I talked to my dad for a little while last night. We discussed Kentucky, chatted about the Masters, I asked him how New Jersey (where he lives) was. We talked about Stillwater some, then I asked him if he’d seen the Gottlieb to Kansas State rumors… “Whhhaaaaat?!?!?!” “Whaa… Whaa… I have so many questions.” We all do, pops. So Nolo, Quade, Amilian and I decided to tackle this via email today, here’s what transpired: Nolo: I have a few friends that go to/went to KSU that I follow and my timeline blew up last night with Gottlieb to KSU propaganda. Do you think it will happen? Do you think it would work? Kyle: I don’t think it will happen but I do think it could work. In my time playing sports, and Nolan you can absolutely refute this and I won’t get my feelings hurt, I always felt like good coaches were always better at managing players and meshing a group of college students than doing Xs and Os stuff (not that Gottlieb doesn’t know Xs and Os but just that I think he’d be pretty good at meshing people). I guess the obvious comp is Hoiberg and their similarities are that they’ve both been in a hoops related job for the past decade (Gottlieb commentating, Hoiberg in the front office with the T-Wolves). I dunno, it just seems like Gottlieb is oblivious enough not to know that it wouldn’t work so it might actually work, but I don’t think K-State would ever do that. If they thought Frank Martin was egotistical……..
Travis Ford could have finished this sentence “Hey, we came back from severe probation…”….that your old coach put us on. (NewsOK) John Hoover says OSU needs to get a series win at Baylor to jump in the Big 12 race in baseball. (Tulsa World) Interesting look at March Madness glory by in-state teams here by Jimmie Tramel. (Tulsa World) Gottlieb to Kansas State? (NBC Sports) On the walk up music of OSU’s baseball team. (O’Colly)
Photo Attribution: US Presswire One of my Baylor friends put it best the other day when he told me “I think Griffin single-handedly birthed a rivalry between Baylor and OSU in just three games.” My response: “yeah, it’s the first rivalry ever created by an individual because he was bad rather than good.” Quite the paradox, eh? And now we have a full-fledged social media spat on our hands. True or false? Oklahoma State fans hate Baylor more than they hate OU right now. I say more true than false. Maybe I should make it a poll. The Griffin narrative, however, is only a subset of our Baylor vitriol. This thread of “we want to beat the piss out of Baylor in every sport imaginable, why don’t they have a wrestling team?!?!” is equal parts Griffin, Baylor being good at football and basketball, Baylor fans acting like Baylor is elite at football and basketball, and Scott Drew doing Scott Drew things. For now let’s push Drew to the side and take a look at the other three issues: 1. Baylor being good at football and basketball – Isn’t it funny that part (or most) of the reason we’re so anti-Bears is because of this: they’re a non-traditional power raging against a rhythmic establishment (the Big 12 Conference) with a confidence (other words could be used too) that belies their history (which is not good). Does this not sound familiar, friends? Is this not the very template each and every OSU fan used in January when they swore off ESPN and that “dad-gum blasted family of networks owned by them Disney folks” because they propped up a Bama-LSU title game at the expense of the little guy (namely, us)? Yes, I get that it’s more than that, but you’re a fool if you don’t think that at least part of the Baylor venom is because they’re good and we’re not used to that and we don’t know what to do with it. It’s the same way Texas views OSU.
Cowgirls move on, play for the NIT title on Saturday night. (NewsOK) Yes. (NewsOK) Weeden topped out at 97 on the hill, nice. (ESPN) Speaking of Smart, he had a very strange 1-6-5 line last night in the McDonald’s All-American game. (ESPN Dallas) [sarcasm font] Yes, we should absolutely rely on the NCAA to make an appeal in OSU’s favor so that we can look forward to having a good year in basketball. (NewsOK) The evolution of Josh Stewart. (Tulsa World) Gina transcribed a lot of Brandon Weeden stuff yesterday. There’s some interesting stuff in there, love the Van Pelt interview. (NewsOK)
by: Matt Amilian Twenty-two years ago I didn’t realize I was teeing it up with a future OSU defensive standout. After reading this entire post, you’ll realize why I’d brag about playing tee ball with former Cowboy defensive end, Nathan Peterson. As a general rule of thumb when catching up with former Cowboy athletes, I have some random, nonsensical questions to get out of the way before getting to the principal material. Let’s get started… Matt: Who was meanest person that you played with on defense during your time at OSU? Nate: I’m not sure who you could call the meanest but I’d be willing to bet everyone would tell you that I was the grumpiest. Matt: What is your favorite non-OSU stadium in which you played? Nate: We played in a lot of great places, but my first game ever we beat UCLA in the Rose Bowl Stadium. I played 7 snaps and was terrified. Matt: I know you didn’t watch OSU this past season, but if you saw the new uniforms, what is your favorite combo? Nate: Never got to see any games. We didn’t have electricity or anything in our little platoon mud compound, but I saw some pictures, I liked the white helmets with black OSU stickers. I would like those with white jerseys and black pants. Matt: Of all your OSU teammates, who was most likely to cheat you in a card game? Nate: I don’t think any of them would really cheat, but I’ll say a toss up between Paul Duren and Jerry Don Bray. They’re sharks. Matt: What is your best memory from your playing days in Stillwater? Nate: So many. I could say something like the Nebraska game but in reality all my best memories come from the weight room. Down there is where we would kill ourselves year round with Coach Glass. There’s nothing like playing a game in Boone Pickens Stadium for the fans, but it’s all those tough days in the weight room and running sprints in the summer where you build a solid bond with your boys. For some reason something about pain and misery brings guys together. I really miss it. I’m looking forward to moving on after my service is up and I’m going to give coaching a shot. Maybe if I’m lucky someday I’ll have more great memories in Stillwater.
OUTSTANDING feature on Justin Blackmon. (Sporting News) Weeden is going to be on every ESPN outlet you’ve ever heard of today. (NewsOK) Eddie Sutton is a Tiffany Bias fan. (Tulsa World) Justin Blackmon’s favorite moment at OSU was tearing down the goalposts against OU. (okstate.com) This is just all kinds of awesome. (Yahoo!) Good stuff from Jenni Carlson on why OSU’s girls keep playing. (NewsOK) Marcus Smart is playing in the McDonald’s All-American game tonight. On ESPN at 8:30. (Tulsa World) Interesting look at where everybody in the Big 12 is projected to go in the NFL draft. (ESPN) The list of WR taken with the #6 pick in the draft has been pretty impressive. (ESPN)
Photo Attribution: Emily Nielsen One of the biggest misconceptions about collegiate athletes is that they continue to improve at the same rate each year they are in school. The reality is closer to what Gottlieb has referenced multiple times: that the leap you make from your freshman year to your sophomore year is bigger than any other single year improvement you’ll make the rest of your college career. OSU has had numerous examples of this and it’s one reason next season is so enticing to me. James Anderson went from 13 points/4 rebounds his freshman year to 18 points/6 rebounds in his second season. Joe Adkins made the jump from a 4-1-2 line his first season in Stillwater to a healthy 13-3-4 in his second (albeit in about twice the minutes). Even JamesOn Curry, who had a wildly successful freshman campaign, bumped his numbers from 9-3-3 to 14-3-4 in year two. But what about current players? What can we expect from the guys on the current roster? Let’s use Markel Brown as our measuring stick and look at the jump he made from last year to this year… Let me explain what each line means. 2011 – His stats from last season (his freshman year). 2012 Expected – What we would have expected his stats to look like based solely on an increase in playing time from 21 MPG to 31 MPG. 2012 Actual – What his stats actually were this season (his sophomore year). Difference – His improvement in each category* independent of a playing time increase. As you can see, Markel improved in every area of his game independent of the fact that he got more playing time and more touches this season. His improvement was extreme in some cases (assists, boards, and FT%) and less in others (steals, FG%). He actually regressed in shot blocking but since “having our two guards block more shots” isn’t something I’m terribly worried about for next season, I didn’t include it.
A lot of OSU love in this video but no Missouri dunk? And no Keiton to Markel from halfcourt of Allen Fieldhouse? The second one is more than defensible (blowout dunk in a late afternoon game that wasn’t nationally televised). The first though? No excuses. Markel was given the “best body of work for a dunker” award last night on ESPN2, undoubtedly a contrived accomplishment created by the mothership to induce more eyeball-searing viewership and sell advertisements. However, he didn’t win dunk of the year. I am uproarious over this. We went 15-18, ESPN, couldn’t you just throw us a bone?
Good article by Bill Haisten on who OSU is looking to for wide receiver depth. (Tulsa World) Arkansas-Little Rock tonight at Allie P. (okstate.com) Phil Forte will compete in the high school three-point championships this weekend. Cezar won it last year so, yeah, whatever. (okstate.com) Good stuff from Brendon Morris on the tough task of being Jim Littell. (O’Colly) “When we first started, we had no chance to run threes. We could barely run twos.” (okstate.com) “I’ve been told not to call it a ‘spring game’” Huh? (NewsOK) I mean it’s good that defensive line is our weakest position, right? (ESPN)
Photo Attribution: Nebugeater by: Anthony Slater Oklahoma State baseball opened up conference play this past weekend in Columbia. After winning the first game 3-2, the Cowboys lost 4-1 and 4-2 to lose the series to Missouri. OSU is now 13-11 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12. Here’s a quick synopsis of the weekend’s events: Stars LHP Andrew Heaney – In college baseball, an ace like Heaney is such a luxury. Regardless of the opponent, OSU enters any weekend series as heavy favorites in the Friday night game. It puts the team at ease. Get that opening game, then you get two shots to win the series (easier said than done for OSU lately). He was brilliant again this past weekend, getting the complete game win (his third consecutive CG) in OSU’s 3-2 opening win. His stat line this season: 5-1 record, 1.12 ERA (leads Big 12) and 65 strikeouts (leads nation). The dude is dealing. 3B Mark Ginther – If not for Ginther’s late-game heroics, OSU spoils Heaney’s start and gets swept this weekend. Down to their last out in game one, trailing 2-1, Mark Ginther ripped a two-run game-winning home run, as part of his three-hit day. Biggest AB of the season so far. The Cowboys may have left Columbia disappointed with the series loss, but 1-2 sounds A LOT better than a clean sweep.
Jim Traber and I got into it over the weekend. It was pretty fun. He called me a yardbird, which is really kind of a career achievement. (Twitter and Twitter) Great story by Slater on Terrel Harris’ first year with the Heat. (O’Colly) And here are some leftover quotes. The stuff from Harris about teaching OSU guys the ropes is interesting. (Slater Sports Blog) I’m in 317th place in our bracket challenge. (Yahoo!) John Klein says OSU is deep enough in football to bridge the gap between last year and next. (Tulsa World) Mizzou takes two of three in Columbia. (okstate.com) “I don’t think he even feels pressure.” (NewsOK)
Photo Attribution: Icon SMI As a sort of termination to the woeful 2011-2012 OSU basketball season I again asked John Helsley, Jimmie Tramel, and Anthony Slater to join me in answering questions about this (and next) year’s team. You should be following all of them on Twitter. Hope you enjoy the 4-on-4. 1. Why should OSU fans be excited about next season? Jimmie Tramel (Tulsa World) – Nothing excites fans more than “next guy” and, in this case, that’s McDonald’s All-American Marcus Smart, who allegedly will bring the Charlie Sheen intangible (winning) that was missing last season. With two All-Americans (Le’Bryan Nash is the other) on the squad, can the Cowboys possibly miss the NCAA Tournament? Only twice in OSU history have the Cowboys had two All-Americans on a basketball roster. James Anderson and Byron Eaton settled for an NIT trip in 2008, but they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009. John Helsley (Oklahoman) – There’s reason for optimism, based on the core of players coming back — assuming Darrell Williams is one of them, too — and the quality of the guys coming in. Marcus Smart is pegged as a big-time winner, the kind of player who make others look better. That bodes well for Markel Brown, Darrell Williams, Le’Bryan Nash, Michael Cobbins, et al. And for the Cowboys. Anthony Slater (O’Colly) – You had five freshman in the rotation. You had three of them (Nash, BWilliams, Cobbins) show they were capable starters. You had a sophomore (Markel) begin to blossom. You have the top recruit in Texas (Marcus Smart) coming in. You have talent returning from injury/suspension (Olukemi, DWilliams?). Everyone else in the conference is worrying about what they are losing (UT-J’Covan Brown, ISU-Royce White, KU-Taylor/Robinson, BU-entire rotation may go to league). You are getting almost everything back, and then some. Kyle Porter (Pistols Firing) – Why shouldn’t they be excited? You have the Big 12 Freshman of the Year coming back, an eclectic, if not dangerous supporting cast and a coach frothing at the mouth to win 20 games. Plus all the Ewing Theory potential you can handle with Keiton exiting stage right. I’m more excited for basketball next season than I am football.
Yesterday, not one, but TWO people pledged $10 for every point scored by the Cowgirls in their NIT game last night. They dropped 70 on Missouri State which is why the thermomoter reads $2253 now. Pretty amazing stuff from the readers. “I’m not sure why you finish at Murphy’s, you just do.” Maybe my favorite quote of the year. (ESPN) Good find by Amilian here. Rusty McNamara is now the hitting coach at the University of Hawaii. Tough job. (LI Ducks Blog) Vote on what Bo Van Pelt should wear at the Masters. (Woobox) Baseball at Mizzou tonight at 6 PM. Heaney’s going. (okstate.com) Great story from Miles Simon about Scott Brooks punking Doug Gottlieb. (The Big Lead) It’s news when John Smith doesn’t win coach of the year, right? (Big 12 Sports) Liz Donahoe had 25 and 14 last night. (NewsOK)
Do you guys remember the scene in the Count of Monte Cristo when Edmond Dantes and Jacopo find their treasure hidden in the bottom of the ocean and try to load it in their life boat in one trip because they’re scared if they leave it somebody else will find out about it and steal it before they can return? That’s how I’ve felt about this Gottlieb/Joe Adkins story for the last two weeks. Somebody emailed it to me randomly and I was scared someone else with a lot of followers would tweet it or somebody from ESPN would pick it up and mention it on air or Scott Van Pelt would literally just read it on his radio show. That’s how awesome it is. You should really take the time to read the whole post put together by the good folks over at The Kingsbury Factor, but I had to whet your appetite with this jewel of an answer from Doug about great shooters: