Oklahoma State Cowboys
Overall Rank: #66
Conference Rank: #7 Big 12
2006-07: 22-13, 6-10, 7th (t)
2006-07 postseason: NIT
Depth and leadership have been a major problem at Oklahoma State over the last two years. The depth concerns should be all taken care of with the addition of seven newcomers, but where the leadership is coming from is a whole different story. Some of the leadership could have been taken over by junior center Kenny Cooper, but he has opted to transfer. After averaging just 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds last season, Cooper would have gotten the opportunity to be the go-to-guy under the basket.
In addition to Cooper, OSU lost their proven post scorer. As a senior, Mario Boggan led the team with 19.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. The other big loss for the Cowboys is guard JamesOn Curry, who left early to try his luck in the NBA. The dynamic scorer averaged 17.3 points and added 3.7 assists and 3.2 boards. Forward David Monds has seen his last action in Stillwater as well and he started 17 games during his senior campaign. That means the frontcourt needs to be entirely replaced and the newcomers need to step up immediately.
There are some quality options among the new players in the paint. Junior college transfer Anthony Brown is a little undersized at 6-6, but he is a terrific scorer who has the experience to come in right away and be productive. Martavius Adams will be able to score under the basket as well. The 6-8 center knows how to get the job done in the paint on the offensive side. The defense is a concern, but once he develops a mid-range shot, Adams will be a beast in the scoring column. Ibrahima Thomas needs to bulk up, but the 6-11 center can do all the things Adams cannot. He is a great shot blocker and can step outside and hit the three-ball. He may need some time to develop his game, but Thomas has as good of a chance as any of the newcomers to make a contribution in the frontcourt. Marshall Moses can join the frontcourt, but the versatile lefty can play either forward spot. He is a good athlete who can hit the outside shot, but the addition of small forward James Anderson may force Moses to make his mark as a power forward. Anderson is a superb athlete who will play above the rim and work hard on both ends of the floor. The McDonald’s All-American is expected to find a starting spot early and keep it until he decides he wants to head off to the NBA. Brad Garrett and Nick Sidorakis will add depth to the perimeter. Garrett, a junior college transfer, has the potential to be an effective sharpshooter off the bench. Sophomores Andy Shaw and Scott Warner will also suit up for the Cowboys this year after redshirting last season.
Who to Watch:
The returning talent is in the backcourt and nobody has more expectations than sophomore Obi Muonelo. The 6-5 shooting guard was having a terrific freshman campaign before suffering a broken leg. He came back for the end of the season and continued to show flashes of brilliance. Muonelo proved that he can be a great scorer and all the big shots will go through him. Byron Eaton has a couple years of experience under his belt running the point. Now as an upperclassman, he needs to develop into that team leader. Harris will do quite a bit of scoring, averaging 7.7 points per game last year, but it is his defensive prowess that will make him a star. Terrel Harris may be relegated to the bench with the addition of Anderson, but he will be a great sixth man and shooter off the bench if that what the team needs him to be.
Ideally, Marcus Dove will play at small forward, but at 6-9 the senior who is listed as a wing, can play the power forward spot. The defensive stalwart will not do much scoring, but he is a valuable presence on the floor. However, he is suspended indefinitely from the team and that will be a problem if he misses too many games. Thanks to the influx of talent, losing Dove would not be as big of a problem as it would have been last year, but Dove is still the type of player that OSU needs.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Byron Eaton, Junior, Guard, 7.7 points per game
Obi Muonelo, Sophomore, Guard, 10.1 points per game
James Anderson, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Marcus Dove, Senior, Forward, 4.7 points per game
Martavius Adams, Freshman, Center, DNP last season