental. I feel like my mind's telling my body to stay away from my left wrist. I caught myself using my right hand entirely too much yesterday. I need to get back to using my left.
A rough shooting night for OSU's most consistent scorers coupled with 11 blocks from Baylor's bigs spelled doom in a 64-54 loss in Waco last Monday. On Saturday, the Cowboys bounced back with an 80-66 victory against West Virginia after trailing by 13 in the first half.
The week ahead
Wednesday: Iowa State, 7 p.m.
Saturday: at Kansas, 3 p.m.
Life in the Big 12 is never easy. The dangerous Cyclones come to town after upsetting No. 11 Kansas State on Saturday, and they nearly beat Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse two weeks ago. And as the Cowboys know, Allen Fieldhouse is a tough place to win. OSU hasn't won there in 24 years, and the Jayhawks have 33 consecutive home victories.
The big picture
Does Kamari Murphy "need out"?
An "I need out" tweet from Murphy minutes after Saturday's game caught the attention of fans, although he later deleted it and insinuated it wasn't about basketball. But after being thrust into the starting lineup as a freshman, Murphy has struggled and seen his minutes decrease. In the past seven games, he's been scoreless four times, including against West Virginia. Murphy has a ton of potential, and if he can survive his midseason slump should be a significant help for the Cowboys.
Where do Phil Forte's 3-pointers stack up with other freshmen in program history?
Forte has knocked down 46 3-pointers through 18 games and is on pace to break the freshman record at OSU. James Anderson (2009-10) ranks first with 67, and Keiton Page (2008-09) is second with 63.
Is a 20-win season still possible?
If the Cowboys continue their current trend of winning at home and losing on the road, they will finish 9-9 in the Big 12. Of course, beating Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor will be difficult even at home, while some road games (Texas Tech, TCU, Texas) are very winnable. Even with a .500 league record, OSU would reach 20 wins with a victory in the Big 12 tournament.
Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart shoots over West Virginia's Eron Harris during OSU's 80-66 win on Saturday in Stillwater. KT KING / For the Tulsa World