Oklahoma State Athletics

Oklahoma State promotes assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach

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Oklahoma State has decided to promote assistant coach Mike Boynton to head coach, the school announced on Friday.

Boynton was an assistant with the Cowboys under former head coach Brad Underwood, who left Oklahoma State to take the Illinois job last weekend. Also an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin, South Carolina, Wofford and Coastal Carolina, Boynton is a native of New York City who played his college ball for the Gamecocks.

The hire of Boynton is surprising since he doesn’t have any head-coaching experience as it follows in the footsteps of Cal promoting assistant coach Wyking Jones earlier in the day. Boynton also notably won the job over broadcaster and former Oklahoma State guard Doug Gottlieb as Gottlieb interviewed for the job but wasn’t selected.

 

No. 7 Michigan outlasts No. 10 Oklahoma State in battle of elite point guards

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The battle of elite points guard lived up to the hype as No. 7 seed Michigan and senior Derrick Walton Jr. outlasted No. 10 seed Oklahoma State and sophomore Jawun Evans for a 92-91 win during a first-round game Friday afternoon in the Midwest Region.

Both guards flirted with triple-doubles in this NCAA Tournament game in Indianapolis, but it was Walton and the Wolverines who continued their stretch of inspired play after a scare during last week involving the team plane. D.J. Wilson made the game-clinching free throws with 3.7 seconds left for Michigan as Evans buried a three-pointer as time expired to make it the one-point difference.

Michigan (25-11) was led by Walton as he finished with 26 points, 11 assists and five rebounds as the Wolverines shot a blistering 55 percent (16-for-29) from three-point range. At one point in the second half, the Wolverines were 11-for-15 in the half from three-point range as their ability to hit the long ball changed the game.

Continuing to look like one of the elite floor leaders in college basketball, Walton was once again matched against a very good counterpart and outplayed that player while getting his team the win. During Michigan’s recent six-game winning streak, Walton is averaging 21 points, 8.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game as he’s now become one of the tournament’s dangerous players.

Wilson added 19 points for the Wolverines while Zak Irvin and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman each had 16 points to help form a balanced Michigan attack.

Oklahoma State (20-13) had a solid game from Evans as he totaled 23 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Although Evans was close to a triple-double he was only 10-for-26 from the field as he had a tough time getting some shots to fall around the rim. Jeffrey Carroll added 19 points while senior guard Phil Forte III added 12 points in his final college game. Davon Dillard also added 12 points for the Cowboys while Leyton Hammonds added 10 points.

Although Oklahoma State’s offense was once again good enough to keep them in this one, their perimeter defense allowed Michigan a number of easy different looks as the Cowboys lost another close game to a good team with a good offense.

Michigan moves on to face No. 2 seed Louisville in the second round of the Midwest Region on Sunday after the Cardinals ran past No. 15 seed Jacksonville State. The Wolverines have won eight of their last night games overall, including last week’s Big Ten Tournament title.

If Walton continues to play at an elite level and the Wolverines continue to stay motivated then they are going to be a dangerous team if Louisville advances. That could be one of the better second-round matchups in the tournament as Walton will go against some more high-quality guards in Donovan Mitchell and Quentin Snider for the Cardinals.

TCU stuns No. 1 Kansas in Big 12 Tournament

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Trailing by double digits in the second half, No. 1 Kansas rallied but blew a late lead as TCU pulled off the upset, 85-82, on Thursday afternoon in a stunning upset in the Big 12 Tournament.

With the game tied, Horned Frogs freshman Desmond Bane was fouled by Svi Mykhailiuk while shooting a corner three-pointer with 2.5 seconds left and buried all three free throws to clinch the win for the Horned Frogs. Kansas junior Devonte Graham missed a tying three-point attempt at the buzzer after a length-of-the-floor pass on the ensuing Jayhawk possession.

Playing without freshman star Josh Jackson (one-game suspension for violation of team rules), the Jayhawks struggled to find their footing until the final stretch of the second half. After taking the lead in the final few minutes, Kansas blew a four-point lead with the ball with under two minutes left as the Horned Frogs never blinked when they were down.

TCU (19-14) was led by Kenrich Williams with 18 points as they had a balanced effort with five double-figure scorers. This is the Horned Frogs’ first ever win in a Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal game. Bane added 16 points for TCU while Alex Robinson (13 points), Brandon Parrish (12 points) and Vladimir Brodziansky (11 points) also finished in double-figures.

Senior Frank Mason helped Kansas (28-4) come back with 29 points and six assists while Svi Mykhailiuk had 18 points. Playing through a leg injury that was suffered in the first half, Devonte Graham finished with 10 points while senior Landen Lucas had a good game on the interior with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

TCU moves on to face No. 4 seed Iowa State as their NCAA tournament stock becomes something to keep an eye on since they just beat a potential No. 1 seed. It’s likely a bit too late for the Horned Frogs to make a move on an at-large bid after a seven-game Big 12 losing streak late in the season but this win is one of the best any team will have all season. For a team that has lost so many close games during Big 12 play, this was a monumental win for head coach Jamie Dixon in his first season.

It’s hard to say if this win can catapult TCU into the NCAA tournament this year but it is the kind of statement win the program was looking for when they brought in Dixon. This win shows that TCU can hang with the baddest team in the Big 12 in postseason play and this young roster will remember that in future seasons.

Kansas was a legitimate contender for No. 1 overall seed until this loss. We’ll have to see what the committee decides to do with them from here. Obviously, having Jackson back will help quite a bit on both ends of the floor.

Don’t freak out over this loss; Kansas is still a national title contender and they can still have a No. 1 seed depending on how some other things play out. But this loss is still concerning because the Jayhawks blew a four-point lead with the ball with 1:40 left because of turnovers on back-to-back possessions. The Jayhawks have usually closed out games this season but this kind of letdown is very concerning heading into the tournament.

We know the Jayhawks are going to be tested in close games during March and we’ll have to see how they respond after this surprising loss.

Monte Morris leads No. 23 Iowa State past Oklahoma State in Big 12 Tournament

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Senior Monte Morris put together an outstanding performance with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as No. 23 Iowa State raced past Oklahoma State, 92-83, in the Big 12 quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.

Morris had a triple-double earlier this season against The Citadel, but his performance on Thursday was far more special. This game came against a tournament-bound Cowboy team with an All-American guard in Jawun Evans during postseason play.

It’s part of the reason that Morris was selected to the NBCSports.com All-American team earlier this week. He was simply dominant on Thursday and Iowa State’s offense looked nearly unstoppable.

While Evans also had a strong game of his own with 29 points and four assists, Morris helped pace the No. 4 seed Cyclones (21-10) as their offense finished 12-for-24 from three-point range.

Morris had plenty of help from teammates as four other Iowa State players finished with at least 13 points. Senior Deonte Burton finished with 17 points while Naz Mitrou-Long added 14 points. Matt Thomas and Darrell Bowie both finished with 13 points.

It was the type of balanced effort that is going to make Iowa State an incredibly tough out next week. The Cyclones are playing with a lot of confidence since moving freshman forward Solomon Young into the starting lineup as this team’s four seniors on the perimeter are really clicking.

When you also get quality bench production from guys like Bowie and junior shooter Donovan Jackson (eight points) then it doesn’t matter if the Cyclones allow some points because that offense is tough to contain.

Iowa State can now potentially get a crack at No. 1 Kansas in a rubber-match that would be a ton of fun. This newer version of the Cyclones with Young could be an intriguing matchup with the Jayhawks and it should be a fun, up-and-down affair.

Oklahoma State (20-12) had a strong game from Jeffrey Carroll (21 points) as they’re still going to be safely in the NCAA tournament.

The Cowboys have dropped three straight games heading into next week but those losses all came against good teams. As a probable 7-through-10 seed (to give a generous range), the Cowboys are going to be an intriguing team to watch in the tournament based on matchup.

Evans is as good as any point guard in the country and Carroll and senior Phil Forte gives the Cowboys enough offensive firepower to hang with anyone. Given head coach Brad Underwood’s NCAA tournament track record at Stephen F. Austin the last three seasons — winning two out of three first-round games — the Cowboys should be well-prepared for anything.

Motley leads No. 11 Baylor past Texas 75-64

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AUSTIN, Texas — Johnathan Motley had 17 points and 17 rebounds, helping No. 11 Baylor defeat Texas 75-64 on Saturday.

The 6-foot-10 Motley also had a big game in a victory against Texas earlier in the season with 32 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks.

Jake Lindsey added 16 points as Baylor (25-6, 12-6) matched school records for total victories and Big 12 wins. King McClure scored 12 points.

Jarrett Allen, a 6-11 freshman, had 20 points and nine rebounds for Texas (10-21, 4-14), which has lost seven straight games. Shaq Cleare added 14 points and nine rebounds and Andrew Jones had 12 points and seven assists.

Texas trailed by 16 points with 2 minutes left in the first half, but the Longhorns had sliced the deficit to five less 3 minutes into the second half on a basket by Allen inside.

The Longhorns maneuvered no closer than that, and Baylor increased its lead to 15 with a 3-pointer by Lindsey with 5:39 left.

Baylor led 40-29 at halftime. Neither team made a 3-point basket during the first 8 minutes of the game. Then Baylor hit six of them in the next 10 minutes, three by Wendell Mitchell, a reserve guard who had made six all season in 24 attempts.

The Bears converted 10 Texas turnovers into 14 points during the period.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: Starting point guard Manu Lecomte — the Bears’ second-leading scorer — missed his second straight game while recovering from a sprained ankle, a precautionary measure, according to a team spokesman. . The Bears once had a long string of futility against Texas, losing 24 straight games between 1999-2009. But Baylor is 13-7 against Texas since snapping the losing streak at the 2009 Big 12 Tournament.

Texas: The Longhorns finished the regular season with their worst Big 12 record since the conference began competition in 1996-97. They were 6-10 in 1997-98. Texas finished 0-11 in true road games this season, failing to win one for the first time since 1983. The Longhorns are 0-3 in neutral site games with another chance next week at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. The last time they failed to win on the road or at a neutral site was in 1909, when they finished 6-3 and played all nine games at home.

UP NEXT

Baylor is at the Big 12 Tournament beginning Thursday in Kansas City. The Bears, seeded No. 3, have a first-round bye and then meet No. 6 Kansas State.

Texas begins the Big 12 Tournament on Wednesday. The Longhorns, seeded No. 10, do not have a first-round bye. They face No. 7 Texas Tech.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Iowa State secures important Big 12 home win over No. 9 Baylor

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Iowa State continued its recent strong stretch of play as they held on to knock off No. 9 Baylor 72-69 for a Big 12 home win on Saturday afternoon.

The win gives the Cyclones (19-9, 11-5) seven consecutive wins while they also snapped a five-game losing streak against Baylor that included two straight home losses. Baylor had one last shot to tie on a full-court pass with 1.4 seconds left but King McClure’s three-pointer was off at the buzzer.

Senior Deonte Burton banked home a key late three-pointer and made an important late steal as he led Iowa State with 22 points while senior point guard Monte Morris added 17 points and seven assists for the Cyclones.

Since inserting freshman big man Solomon Young (11 points) into the starting lineup, the Cyclones have looked like a new team as Young’s added toughness has given Iowa State a major boost on the interior. With Iowa State’s front court struggles improving gradually over time — they still have issues on the defensive glass like they did against Baylor — the team’s perimeter has continued to hum along since the Cyclones have so many veterans on the perimeter.

And when Burton is on like he was on Saturday, Iowa State is tough to beat. Guys like Matt Thomas and Naz Mitrou-Long can have off-nights if Burton is rolling because he’s the type of player who can go for 30 if he gets hot. When Burton is producing on the offensive end it also boosts his energy on the defensive end as he is typically a player who needs to be motivated a bit to give it his all on that end of the floor.

Being his senior year, hopefully Burton continues to stay motivated and play at a high level during the home stretch. He’s certainly had some great outings this season.

Morris is still one of the nation’s best point guards, Thomas and Mitrou-Long are solid senior shooters and Young is a decent piece who is serviceable inside. But this Iowa State will go as far as Burton is playing well. The Cyclones can hang with anyone when Burton is playing at his best but they can look completely average if he has an off-night.

With Iowa State continuing to pile up wins, they could see their NCAA tournament seeding start to get interesting, especially since they have remaining games against tournament-bound, top-50 RPI teams like Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Sweeping Oklahoma State would be solid for Iowa State while the road game at West Virginia is a game that could decide second place in the Big 12 before the conference tournament.

Baylor (23-6, 10-6) has now lost three of its last four games as their offense has struggled over the last few outings. Junior forward Johnathan Motley continues to be a force on offense as he finished with a team-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds. But Motley still isn’t getting enough help.

Al Freeman (14 points) and Ish Wainwright (14 points) were more assertive on the offensive end on Saturday and this team’s offense should also look a lot better when Manu Lecomte’s ankle heals a bit more.

There are some concerns about Baylor’s ability to take good shots in the half court, but Lecomte not being at full speed was also a huge part of that on Saturday. Baylor better fix things quickly with its offense because they get a game at home against West Virginia on Monday and the Bears are really sliding.

A team that was once in the conversation for a No. 1 seed is now falling very quickly and might finish fourth in the Big 12 after such a strong start.