#64 Oklahoma St: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #64
Conference Rank: #7 Big 12 Conference
2009-10: 22-11, 9-7
2009-10 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Travis Ford (45-23 at Oklahoma State, 235-169 overall)
Oklahoma State was pretty much a two man team last year. James Anderson and Obi Muonelo could always be counted on to take over a game and get the job done. Those are the only two departures from an NCAA Tournament team, but they are two huge losses and it will be very difficult for Coach Travis Ford to take OSU to a third straight NCAA Tournament.
Key Losses: G James Anderson, G Obi Muonelo
Coach Ford is building a nice a team in Stillwater, but this is a young group. Adding junior college transfers Jean-Paul Olukemi and Darrell Williams to the frontcourt will help, but there is only one senior on the roster and Oklahoma State’s best days are ahead of them. Michael Cobbins, a 6-8, 200 pound forward is the best of the incoming freshman, but small forward Brian Williams and shooting guard Markel Brown will contribute sooner or later.
For now the newcomers on the perimeter will have some major battles for playing time. Ray Penn had a fine freshman campaign when he was on the floor. In his 19 appearances he averaged 7.8 points and dished out 3.0 assists. Perhaps most impressively was the fact that he limited his turnovers to 1.8 per game and that is quite good for a freshman who played over 30 minutes per game. Keiton Page will have to be the new go-to-scorer. The problem is Page is pretty much just a shooter and he will not attack the basket like Anderson and Muonelo could do. Fred Gulley will not be the player who can create his own shot, but he is a solid glue guy who earned 17 starts last season. If Gulley is back in the starting lineup, Nick Sidorakis and Reger Dowell will have to battle it out with Brown and Williams for minutes in the backcourt.
For the last couple of years OSU has pretty much run a four guard offense with one big man in the middle. That is what happens when wings like Anderson and Muonelo are around who can grab at least five rebounds a game. And with so much talent in the backcourt, there really was not much of a choice. That should change this year and the Cowboys should run a more traditional lineup more often. Matt Pilgrim proved to be a versatile big man who could score inside and out. Pilgrim even grabbed 6.7 rebounds and led the team in blocks. If he can stay out of foul trouble, Pilgrim should have a very productive senior season. Roger Franklin cannot play the five spot like Pilgrim, but the 6-5 wing could spend some time at the four spot, especially if the newcomers need some time to develop. Franklin is strong enough to defend most opposing power forwards, especially with a year in the weight room.
Who to Watch:
Pilgrim had a good season, but Marshall Moses is the star of the frontcourt. The 6-7 junior is a true post player and averaged 8.8 points and 8.1 rebounds last season. While he is not a huge threat to score since most of his points come off of offensive rebounds, he is enough of a scoring threat to warrant some attention. Moses’ scoring was also helped out because of the defense worrying about the outside shooting of Anderson and Muonelo. Without those two around, Moses will need to prove that he can handle some scoring on his own.
There is a lot potential for Oklahoma State, but this team is a year away from getting back to the NCAA Tournament. Cobbins needs to be ready to play major minutes and getting some help from the more experienced Williams and Olukemi would be very beneficial. Penn is a solid point guard, but it will take some time to find an identity and dynamic scoring threats now that Anderson and Muonelo are gone.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Ray Penn, Sophomore, Guard, 7.8 ppg
Keiton Page, Sophomore, Guard, 10.7 ppg
Fred Gulley, Sophomore, Guard, 1.5 ppg
Matt Pilgrim, Senior, Forward, 8.2 ppg
Marshall Moses, Junior, Forward, 8.8 ppg
Next Top 144 Teams