Oklahoma State has struggled in Big 12 play since the loss of Michael Cobbins as the Cowboys aspirations went from title hopes in the conference to just getting in the field of 68.
After seven straight losses in the conference, Oklahoma State (17-10, 5-9) finally got back on the right track with an 84-62 win over Texas Tech (13-14, 5-9) at home on Saturday.
Returning from serving a three-game suspension for an incident involving shoving a Texas Tech fan earlier in the month, sophomore guard Marcus Smart gave the Cowboys a much needed infusion of balance and ability as he went for 16 points, 10 assists and six steals.
But it was the balance of the Cowboys’ offense that was impressive. LeBryan Nash went to work in the post, going for 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting while Phil Forte had 20 points, Markel Brown added 11 and Kamari Murphy added 10 points.
With four potent scoring options — and five starters — each contributing at a steady rate, Oklahoma State looked much better than its recent play had suggested as they didn’t force many looks and did a great job sharing the ball.
When Marcus Smart and Markel Brown are able to get others involved by attacking off-the-bounce, that is when Oklahoma State can get dangerous. The Cowboys have an uphill climb out of this recent slide, but the win on Saturday was a positive start and they have another winnable game against TCU until tough games with Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State before the Big 12 Tournament.
Can the Cowboys and Smart win some games against great competition and regain their early-season form? It’s possible by the looks of it against Texas Tech. Oklahoma State will still miss Michael Cobbins inside, but its offense is still very potent and balanced if they’re moving the ball.
Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?