10 thoughts on Baylor

Written by Kyle Porter
Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI


Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh boy.

Losing at Kansas State to open conference play? OK, fine, that’s not great and you probably can’t win the Big 12 if you do it, but whatever. Losing at KU at any point with any team? Acceptable. More than acceptable.

Losing at OU on Big Monday? Kruger is a good coach and OSU found foul trouble. Not exciting but not devastating. Losing at home to 1-6 Baylor with Scott Drew at the helm and missing its starting point guard?

Oh my.

Honestly, the first 90 seconds of the game told me everything I needed to know. You could have shut it down after OSU’s first two possessions and I could have told you OSU was going to struggle, if not lose.

I always read and hear about what a workhorse Ford is. “He never goes home.” “Nobody outworks that dude.” “Hardest worker in the Big 12.” OK, great but what, exactly, is he working on?

Oklahoma State came out of the gate with a Marcus Smart 23-footer and a Brian Williams two with the back of his foot nearly on the three-point line as its first two shots. Really, those were shots that happened.

After a week of evaluating the Bedlam game, poring over stats, and knowing that if you get Baylor’s big men in foul trouble you probably beat them by 25 with a conference full of referees that are more than willing to blow their whistles early and often and you let your point guard (who’s now shooting 22% from three in the Big 12) and Brian Williams (who’s now shooting 38% from two) shoot those two shots.

That tells me one of two things:

1. You are dumb and none of your work is worthwhile and if that’s the case then go home, be with your family, what’s the point of even studying and making a gameplan?!

or… (and this is actually the case)

2. You have no control over what your team does.

There really aren’t any other explanations that make any sense. My jaw just dropped after those two shots were taken and missed. The rest of the game was just gravy, really.

I’m also getting tired of the excuses, not necessarily from Ford, but just in general. Cobbins is out! Ok, replace him. The refs screwed us! Figure out how they’re calling the game and use it do your advantage. Baylor shot lights out! Guard them.

In seven non-TCU Big 12 games Oklahoma State has led at half by more than one point exactly one time — at home against West Virginia. That’s six games in which you’re fighting to take a lead or assert yourself in the last 20 minutes of a game instead of maintaining a lead and cruising to victory.

This team doesn’t roll deep enough to do that over the course of an 18-game season.

Baylor lead by one at the half in today’s game and used a series of late-game threes from Brady Heslip and Gary Franklin (9/18 combined in the game) to stick a dagger in OSU’s week atrocious week.

Markel had 24 on 9/12 shooting and Nash tossed in 19 and 6 with Marcus posting another nice 15-6-7-3-0 line but it wasn’t enough. Everyone not named “Markel” going 0/13 from three didn’t help.

I’m not going to bury this team (or Ford, for that matter) over one conference loss (we can talk about that after the season is over) but when you stack up his history of games and the direction this team is trending, things are certainly not looking bright for the rest of OSU’s season.

Many more thoughts…

• We had some classic #jimmydykesquotes today. Here’s the first: “Regardless what you hear across the country, this is the best conference in the country.” Huh?

• Nice

• If I’m an opposing Big 12 coach I log on to sports-reference.com/cbb, scan the three point volume and percentage of OSU’s starters and work on playing a zone defense the rest of the week. And use a box-and-one when Forte comes in. That’s my in-depth defensive scouting report.

• I laughed.

• The first half was a microcosm of the Travis Ford/Scott Drew eras at their respective schools. Yanked threes from all over the place, no defensive intensity, and whiffed alley-oops all over the place. It looked like a Colvin Center intramural game with better athletes.

• Heh.

• The announcing crew let me know that Travis Ford was upset after Monday’s game so he let Marcus and Markel go at each other all week in practice. It would appear that doubled as OSU’s new offense, as well.

• Well he still played like our best player all day.

• I’m not sure I ever realize how undisciplined Baylor is. They’re just an abomination on offense. They have no plan. If they don’t hit a deep three[1. Which they did with great frequency in the last 10 minutes.] or successfully complete an alley-oop, they aren’t scoring.

And I’m talking about the team that won the game. That should tell you everything you need to know about this Ford squad.

• Really.

• “Baylor is the second most talented team in the Big 12.” #jimmydykesquotes

• Has there ever been a bigger discrepancy between a team’s ranking (No. 8 in OSU’s case) and the way it played in a given game? Had to be a top 25 all-time number for OSU today.

• “Markelevation.” #jimmydykesquotes

• Co-sign.

• Nothing infuriates me more than Heslip hitting bombs against OSU. Surely this is how Kansas (and Iowa State and OU and Kansas State) feels about Forte and Keiton?

• Brian Williams has become a non-factor. Where does me repping him as our third best player rank on my all-time predictions? Had to be up there with predicting Josh Cooper would have more receptions than 81 in 2011.

• A Baylor fan texted me during the game that this game should have been scheduled like one of those old WWE “loser leaves town” matchups where the losing coach was ousted without pay after the game. I told him I might be rooting for Baylor if that was the scenario.

• Oh.

• This isn’t totally out of the question, is it?

• What if this OSU team is actually one of the five best teams in the country and its just being held back by Ford’s ineptitude? I mean with the way they’ve rolled in Lawrence the last two years, that’s a possibility, right? I don’t think it’s the case, and I’m not going to project that off of one game, but it’s a sobering thought.

• For the fifth straight game….why are we so insistent on answering threes in under five seconds with a three of our own? Is that part of the offensive strategy?

• Fantastic.

• Bench points — Baylor: 20, OSU: 1

• How good is Nash around the bucket? If I’m an opposing coach (Bob Huggins said this, too) I’m terrified of what he can do but then I remember that Ford is fine with Smart and Markel pulling from literally wherever they want and I’m not terrified anymore. It’s scary to think where OSU would be without Nash in Big 12 play.

• For the Smart flop truthers, two unintended consequences:

1. He’s going to hurt himself with that late-flop head writhe he does
2. He’s starting to not get calls on actual because he flops

That’s a move you use three times a year to get a call. Not three times a game.

• I don’t totally know how to explain this but sometimes I’m not sure why Jefferson isn’t better than he is. I know he had 11 and 13 but it feels like he should have 18-18 every game.

• I feel like Ford is the type of coach who thinks he’s clever for subbing a guy out to get him a few extra seconds of rest before a TV timeout. “Nobody else thinks of this, I bet.”

• Hmmmmmm…

• Oh my.

• According to KenPom.com OSU had an 86% chance of winning today.

• The second half of the game felt like the team that was the least undisciplined would win it. I had a bunch of people tweeting me after the game that said today was exhibit A of why folks don’t show up to GIA anymore. It’s tough to blame them.

• An actual note I wrote down at the end of the game: Baylor’s last-5-minutes offense was hilarious. Just yank. From wherever.

• How much better is Oklahoma State’s offense when Smart slashes and dishes? 10293x? More?

• This was so fantastic.


That’s a wrap. As somebody on Twitter suggested, maybe Eddie should be allowed to coach on Eddie Sutton night Monday against Iowa State…

  • Twatty

    I think the kool-aid went sour

    • James Preener

      “But the fans! It has to be the fans! Guys we can’t win games if the fans don’t show up! Oh please oh please come to the games so we can win! We will play good guys I promise just come to the games so I don’t get fired!” – Travesty Ford

  • Mcg20k

    So how much do you think the NIT tickets are going to cost?

  • TW

    NIT game will be on the road, so you will need to ask the host team…

  • Dead on with this post. Christ on a Cracker, this was the most awful performance I’ve ever seen from a top ten team AT HOME playing an unranked bunch of Baptists in horrific green uniforms.

  • CRFF

    Still laughing about the pic of Ford.

    • kspokesfan

      Hey Whetsell, I have noticed he kind of looks like you… 🙂

  • WTC

    Hello, welcome to Oklahoma State, we’re an equestrian school.

  • R262

    I honestly have stopped watching OSU basketball games. If we were an average team with a good coach, I would be all in. But watching a team with this much talent be destroyed by an inept coach is just too maddening. We have to find a way to get rid of this guy. I know his buy out is ridiculous, but there has to be a solution somewhere.

    Go Thunder and looking forward to football season.

    • Scott in Texas

      Perhaps you should rethink next year’s football season. Sorry.

      • TeaTown Cowboy

        I think we’ll surprise….but not those who think Top 10, lol.

      • Jake

        Gundy is a GOOD coach. He can get production from mediocre players. He’s the anti-Ford. Maybe we don’t challenge for the Big 12 crown, but we’ll be competent.

      • r262

        Good grief, I did not say we were going to win a national title. I am just looking forward to seeing a coach who can actually coach and players who have some discipline and order.

  • Junlee

    Is nobody on the coaching staff telling Smart to stop shooting threes? Surely he’s aware of how horribly he’s been shooting it lately. He needs to take notes on what Nash did. It doesn’t hurt to move in. ****. He’s remarkably better at basketball when he’s putting pressure on the defense. He does nothing but bail them out when he constantly jacks 3s.

    Let’s see…1 bench point. Yeah, that’s not gonna get it done.

    Another no show from Brian Williams. His game makes me sick. Literally, sick. He’s so damn unstable out there.

    Speaking of no shows, can we get a little production from Clark? I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on him, he did get our lone bench point. Good job, Stevie.

    Brown finally shot the ball well again. Too bad it was wasted on this game.

    Nash was good again. Even with how well he’s been playing, I feel like Ford still doesn’t take advantage of him as much as he could.

    I feel like we have no set plays for the best shooter in the country to get a good shot off. Good job, Ford.

    Our other losses have at been understandable. This one is hard to believe. We played with little to no energy. Very uninspired.

    I’m officially bummed about this season.

  • BBinKC

    These guys will continue to take ill-advised shots until there are some consequences for shooting them. Unless Ford will bench them or at least yell at them, nothing will change.

  • MarkJ

    And that’s why the seats are empty.

  • jls2osu

    I would die to see what Eddie could do with this team. This group is undisciplined and that falls on the coach. Ford has got to go! You don’t lose to an unranked team in GIA.

    • WillyJimson

      Eddie wouldn’t tolerate open look 3s from Haslip. There would have been a time out called after the first time he was forgotten on the wing.

    • Joe Weisbrod

      The only 2 positives from taking the time to watch this game. 1)The hello smile had handshake from Eddie to jimmydykes pregame. 2) the Markel alley pop jam. Nash played his best. The rest was awful.

  • WillyJimson

    The NIT could actually happen for this team. The remaining schedule is filled with more losses. Top ten team…nice joke. What did smart come back for? IF they make the NCAA they are one and done. Painful to watch. Picked to win BIG 12? Nice joke. Travis- Smart sucks at 3 pointers. Also, your hair sucks and years from now you will be diagnosed with what many refer to as “mental retardation.”

  • Nate

    I’m at a loss for words for just how pathetic this team, this program has become.

    Let’s first talk about Heslip dropping bombs. Keep in mind we’ve played against this cat since Eddie’s first year. We know what he’s going to do. It’s about having a LITTLE bit of basketball IQ and effort to guard him. It’s as if the guys defending him (mostly Brown and Williams) didnt know he could shoot. They went under screens all day. You learn in middle school basketball that you dont go under screens on a shooter. Pretty basic stuff. It was maddening to watch.

    The offense today was just flat out pitiful. Once again, it was as if we didn’t know Baylor plays zone. And it’s a bad zone at that. No plan what so ever. Just shows how lost and clueless Ford really is. The only thing that was successful was Nash. But as Kyle said, we’d rather watch Brown and Smart do whatever the hell they want.

    I’m ALMOST there on saying this team is done. If they play like this the rest of the year, I see SEVEN more big 12 losses. If that happens, hopefully Holder would have the stones to can the man in charge of this dumpster fire. I will say this though, I will never criticize anyone (students or alums) on not showing up to games anymore. The product is just not there. Can’t blame em anymore after this crap.

    And Kyle… Yes, your prediction on Williams being the third best player is all time bad. He’s actually gotten worse. And I won’t let you forget that one…

    • Scott in Texas

      Seems like the players aren’t terribly bothered by losing; just read today’s DOK story about Smart. So why should the fans care? Or come to watch?

      And to be blunt, I think this attitude is not limited to the basketball team.

      • ck1911

        I don’t know that I would equate his comments to him not caring. After all, he is right. This isn’t life or death-no IED’s or bullets flying. On the other hand-I agree with you that there seems to be an attitude in Stillwater right now that winning doesn’t mean that much. I guess when you are 1-10 against OU, it really isn’t that big of a game. And when you haven’t won in Norman in a decade in BB, yeah it’s no big deal.
        Those attitudes permeate down throughout the players.

    • Junlee

      So, you’re pretty much advocating for bandwagon fans with the whole “product isn’t there” comment. Fans should only show up when things are going well?

  • Aally

    Some friends of mine went to IHOP at 4am this morning and they saw Marcus Smart there. When we were standing in line to get in to GIA we saw Brian Williams walking in around 11:40am. No discipline, no consequences, no wins.

    • Aallyaintsmart

      That’s a great point, Aally. Successful athletes need to get their eight
      hours of sleep! I’ve never heard of one pro athlete that stays out at
      night partying that shows up the next day and dominates.

      • Matt Amilian

        If you’re the best player and leader of a team that has a must-win game at 1pm the next day, you don’t stay out until 4am.

        • Aallyaintsmart

          Is that a joke? Do you honestly believe that athletes don’t go out the night before games? How naive are you? And by the way, she said he was eating at IHOP, which isn’t even partying at a club. You think he should be in bed by 4AM? What are you, his mom?

          • Matt Amilian

            No. No. Not very. Yes. No.

          • Scott

            the football players have a curfew before games (P Cox anyone?) – why shouldn’t basketball players?

      • ck1911

        Mickey Mantle did. But that was a long time ago.

    • Keith

      This actually does say a hole lot about a player, the team and the coach. People always talk about the long season for a team that is not very deep. Players do need adequate rest and recovery to be at their best. If Smart was out a 4 a.m. it wasn’t because he had been at church all night! Who was with him, a teammate or two? What was little Stewart doing? I have to wonder when a team under performs and this tells me a lot about where the team is, where Smart is and the control the coach has over them. There is so much that is now left to the imagination if this is a fact that may explain the poor performance of the squad. There again it may be nothing. LEADERSHIP can be good and bad.

      • Keith

        Ooops! I meant Stevie not Stewart

  • BellaPoke

    Why not have Forte drive the basket, get fouled , and score a ton of free throws? Seems like a plan worth sailing once in a while.

    • Scott

      Forte driving into a few 7-footers actually sounds like a horrible idea. He wouldn’t get fouled – there’s no need for them to leave their feet. I’m sure they’d welcome that “plan” as much as having Smart put up 25-footers all day.

      • BellaPoke

        Hmmm…I didn’t notice any 7 ft players. Whatever. He’s an automatic at the free throw line, so we need to get him there if his three point shot isn’t landing.

        • Angie

          How tall is Isaiah Austin?

          • Scott


          • OSUvet

            Yes I know, I was just being a poopoo head. But forte did try what Bella said at least once yesterda. He drove in jumped, pissed his pants, and threw the ball away….towards baylors goal. I applaud his effort but that’s not his game, that’s smart’s, but apparently smart thinks his game is to jack threes (with horrible form) I guess they are confused at who is the shooter and who is the scorer.

          • H.a. Carter III

            Is it true little Stevie got arrested again last night ?? Seeyaaaaa

        • Tyler Agee

          Annnnnd you obviously don’t watch basketball Bella.

  • Buddy Lester

    1-19-14. Holder says lot of good things happening with OSU sports. Which OSU? Stillwater?
    BB- overrated, under coached. I would trade Ford for Dan Hayes at OK. Christian in a heartbeat. Do we still play baseball? Wrestling-down, golf-down. Maybe Holder can go back to golf. Football lost last two games in horrific fashion. Scored late, couldn’t hang on, then gave ou and MU a bonus touchdown on fumble at end of game. Gundy 1-10 against ou. The worst thing is that we elevated ou back to national prominence by putting them in a BCS bowl, which give them credit, they won. If football had a mother, she would not do for ou what we did. Makes me want to puke.

    • WillyJimson

      Makes me want to puke as well. The ending to the football season completely sucked. Another example of high OSU expectations being squashed. Come on now- Big 12 football favorite, yet, no solid QB? MBB hyped up, yet, no solid coach? I don’t blame the students for not filling GIA. They look like a great bunch of individual athletes that don’t play well as a team. Really could give two craps about Markel’s awesome dunk. Really? How about beat OU and beat Baylor (1-6) at home?

  • TeaTown Cowboy

    Ford getting out coached again, what else is new?

  • Casey Shepherd

    How long are we expected to watch Ford take a top 10 team and coach them into the bottom half of the big 12? I’m tired of watching a team full of talented playmakers get beat by less talented teams. How does this team start so good and fall so quickly into mediocrity?…again. I just can’t get excited about a Ford coached team because I know they will under preform 9 times out of 10. OSU needs a new coach, like now!

  • Scott

    I’m pretty sure Sean’s ’08 team of Eaton/T Harris/Obi/J Anderson/Moses would destroy today’s team… Even with pasty Sean sweating away on the sidelines – They wouldn’t sit on the 3 line letting bad shooters bomb away all game long. That team certainly had its issues and Eaton was maddening to watch sometimes – But not as maddening as what we have now.

    And what’s sad is – the fix for this team seems way too easy. Tell bad shooters to stop jacking 3’s. Punishment if they don’t listen. And for the love of God – play Gaskins in relief of Murphy and let Nash remain at the 4 and keep everyone in their natural positions. That keeps BWill at the 3 where he feels more comfortable.

  • Shark

    Ford can not coach, and we all want to puke. We lose two Bedlam football heartbreakers and the same to Missouri…but to this sixty-two year-old alum, we have had much worse times and a lot less prominence. We just miss Eddie Sutton, however, Coach Holiday is bringing baseball back. As bad as it is, we should still get a four or five seed this year with a chance to make a showing at the dance.

  • Robert

    Attention Realtors.

    There will be home for sale in Stillwater, Oklahoma after this basketball season. Time to send the moving trucks to Ford’s house and send him packing! His team’s have no discipline at all. It is like, lets roll the ball out on the court and play street ball. Yeah that really works! And don’t give me that they are missing Cobbins either. They still would be playing the same way. Discipline comes from the coach and if his players aren’t listening to him, sit their but on the bench. But Ford won’t do that. He can recruit players great but can’t coach worth a flip.

    Pull the hammer Holder! Before Travis destroys the house Eddie Built! Time to go Ford!