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10 Thoughts: Kansas State




Oklahoma State delivered Kansas it’s 1,000,000 straight Big 12 title today with a 76-70 win over Kansas State in Gallagher-Iba. It wasn’t easy — KSU went on a 20-5 run to start the second half — but Le’Bryan Nash played the best game of his career and Marcus Smart had a fitting end to his home career in Stillwater.

Ten more thoughts…

1. I’ve killed Le’Bryan Nash in the past. You guys have read it on this site time and time again. I’ve called him soft, clueless, not a good athlete, basically everything short of a complete and utter collegiate bust. Well today he shoved it all back in my face.

He took over the game in the second half, did everything we’ve always wanted him to do, went to the hole, got fast break dunks, drew fouls. He was the best player on the court today and the reason OSU won against a top 10 team. Now if we can just get that to transfer over to the next few weeks…

2. One of my favorite random moments in sports happened today when the student section was going nuts at Smart at the free throw line, chanting “one more year” and such,

I love it right when Smart’s about to shoot and all the students start doing the Matt Barkley “hands up in the air hushing the crowd at the line of scrimmage” thing as if nobody knows they’re supposed to be quiet when OSU is shooting free throws. It makes me laugh every time.

3. OSU shot 56.8% from the field today — its second best percentage of the year behind the Portland State game (57.1%). The Cowboys haven’t lost all year when shooting better than 42%.

I think that goes a long way in showing how efficient and good, really, Kansas State is, especially given that they shot under 40% today. They did it by doubling up the Cowboys on the offensive boards, having fewer turnovers, and more steals. I’d be terrified to play them in the NCAA (or Big 12) Tournament.

4. Classic Berry right here on the “one more year” chants for Marcus Smart.

5. One play OSU went to multiple times today was the interior slip screen by Cobbins. Smart would wait at the top of the key until the screenee (to coin a term) would get around Cobbins’ baseline screen and then would fire a pass to Cobbins who was slithering to the bucket.

I don’t think it ever didn’t worked although I don’t know why given that Forte was usually the recipient of Cobbins’ screen and you don’t need to get within 20 feet of him right now from deep. If I was KSU, I wouldn’t have ever gotten behind Cobbins but give credit to Smart (and Ford) for continuing to go back to it.

6. It really was.

I loved how physical it was although I don’t like (and neither does Bruce Weber) how floppy this OSU team has become. Smart did his Manu thing a few times and Markel got in on the action with a couple of head jerks outside the three point line on hedged screens that made it look like he got shot. We call it “gamesmenship” when our guys do it but we’d call it “I want to physically murder Angel Rodriguez” if anybody else did…

7. Markel’s Jordans today, did anyone see them? He was wearing the 12s with a tiny orange stripe on them. So understated — just like his game.

8. I guess now we know why the Big 12 refs are so incompetent. This is who trains them.

9. Bryndon Manzer opened the game saying this game would be “a game Abe Lincoln would like with two land grant schools.” I don’t know if it was the worst thing ever or the funniest thing ever. Still don’t.

10. I tweeted this earlier but what a classic season from Gallagher-Iba. It really seemed like GIA delivered a few wins (OU, Baylor, ISU, and KSU come to mind) late in the season that OSU used to record its most wins in the Travis Ford era. Props to everybody who came out.

Baylor on Thursday night in Kansas City.


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