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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Where OSU Basketball Stands after Six Games

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We’re six games into Mike Boynton’s first season as Oklahoma State’s head coach. Despite a 5-1 record, it’s been an interesting six games.

While plenty remains up in the air (players returning from suspension), there are a few things we can take away from the season so far:

The Good

Head Coach Mike Boynton has said all along that this team’s identity will be one of defense. They’ve been pretty good so far; they’re 19th in the nation in scoring defense at 59.8 per game.

But where they really shine is on the perimeter.

Team Season vs. OSU Difference
Pepperdine 30.9% 18.8% -12.1%
Charlotte 44.2% 30.8% -13.4%
Oral Roberts 33.3% 16.7% -16.6%
Texas A&M 43.7% 37.5% -6.2%
Pittsburgh 32.4% 20.0% -12.4%
Houston Baptist 33.0% 33.3% +0.03%

So far, OSU is holding its opponents to an average of 10.11% below their season average beyond the arch. The only team to meet their average was Houston Baptist. Three of their seven makes came late in the second half with the game well in hand.

Both Texas A&M and Charlotte are in the top-20 in the country and OSU held them both under their season averages. If that can continue through out the season and into Big 12 play, it could be the difference in at least a few big games.

The Bad

Right now, the Cowboys have the best bench in the Big 12 outside of Kansas. On the downside, the Cowboys bench is better than the starting five.

Through six games, three of the Cowboys’ four players averaging double-digit scoring, come off the bench; Jeffrey Carroll (15.3 ppg), Thomas Dziagwa (11 ppg), and Brandon Averette (10.8 ppg). Kendall Smith is the only starter averaging double-digits at 11.3 ppg.

In fact, OSU’s starters average 37.1 points-per-game. OSU’s first three players off the bench are averaging… 37.1 points-per-game. Throw in Cameron McGriff, who is coming off the bench, but averaging starter’s minutes at 21.5 per-game, and the top four bench players are averaging 46.3 ppg.

Obviously, this will all change once Carroll moves into the starting rotation, which could happen at any point now. The move could mean an increase in production for him, but I wouldn’t expect a huge uptick because he’ll spend more minutes against starters than back-ups. More likely, it means whomever’s spot he takes — Tavarius Shine in this case — will likely see a dip in production.

The Ugly

As good as Oklahoma State has been at guarding the 3, they’ve been worse shooting it.

Through six games OSU is shooting 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. As bad as that it, it’s actually worse.

OSU’s top sharp shooter is Thomas Dziagwa who is shooting 55 percent (20-36) from long range. Take his numbers out and OSU is shooting 25.8 percent from 3.

Thomas Dziagwa 20-36 55.6%
Rest of Team 32-124 25.8%

Considering the fact that the Cowboys don’t have a great offensive threat in the paint, and that their averaging just over 26 3-point attempts per game, there’s reason to think OSU might struggle when they reach conference play.

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