The Oklahoma State Basketball team walks into Saturday’s game against the Wichita State Shockers with a 7-1 record which ranks first in the Big 12 right now. Here is a preview of what to look for in that Saturday, 3PM tipoff:
Key Player, Wichita State: Shaquille Morris (C)
The Wichita State Shockers have also started the season 7-1 and leading their conference. They would without a doubt like to remain the 6th ranked team in the nation, or even move up.
With Wichita State on Saturday, the trick to winning begins with keeping up with what they are doing.
The Shockers have been taking care of business against the early, easier segment of their schedule, and are also now with a win against number sixteen-ranked Baylor in their pocket, on the road.
Shaq Morris has been undoubtedly one of the proud contributors to this success. He has been averaging 14.6 points per game, with a season high of 20 against South Dakota State just last evening.
Key Player, Oklahoma State: Thomas Dziagwa
For the Pokes, the equation remains a bit different. While they have been successful in record thus far there is without a tremor of doubt a lot of noise about this team’s potential.
With all of this being said, it is time for Coach Mike Boynton’s team to make a statement on Saturday, for lack of a better term.
After not playing the first handful of games, OSU star player Jeffery Carroll came back against Texas A&M only to have a lackluster performance. He had a surprising 2/12 shooting percentage from the field and posted 4 points the entire night.
Carroll has responded and in fact had some very good games since then. However, to counter Morris’ large presence down low, the Cowboys must operate elsewhere.
Thomas Dziagwa has been a flat out lights-out shooter for the Oklahoma State Cowboys thus far this season. He is shooting an incredible fifty percent from three point range, and is also efficient. He has made every one of his six free throws and averages 10.5 points in 16 minutes.
Dziagwa is a strong player for the Cowboys, and one that is quite frankly underrated. Carroll might not be able to drive inside all night on Morris, but he just might be able to get enough kick-outs to his fellow teammate for 3 points instead of 2…
…and, if the head coach refers to you as “The Definition Of Swagger”, that probably boosts your confidence just a little bit.
PREDICTION: Wichita State- 95, Oklahoma State- 80 (Final)
Although the Cowboys have shown some strong upside this season, it is hard to not see the downside.
They have greatly struggled with terrible starts. It doesn’t go on the stat sheet, but against Mississippi Valley State, who came into the matchup winless, the Cowboys seemed they could just not get away from sloppy play for the first chunk of the game. It did not play out exactly how you would expect an 0-7 team on the road versus 6-1 team at home game to play out.
The Cowboys will respond though. Like most tough-minded teams, they easily get out of many of these first-half funks with a strong second half.
Wichita State on the other hand has been prolific at scoring the ball. They have scored ninety-plus in four of their seven victories.
Gallagher-Iba Arena is a difficult place to play, which should be taken into account here. Wichita State will be slowed by an intense showing at home from the Cowboys in the first half, but in the second their balanced attack and scoring will make it harder for Oklahoma State to keep up.
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