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33 Things I Loved About 2010-11

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This is Part 1, the rest will run either later this week or early next.

In no particular order, here are the 33 things I loved about this year’s (at times unlovable) OSU hoops team. One for each of Markel Brown’s team-leading 33 blocks:

1. Keiton’s killer three against Iowa St. to go to overtime – Yes I know it’s Iowa St. and yes I know OSU was at home, but at that point the Cowboys still had NCAA tournament on the mind. And it was from deep.

2. Moses – The fake Biblical character (and PFB reader) who sits on the front row of GIA, not the Third-Team All-Big 12 player.

3. Desmond Mason moving back to Oklahoma. Would I have preferred him to set up shop on Lake McMurtry and attend every home game OSU plays for the next 25 years while quietly morphing into the player version of Eddie (sitting on the back row of the floor seats, students chanting his name, etc.)? Yes. Will I take “opened art gallery in OKC and chills in Nichols Hills with other multimillionaires”? You bet.

4. Markel’s block against LaceDarius in the home finale – I know his dunk against Harvard got more publicity but the block on Lace was a fitting end to the Cowboys’ best defensive game of the year.

5. The story about Moses listening to Dowell pour it on against A&M in an ambulance on his way to the hospital.

6. Twitter – If you can get past some of the ridiculous stuff, Twitter is a truly fascinating way to follow OSU athletes (and athletes in general) on their season-long journey. My favorite OSU hoops tweeters in order: 1.Pilgrim – there’s so much to him, 2. Moses – lets his multi-faceted personality play out online 3. Sidorakis – always talking to fans (plus he gave us a gem during the Big 12 tourney about how he was going to break Keiton’s shooting hand if he didn’t stop bothering him while he was sleeping).

7. The mini-run in KC reminding us that no matter how poorly the regular season unfolds you still have a shot at the national title by winning your postseason conference tournament and six more in the big dance.

8. The evolution of Matt Pilgrim – He wants to write a book, I want to write it for him.

9. That the season ended on a night in which we missed the first five minutes of OSU’s game because the UNC women’s team irrationally thought they could erase a 10-point deficit in 30 seconds. They would probably have trouble scoring 10 points with nobody else on the court in 30 seconds.

10. Markel’s dunk against Harvard – My two favorite of this moment had nothing to do with the dunk itself. The first was the way Moses reacted. The second was a text I got from Nolo that said, “I thought Harvard kids were smarter than that.”

11. The double technical against KU – JPO and Markel both got T’d up for more or less taunting the entire state of Kansas. It was awesome though, it’s big for both of those guys to get a taste of what it’s like to hang with top 5 teams and if they want to celebrate like Jimmer would if he found out the three-point line was moved in 5 feet in the NBA as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement, I’m all for it.

12. Desmond, Eddie, Andre, and Gottlieb – Remembering the 10 was especially touching this year as it was the 10th anniversary. Really classy move by all those guys to come back and invigorate an already-emotional crowd.

13. The emergence of Reger Dowell as a legitimate Big 12 point guard – I think this gets a little glossed over but remember, people we were about halfway through the conference schedule and didn’t have a legitimate starting 1-guard to speak of. I even wrote a post about how Ford should just give the job to Markell for the hell of it. Keiton was struggling, Penn was benched, it was not pretty.

14. Sidorakis giving up his scholarship – This wasn’t really a money issue to me as much as it was a pride thing. It takes a lot for a guy who’s been in the program (on scholarship) for three years to lay his ego on Ford’s office desk and become a walk-on. I don’t think he can get enough credit for doing that.

15. Baylor not even making the NIT.

16. Home-court protection – I’m not sure how many people realize this but Travis Ford is 43-5 in Gallagher-Iba since taking over three seasons ago. Mizzou, Texas, Texas A&M, OU are the only teams to have beaten OSU in GIA since 2006. It’s still one of the best places in the country to play a home basketball game.

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