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Freshman Notebook: Dailey’s Patience, Keller’s Resiliency, Garrison’s Signature Dunk

Three storylines from the past week of OSU hoops.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — It’s not been a great season of Cowboy basketball, but the Pokes have won three straight games on their home floor.

Oklahoma State will look for its first true road win of the season Wednesday when the Cowboys head to Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati. Here are three OSU basketball storylines from the past week or so.

Dailey Patient in the Process

When Eric Dailey Jr. rolls over to turn his alarm off in the morning, that alarm on his phone says the same thing every day: 1% better.

That’s something he started last year while at IMG Academy in Florida after his senior season didn’t go how he wanted it to, leading Dailey to play a postgrad year at IMG.

Patience has been a part of Dailey’s process. He is a player with NBA potential and aspirations, but it sounds like each step he has made to get to the goal of being an NBA player has been well thought out.

As a freshman at IMG, Dailey said coaches wanted him to play on the academy’s premier team, but he elected to spend the season on the tier below with IMG’s varsity squad. He started there as a sophomore before going up to the premier group during that season.

As a junior, word started to spread that Dailey might go off the college route and play overseas. Dailey said that slowed down his recruitment, but that he did have offers to play at FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, and had talks with Australia’s NBL. Instead of the jump overseas or to college after his senior year, he again showed his patience and took the postgrad year with IMG.

“There’s no elevator to success,” Dailey said.

OSU coach Mike Boynton on a few occasions has talked about some of the difficulties of getting highly touted recruits to buy into the college game because their sights are more set on getting into an NBA uniform as fast as possible. And that mindset can then be detrimental to those players seeing their full potential because they aren’t developing their skills in the present.

Before Dailey chose OSU, Boynton said he told Dailey to look into his overseas options and to only come to OSU if that’s what he wanted to do, not just because it was an option. Dailey choosing OSU was an example of how he doesn’t fall into the category of that type of recruit that Boynton talks about.

“A lot of people kind of like playing basketball because playing basketball affords them popularity, external things,” Boynton said. “He truly loves the game. Probably a step further, he lives, eats, breathes basketball.”

That’s not to say that Dailey isn’t thinking about the NBA, but he said there is a balance to it about setting a goal but being intentional on how to get there.

“As a young athlete and social media, and these phones, and people writing this, and people saying that, we see everything,” Dailey said. “I see everything, but it’s on me to block it out. I think I do a good job of just blocking everything out and staying in the gym and just working where my feet are at just every day. Of course I want to go to the NBA. All of us do.

“You gotta think about where you want to end up at, and you’ve gotta take the steps to get there. This right here, where I’m at right now, this is one of the steps.”

Keller Says His Toughness Comes from His Mother

Jamyron Keller’s 19th birthday won’t be one he soon forgets.

Keller scored a career-high 22 points against BYU, going 8-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range.

Listed at 6-foot-3, Keller isn’t the tallest basketball player out there, but at 210 pounds, he’s physical. That physicality was evident with Keller’s two and-ones in the game and his tenacious defense that saw him finish with two steals.

“I had a single mom, and I think that resiliency that she has and that toughness that she has, I try to bring that to the court,” Keller said. “She plays a bigger role than I can put out right now. That role is huge for her relationship with me.”

Kayla Keller, Jamyron’s mother, was on hand Saturday as her birthday boy made his first career start.

“I think he goes out there and plays to help make his mom proud of the child she raised,” Boynton said. “You’re not going to always be 8-for-8 and 4-for-4 [from 3] and not miss a shot, but you can always play with that effort and intentional focus on helping your team whenever you can. He’s done that always.”

Garrison’s Signature Slam

With about a minute to play in the Cowboys’ Saturday win against BYU, Javon Small heaved a pass down court over the Cougars’ press.

The ball landed in Brandon Garrison’s hands, and he was the only player on his side of the court. With the open lane, Garrison turned back the clock to his time at Del City High School, putting his left arm behind his head while throwing down a dunk with his right hand.

It’s a dunk Garrison is familiar with if you ever saw him soar while with the Eagles. And his teammates were apparently waiting on him to break it out at the college level because as soon as Garrison landed, Keller and John-Michal Wright were mimicking the throw down, putting their hands behind their heads.

“I used to do that dunk a lot in high school,” Garrison said. “My teammates, they had told me they wanted me to do it, so I just did it.”


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