Five Thoughts on Kansas State’s 86-82 Win Over Oklahoma State

Written by Kyle Boone

Undermanned Kansas State outdueled an undermanned Oklahoma State team 86-82 on Wednesday night to hand the Pokes their third loss in league play in four attempts.

The Wildcats used a career-high 38 points from Barry Brown and 50 percent shooting from the floor to get the job done in an impressive response, given that their top assist man Kamau Stokes is out indefinitely with injury and may not return this season.

Let’s dig into thoughts from the game.

1. Barry Brown was a dude

Why do I feel like each time OSU rolls the ball out, a player goes out and, ho-hum, scores a career-high? I feel like I’m looping a terrible episode of Oprah. You get a career-high, you get a career-high. Oh, and you? You get a career high!

Brown put up 38 — a new career mark by 10 points — and led the Cats to a pretty comfortable margin before OSU made a run to make it interesting.

Blame Glenn Spencer, blame Mikey B., blame anyone you want, but Barry Brown morphing into Jimmer Fredette lite is a development no one — including his own head coach — saw coming.

Especially because he’s apparently very ill.


2. Winning the battle on the boards

Mitchell Solomon, who went down with an ankle injury late, led the way for OSU with 10 boards as OSU won the rebounding battle 37-28.

Despite not owning an elite frontcourt by any stretch of the imagination, the Pokes continue to put on a display of good fundamentals down low, mainly because Jeff Carroll rebounds like a power forward.

I don’t know if this advantage will continue against, say, Texas, but the Pokes have won the rebounding war more often than not this season and have shown a tenacity to bang down low with some of the better teams in the league. That’s good coaching, good fundamentals, and, frankly, good Mitchell Solomon play.

Here’s to hoping his ankle ding doesn’t keep him out long.

3. No Tavarius Shine stings

Any time you’re missing your second-leading scorer, things are bound to go awry.

That was absolutely the case Wednesday.

No Tavarius Shine, who sat after injuring his wrists against Iowa State, was a massive blow to OSU’s already weak offense which stagnated for long droughts and couldn’t keep pace with K-State.

The good news: Shine is expected back soon, I’m told.

The bad news …….

4. This might’ve been OSU’s best shot at a road win all season

Look, I’m not writing OSU off for dead yet. I legitimately believe Mike Boynton when he says he thinks his team is good.

They’re OK (I think) and they’re grinders (I know.) There’s no scenario I see in which the team folds it in. But, there’s a very real scenario in which OSU doesn’t win a road game for the rest of the season.

Because according to KenPom, OSU’s next best shot at winning away from GIA this season is at Ames when the Pokes travel to Iowa State on Feb. 27. And say what you will about Iowa State this season, but the Cyclones nearly dumped Kansas in Lawrence on Tuesday, and Ames is, per usual, still Ames.

5. Oklahoma State crumbled down the stretch

Maybe this is a side effect of what it’s like to be Davon-less and Dawson-less, but the Pokes crumbled like a soggy oreo against the Wildcats, this continuing a trend of what OSU’s losses have looked like in tight games.

OSU started strong but wilted against Wichita State, and the same went for the West Virginia and OU games.

Maybe it’s a simple solution that OSU simply doesn’t have the depth to go 40 minutes with a 7-deep roster, but it’s been a predictably sluggish finish in each game the Cowboys have lost. And it’s probably going to be a trend we see continue until the roster gets an upgrade and overhaul.


  • Saucy Takes

    Smith puts me to sleep when he handles the ball

    • J

      Smith is not very good. Not a great passer and a poor scorer: What is a shock to me is carrols inability to create a shot. All he can do is catch and shoot:

      Love the effort and the way the coaches have them playing.

      Really need to land some recruits or it will continue to be ugly in this tough league.

      I think boynton was the right hire over gottlieb!

  • BA

    If Shine plays, they would have won.

  • CursiveCowboys4thewin

    Couldn’t agree more with that last line. Hope for the best with Boynton’s first recruiting class. Would really love to see another McDonald’s All American PG from the state of Texas make his way up to Stillwater. Smart and Evans showed what is possible when you do that. Add a few other scoring options and the program will be back on its feet in no time! But on a real note I’m glad to see that these boys truly never quit. The results arent what everyone wants but these boys are grinders and I hope that continues even with the tough stretches ahead.

  • roundTXrock

    Pokes need a couple of life takers and heart breakers on offense.

    • tomg

      I would be happy with some guys that moved without the ball. Way too much standing around.

    • If only we were allowed to have transfers start immediately ….

  • rod

    You know what I enjoyed? The way they didn’t give up. Down 10 with like 90 seconds to go, and played the foul game to get it within four.

    We just don’t have all the horses we need for this race. But the leadership and coaching is clearly there.

    • David


  • AC

    So, I’ll admit it and eat a whole load of crow: I like Boynton. A lot. He finally got me when he called the performance ‘gutless’ in the interview. Not because he was mean or even that I agree with him (they were okay) but because he SHOWED that he won’t be satisfied with ‘almost’. Our football coach, in contrast, is always ‘we just need to execute better’ which says nothing. Does nothing to improve. Makes no changes to get better. Just ‘we’ll get ’em next time’ after another Bedlam loss, whereas Boynton jumps to ‘gutless’ after a close loss on the road to KSU. I love it. Give me a coach with some stones and that actually calls out a performance he finds unacceptable any day of the week and you’ll see a coach that I’m willing to defend against all comers.

    • GeoPoke

      Get me a plate of that crow.

  • Hackleman poke

    Several issues. I am proud of how hard these guys fight when they could easily pack it in but I am beginning to get concerned about the program.

    Our rotations seem pointless. As a result we struggle for continuity & go on prolonged scoring droughts. It also leads to poor communication on D which is evident by the number of times we get beat to the rim by the ball handler or have poor rotation.

    In conference play (as was the case last yr) we are giving up way too many easy baskets in half court sets. We cannot control their ball handlers and don’t rotate well enough to cover open shooters. We also get caught in switches and a lot of times don’t switch back. We also don’t double the ball well 25′ from rim.

    We are giving up too many easy baskets on in bounds plays and turning the ball over too much on our own in bounds plays

    Offensively we yank way too many 3’s. Yank way too many early in the possession. And have players shooting 3’s that have no business shooting 3’s. Our center is shooting almost 3x as many 3’s as our backup PG on 16% shooting as opposed to 35%.

    It is time to make some in season adjustments. I’ll still hold out hope that Boynton can get it done over the long run but we have some correctable issues that need coached up and we need to see some results on the recruiting front otherwise the next 2-3 yrs are in peril.

  • kirkpwll

    Wins and losses don’t matter to me this year with the upheaval in coaching, off the court issues with player dismissals, the fbi arrest and player injuries, I do really like this team though. They don’t quit on the coach and they play right up to the whistle. And to be honest I was disappointed, but watching how these kids play for him makes me think Holder got a pretty damn good coach.

  • David

    One of two things should happen within 5 dribbles each possession:

    1. The high post (or low if they are in position) gets a touch.

    2. A player on the wing gets a touch.

    If that doesn’t happen then you’re automatically in a low percentage scoring possession.

    • Absolutely!! I love the kid; but, see: Brandon Averette here!

  • Okstate2011

    Oklahoma State Athletics, where someone always has a career night against them…. I feel like there is a mentality in the entire OSU sports program that you have to prepare for the best player on the other team and forget about everyone else..

    • Okstate2011

      and yes I know Brown is their best scorer..

      • Honest Abe

        Dean Wade is their best player by a long shot. Kam Stokes is a nice shooter, and Brown is a solid player (who had a career night).

  • Honest Abe

    the spot light of big 12 basketball is too big for Mr. Smith. He can watch 1,000 hours of Jawun Evans film, he doesn’t have the same ability as Jawun. So forcing some shots transition or taking ill advised threes is killing some possessions. Hopefully the continued focus for Coach B is getting to the line, because last night was amazing from that standpoint (kept us in the game). Cam Mcgriff is a big body but he is not a fluid Athlete and would love to see him adopt the Mitch Solomon mindset of just focusing on doing the little things at a 4. Dizzy looks like the most unathletic human to play division I basketball, but the kid can flat out shoot, I like when Boynton steals minutes for him to get him a few shots. Shine hurt OSU bad but hey KSU was without their leader Kamau Stokes.

  • Cowboydroid

    The basketball program is going basically nowhere, and not in any big hurry. Might be another decade before we have a winning program again.

    • BA

      I disagree. This season, sure. Next season, yeah maybe. But look at tech and tcu, things can turn around quickly. Boynton just needs to recruit a couple of dudes and things will change. If he’s less successful than Travis Ford I will be shocked.

      • Cowboydroid

        Things can turn around quickly when you make a decent hire. TCU made a good hire in a proven coach. Tech, we’ll see. Us? We took another chance on another unproven hire after the AD blew it with the previous proven hire. Holder was entirely inadequate at filling the basketball coaching position. Any Joe Blow could have as crappy a job.

        Ford just needs to recruit a couple of dudes, and things will change. We’ve heard that BS before. This job should not be a training ground for how to head coach. It should be filled by someone with proven experience.

        • Ladies and gentlemen…Mr. Optimistic!!

          • Cowboydroid

            Sorry, I got burned by years of Ford mediocrity. “Optimism” over Holder’s mishandling of the coaching position is hard to justify.

  • Kris

    What is so wonderful is how Krueger, Huggy, Self, and the other league coaches are going to let us win some games just because Boynton is a really good guy. Add that to the wins we will get because of tough talk, heck we make the dance