Men's Basketball: Oklahoma State
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Monday, March 04, 2013
3/04/13 at 6:09 AM
22-6 overall, 12-4 Big 12
with Jéan-Paul Olukemi
Weight: 215 pounds
Hometown: LaHabra, Calif.
In the second game of the year, Olukemi tore his left ACL and was done for the season, less than a month after his eligibility for the second semester was restored. He is on track to graduate in May but still could be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.
You tore your right ACL last season. How does this recovery compare to that one?
Not as bad. The first one, oh my gosh. It was so painful. I couldn't walk or do anything. ... But this one is doing a lot better. It's not swelling up as much, and the strength in it is a lot better, too.
How hard has it been to watch from the bench?
It's difficult. I want to play. I want to be out there helping them in any way I can. They're winning and you want to be a part of things. Even when they were losing, you still want to be a part of that. Those are my brothers and that's like our family. To not be able to work hard with them and go out and enjoy playing in front of people, that's the tough part for me.
Are you able to watch practice and give pointers?
It's to the point where I can't even watch practice anymore. Rehab is that long. I rehab, do a little core, weights, running on the court. It literally takes two or three hours every day. I haven't seen practice in a week now, since I've been able to run.
The 15th-ranked Cowboys coasted to mostly drama-free victories against TCU (64-47 on Wednesday) and Texas (78-65 on Saturday). In both wins, OSU started slow but used a big run at the end of the first half and into the second to put the game away.
The week ahead
Wednesday: at Iowa State, 6 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Kansas State, 12:30 p.m.
OSU has won five straight on the road, but the final one will be tough. The Cyclones' only home defeat was against Kansas last week, and bad officiating was partly to blame. On Saturday, the Wildcats come to town for a battle for the No. 2 seed in next week's conference tournament.
The big picture
How low can they go?
Even if they drop their final two games, the worst-case scenario is for the Cowboys to get the fourth seed for the Big 12 Tournament. If they lose twice this week and Oklahoma wins both its games, the teams finish with the same conference record (12-6). The tiebreaker goes to whoever has the better record against the top-seeded team, or if they have the same record against that team, continuing down the standings until one gains the advantage.
OU and OSU would have the same records against Kansas (1-1), Kansas State (0-2) and Iowa State (1-1), but the Sooners went 2-0 against Baylor while OSU was 1-1. In that case, OU would be the third seed and OSU the fourth.
A rare occurrence
This season, Markel Brown, Marcus Smart, Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte are averaging in double figures. The last time four Cowboys averaged in double figures in a season was in 2008-09: James Anderson, Byron Eaton, Terrel Harris and Obi Muonelo.
Forte for 3
Even with a recent so-called slump, Forte is closing in on the OSU record for the most 3-pointers by a freshman. After hitting four treys Saturday, he has 62 this season. Anderson (2007-08) has the most in a freshman season with 67, and Keiton Page (2008-09) is second with 63.
Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins is called for a charge as he bumps into Texas forward Connor Lammert during Saturday's game in Stillwater. KT KING / For the Tulsa World