While the experience of watching a sporting event can be a relatively anonymous one, as an individual can simply blend into the crowd, that isn’t the case for those with a public profile.
Thursday evening Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford was reportedly ejected from his son’s high school game, with the game official stopping the action to have him escorted from the gym. What led to Ford being ejected? Displeasure with the amount of contact being allowed around the basket, according to The Oklahoman.
Ron Holt, longtime journalist and weekly columnist for the Stillwater News Press, told The Oklahoman that Ford said, “Blow your whistle,” in response to physical play underneath the basket, prompting one of the game officials to turn and ask him to leave the gymnasium.
Holt said that Ford again said, “Blow your whistle,” and, “Do your job,” before being escorted out of the gym by Bixby athletic director Mark Chambers.
“There was a possible foul underneath the goal as a Stillwater player went in for a layup,” Holt said, “which caused Stillwater coaches and fans to voice displeasure with the no-call.
“The ref never warned him, he just looked at him and said, ‘You’re gone.’”
The events that led to Ford’s ejection don’t seem all that serious given the explanation given by Ron Holt. But given Ford’s position, having to be asked to leave the gym isn’t the best look. Next up for Ford is a game against Minnesota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Saturday, with the Cowboys looking to rebound from losses to Tulsa and Missouri State.
Friday morning Oklahoma State addressed a major need in its 2016 recruiting class, landing a player who just happens to call Norman (home of their biggest rival) home.
6-foot-5 shooting guard Lindy Waters III, announced via Twitter that he’ll be a Cowboy. The four-star prospect, who attends Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kansas, is Oklahoma State’s third verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 joining fellow guard Thomas Dziagwa and wing Cameron McGriff. He’s a native of Norman, Oklahoma, attending Norman North HS his first two years of high school.
“One of the breakout players of the July evaluation period, Waters is a high-level shooter with good size for his position,” NBC Sports recruiting analyst Scott Phillips said. “Oklahoma State is getting a capable wing shooter who can comfortably space the floor from anywhere within NBA range.”
Waters played for the Oklahoma Wizards Elite program on the adidas Gauntlet circuit, averaging 13.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas in July. Throughout the Gauntlet series prior to Las Vegas Waters averaged 16.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, shooting 47.4 percent from the field.
Waters picked the Cowboys over Butler, Houston and Harvard. And with sharpshooter Phil Forte III entering his final season of eligibility, landing a player of Waters’ caliber who can both knock down perimeter shots and score on multiple levels is an important move for Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State landed its first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016 Sunday afternoon, as three-star guard Thomas Dziagwa announced via Twitter that he will be a Cowboy. Dziagwa, a senior at Tampa Catholic (Florida), is regarded as one of the top perimeter shooters in the state.
The 6-foot-4 Dziagwa averaged nearly 27 points per game as a junior, and he played for the Florida Sons on the adidas Gauntlet circuit this summer. Oklahoma State will lose two senior guards at the end of the 2015-16 season in Jeff Newberry and Phil Forte III, with the latter being the Cowboys’ best perimeter shooter.
While Oklahoma State has a host of options on the wing, they don’t have much depth at the guard spots when it comes to the future. Freshman Jawun Evans and sophomore Tyree Griffin are the only guards on the current roster with eligibility remaining beyond the 2015-16 season, so adding another guard was something Oklahoma State needed to do.