5 Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 83-65 Win Over Charlotte

Written by Kyle Porter


Oklahoma State lit up Charlotte on Monday in Stillwater 83-65 in a game that wasn’t nearly that close for most of the second half. Brandon Averette killed a man, five players tallied double figures, Oklahoma State got 41 points from its bench and Mike Boynton got win No. 2 on the season.

It was a much better showing for the Pokes on Monday than last Friday against Pepperdine, even if the box score doesn’t show it. Let’s dive into five quick thoughts.

1. All the rotations

Mike Boynton, not afraid to sub players in and out. Two games so far this year have featured more rotations than a tilt-a-whirl, and I think it might be keeping guys fresh on the defensive end.

OSU showed a ton of movement defensively against a halfway decent offensive squad on Monday in GIA. Does effort = Ws in the Big 12? No, but you have to have a base, and I’m fine if this team’s is in-your-shorts play on the defensive end.

They faded a little late because the game was out of hand, but the first half stats were outstanding. Charlotte shot 6 for 23 from the field and turned it over nine times in the first 20 minutes. There’s not a ton of risk defensively, either, it doesn’t seem like. We’ll see how they perform against Texas A&M a week from tonight, but the energy is certainly there.

“Our effort,” said Boynton when asked at halftime how OSU was able to limit Charlotte to 26 points. “We’re committed to that end of the floor. This is a really good offensive team. I’m really proud of our guys for how they committed to defense today.”

2. Kendall Smith is a Disruptor

I mention this below, but I’m not sure the “I’m just better than you and I’m going to drive past you, sorry not sorry” routine is going to work on Texas and Baylor, but it’s fun to watch against Charlotte.

Bryndon Manzer mentioned this on the broadcast, but pairing Averette at the 1 with Smith at the 2 is a fun offensive wrinkle Boynton can roll out there because Smith is pretty good off the ball.

Smith had 19 on 8 for 13 shooting to go with 6 boards and 3 assists in just 23 minutes.

“It was staying consistent,” he told Fox Sports after the game. “The first two games I was struggling a little bit. I stayed confident. My dad told me it was going to fall, and it fell tonight.”

3. Fast break points still lacking

The Cowboys tried to push the ball a tad more than against Pepperdine, but I’m still a little worried about all the self-creating they have to do in the half court. A lot of it was Kendall Smith just out-athleting his man or Tavarius Shine out-heighting the guy guarding him.

OSU also still doesn’t seem like it wants to giddy up and run. If they’re going to be a defensive unit that goes for steals and plays aggressively (and I think they are), then you’d like to see them roll in transition a little bit more. They’ve had just 16 fast break points through the first two games.

Mike Boynton agrees.

“I wish we could get out and run and get some more easy baskets,” he said at halftime. “Our offense is stagnant, but we move the ball really well as a team. Guys aren’t selfish, if a guy’s open they pass it to him.”

4. Spacing and movement on Offense

I’m not in love with how reliant OSU seems to be on the half court stuff offensively, however they actually pass and move pretty well out of it. The spacing seems much better than, say, when Travis Ford was coach. And they make a lot of extra passes.

That has shown up in the box score, too. Through two games, OSU has 36 assists which is its highest total through two games since 2014 and one of the highest in the last eight years.

Year Assists through 2 games
2011 22
2012 21
2013 22
2014 41
2015 26
2016 24
2017 30
2018 36

Xs and Os guru Thomas Fleming confirmed the spacing and movement to me. He noted that Boynton “has a counter to every call. Travis didn’t really have that. Also set plays branch out,” which you can see that in that three Shine hits above.

5. Little things Lindy

Not sure if anyone knows this, but I’m a big Lindy Waters fan. Yes, he does the big things well. He scores, he sees the floor and he can shoot. But it’s little stuff that I’m enamored with.

Watch him catch a transition pass here and fling it primarily with his left hand. He knows if he switches to his right, he’ll lose the split second Dizzy needs to get his shot off so he goes off hand and puts it right where Dizzy can get his wings tattoos in the air and take flight.

We’ll see how the next week or so goes, but these first two games have been everything you can ask for from this roster with a new coach missing its best player in the first week of the season.

More Notes from the game

• Mark Price is the coach of Charlotte? And he has a son in college and on the team? How old are we?!

• Don’t like Kendall Smith’s long 2s. But I like them better than Mitchell Solomon long 2s.

• I enjoyed the half court trapping on defense.

• OSU had a 5-point possession. Gundy is going to try and figure out how to implement that at some point.

• Dizzy might be Steph Curry against bad teams and Seth Curry against good ones. He took nine FGs. He also took nine 3s. The definition of staying in your lane. Shooters gonna shoot forever.

• The cut of new unis is so much better. Also, I love the teal. Come at me.

• I love when Averette gets into the lane. It seems so easy for him, and he seems to be more in control in there than last year.

• Zack Dawson looks a little lost. To be expected for a freshman.

• Cam McGriff is going to be a problem in the same way Calving Bundage is a problem. Unfortunately for OSU, he’s really the only interior presence they have other than Mitch Solomon right now. They might get eaten alive against legit bigs.

• Kendall Smith is elite at going from rebound —> transition in a hurry.

• OSU has given up 112 points in its last two basketball games. It has given up 104 points in its last two football games.

• No cereal?

• There is no number of people McGriff won’t try to dunk on.

• Why does N’Guessan’s name have a space? Is it supposed to be N’ Guessan?

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.12.05 PM.png

• Anybody ever seen Mark Price and Scott Verplank in the same room?

Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 7.18.12 PM.png

• Boynton is the best-dressed coach in OSU history. I’m not sure it’s even close.

  • Boynker 4 Coach Of Year (Lol)

    IT’S CHARLOTTE!! My gosh. The love fest for this team is unreal after beating Peppermint and Charsucks. Am I glad we are 2 – 0? For sure. This is still the worst team in BIG 12 IMO.

    • Douche up there

      Quit hating and support the team! If not, be on your way you loser

      • Brian


      • Boynker 4 Coach Of Year (Lol)

        Proud alumnus of Oklahoma State. Hated the hire in April. Nothing good has happened since. Gottlieb wouldn’t have been in this mess.

        • DC

          Take it easy, Champ. Did Boynton kiss your wife or something?! Give the man a chance. He’s got his work cut out for him with this investigation disrupting his initial year. It’s going to be a rough year for our young coach. Lay off the meth, will ya.

        • VACowboy

          So what. I understand your concern but stop being a jerk.

        • davids

          After Underwood left, no matter what coach was hired, they would have inherited the Evans mess. Maybe Gottlieb or anyone else would not have hired Evans, but the damage had already been done. I just hope decisions are made quickly to resolve the issues.

        • spokepokes

          You are showing your ignorance. Underwood bringing Evans in the first place was the mess. HCMB had no say in that.

      • Will Walker

        Support Nice word. Cowboy fans n the students should be ashamed. This team isn’t that bad. Get ur asses in the seats. I’m not sure why anyone would want to come here n play if that’s the kind of SUPPORT we give

        • Michael Woodard

          Students shouldn’t have anything to be ashamed of. In my college years, we’ve gone through 3 different coaches and have never won a tournament game. Win and the students will come. I’m here to study for my test tomorrow not watch a game against Charlotte.

          • Alec M

            ^this was always my biggest reason for not being able to attend. Not my fault you’re having games 1 or 2 days before tests. or multiple tests, for that matter

          • spokepokes

            We have roughly 20k undergrads. We couldn’t even fill up the floor benches. Not every student was taking a test last night. It’s pathetic but if we keep winning people always come back.

          • Will Walker

            Take a two hr break n support ur school. Should already have a grip on the test being the night before. Save ur self some money n do the online college experience

        • dooley23

          We had a history of a great home court advantage. We can again, but we are a long way off from our winning years under Eddie Sutton. Like any sport, you have to give a reason for people to fill the seats.

          • T-Bone

            School pride?

      • dooley23

        I support the team, but that doesn’t mean it comes without any criticism. Painting sunshine and rainbows after a couple games against lesser opponents doesn’t really give us a large enough sample size either way.

        Honestly, if we judged a coach based on the first 10 games of the season, Travis Ford would have been one of our greatest. As it is, I hated Ford’s system, and he wasn’t a good head coach for this team. I still don’t know enough about Boynton to judge either way.

        • spokepokes

          We have literally done all we can do so far. Go out and win (even without our best player). Let’s see how this goes I have a good feeling here…

    • UrbanCowboy

      this guy trolls.

    • Retrole

      Your mom… Well, it’s better you don’t know.

    • WestTXPoke

      You’re the worst kind of alumnus, if you even are an alumnus of this university.

      • Boynker 4 Coach Of Year (Lol)

        How about you shut your mouth and stick to what you know. What is your degree in “WestTXPoke”?

      • spokepokes

        I doubt he is

    • zachattachone

      HAHA, we beat charlotte by 20 without 3 of our top 6 and Iowa State just lost to UW-Milwaukee by 18, K-State is pretty trash too. IF (pretty big if) we get everybody back from suspension, this should be a bubble team.

      Texas A&M could be rough next week though.

      • spokepokes

        Exactly. We are playing EXTREMELY short handed and still blowing people out and all anyone wants to do is talk trash. Watch this team come out and be great this year.

    • Ayee

      Iowa State lookin like trash bro

    • spokepokes

      O please. We were also missing a few players out there (including our best player who will be back soon) and we steamrolled them. What more do we have to do?

  • MBA

    I actually like the fact that Solomon has the green light to shoot from a distance. Those are going to start falling and when they do it will add another element to our offense.

    • David

      I agree with this.

    • spokepokes

      If that happens that would be just dandy. So far it looks like our team is much better with the jump shots than we have in years past which is great

  • Marc Hensley

    Turquoise, teal is more green than that.
    Thank you for the Okstate Native American Student Association.

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  • Bbjd

    From two games I am confident Boynton can coach. The talent of this team isn’t where we would like to it be but they play hard on defense and move the ball well. A lot of underestimating of him was done post hire and it a seems unfounded.

    • spokepokes

      We have a lot of talent on this team. We don’t have blue blood talent but very few teams do.

      We have solid guys who (if coached to their role well) can contribute to a good team.

      • Bbjd

        You really think so? Without Carroll nothing about this team seems tournament quality to me as much as I like the effort I’ve seen. With Carroll I think they have a shot.

        • spokepokes

          Carroll will be back in like a week or two. But I do think there are other guys on this squad that will be really good this year. Averette has looked great and Smith is putting in quality minutes.

  • Boynker 4 Coach Of Year (Lol)

    Anyone who shows the slightest bit of objectivity gets ridiculed in these comments. I love my alma mater. But, this was a test. If ANYONE says one negative thing, they get destroyed. I don’t know how Porter, etc do this all day. A lot of these “fans” sound like Gooners. Its okay to have an opinion, alum or not (which I am). I don’t mind optimism. Same with pessimism. I’m an older generation Cowboy. But, every year, some of out fans become more and more like Gooners.

    • InCN

      You mock the team and the HC’s name and you expect to be treated as anything other than a troll?

      • Mason Reindeer

        I agree. But, if we do wind up only winning 2 or 3 conference games, it will do nothing but prove that guy right.

    • VACowboy

      I’m an older generation Cowboy as well which is why I act like an adult and respect others including our coaches and administration. We are better than this. Please stop the trolling.

    • BA

      No, We would be more like Gooner fans by mocking our coach and wanting him out after he has not even been given a chance. Yes he doesn’t have head coaching experience, but he has two former head coaches as assistants. Let’s see what he does first before we criticize. I like what I see so far.

      • Philo Farnsworth


      • T-Bone

        He has head coaching experience. 2 games. Won both. A proven winner.

    • Philo Farnsworth

      Quit crying troll, you’re they one acting like a gooner. You called this team the worst in the big 12 which if that’s your “opinion” means you either have no idea about basketball or have other reasons for commenting so negatively. Most likely a troll.

    • Saucy Takes

      Man you are just crying because credit card thief Gottlieb didn’t get the job. I would have been guilty of being very objective towards Gottlieb because of his experience, but I would support him.. This guy deserves the support of our alumni and students he’s done all he can do to this point. and has dominated in games he was supposed to. He has far less talent than ford had at times and he couldn’t even beat TU at home…

    • Mullet Power

      it’s Nate using a guest account

    • spokepokes

      “this was a test”

      lol okay bud

  • David

    I’m a really big fan of our defense.

  • Arkady Vachon

    Our lads had quite a bit of fouls on them, like 26 to charlotte’s teens number. Congrats on the win! The nonconf I am waiting for is later this week, given what went down at ORU with the Suttons being fired, and given that Scott is now on our coaching staff – well, this should be interesting.

    Payback Wears Orange?

    • spokepokes

      Should be fun to watch