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Hoops Notebook: Bad Defense in Lubbock, ISU’s Lipsey Developing and National Upsets Not Coincidental

‘Probably the worst defensive performance we’ve had.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys are still in search of their first league win, and their next opportunity at one comes in Hilton Coliseum.

Oklahoma State plays Iowa State at 5 p.m. Saturday in Ames. OSU coach Mike Boynton met with reporters Thursday to preview the matchup and give updates on the season as a whole. Here are three topics he discussed.

‘Probably the Worst Defensive Performance We’ve Had’

OSU’s 90-73 loss to Texas Tech on Tuesday was just the sixth time OSU has allowed a team to score 90 regulation points in the Mike Boynton era.

Three of the previous times that happened came in Boynton’s first year. Tech shot 59% from the field and 54% from 3-point range. All five of the Red Raiders’ starters finished with at least 13 points, led by Pop Isaacs’ 24. Tech turned the ball over only four times.

“Probably the worst defensive performance we’ve had, maybe, in my time here,” Boynton said. “We’ve always been good [defensively], and I’m sure there’s some games where we haven’t been good. I’ve never felt like we had no answers. … We punched first, they hit us back and we never responded. Gotta keep showing up and doing the work but understand that’s a part of the game on the road in particular. The place we’re going is gonna be more difficult. So, we just gotta understand that the sense of urgency you gotta have for every possession.”

Here is a look at every time a Boynton-led team has given up 90 in regulation:

Season Opponent Points FG% Turnovers
23-24 at Texas Tech 90 59% 4
22-23 at TCU 100 68% 16
20-21 vs. Texas 91 49% 16
17-18 at Oklahoma 109 55% 12
17-18 at TCU 90 54% 10
17-18 Western Kentucky 92 53% 10

For starters, this says a lot about homecourt advantage, as four of these six games were played on the road, one (the Texas game in 2020-21) was played on a neutral floor and only one was played at home.

If Tuesday’s performance isn’t the worst defensive outing a Boynton team has had, it’s at least in the top three with TCU 2022-23 and OU 2017-18 (Trae Young). The Cowboys forcing Tech into only four turnovers Tuesday is perhaps the most glaring stat off that chart.

ISU’s Lipsey Has Taken Next Step in Development

Iowa State features a fairly balanced attack with four players averaging double figures and six players scoring at least nine points a game, but there is one guy who stands out among the crowd: sophomore point guard Tamin Lipsey.

Lipsey leads the Cyclones in points per game (14.7), rebounds per game (5.7), assists per game (5.7) and steals per game (3.3), and he is only a sophomore. And he is a sophomore who relatively came out of nowhere. From Ames, Lipsey was the No. 192 recruit in the 2022 recruiting class, with his only reported offers being Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Boynton said Lipsey was supposed to take a backseat for the Cyclones as a freshman last season but ended up starting every game after a preseason injury to Temple transfer Jeremiah Williams. Lipsey ended up averaging 7.3 points, four rebounds and 4.4 assists — a solid line for a freshman. But he has taken an even bigger step forward this season.

“I’ve got a son who’s getting there — we’ll figure out if he’s any good at all — but my hope is he’s an under-the-radar guy because it allows them to grow organically,” Boynton said. “We’ve talked about this with like Bryce (Thompson) or some of the other highly touted recruits we’ve had come in here, the expectations are completely out of whack more most of them. You can’t be a good pro until you learn how to play at this level. To learn to play at this level, you’ve gotta have some humility and not believe you’ve got one foot out the door already.

“… I think one of the things that helped him is he didn’t have people telling him he needs to be looking at the mock draft every six hours, refreshing. Some of these guys come into college and they play like the draft is after the game that they’re playing in. Like, when the game’s over, Adam Silver is going to the podium, and he’s gonna announce picks.”

National Upsets a Result of Portal Era

Wednesday was a bad night to be a ranked team on the road.

No. 3 Kansas fell to unranked UCF. No. 5 Tennessee fell to unranked Mississippi State. No. 9 Oklahoma fell to unranked TCU. No. 21 Clemson fell to unranked Virginia Tech.

Boynton said all these upsets aren’t coincidental, but moreso have to do with the transfer portal’s impact on the sport.

“The talent is more distributed evenly,” Boynton said. “Part of what’s happening is teams are taking longer to get to know each other because you’re not dealing with guys who have played together for three or four years. It’s just not happening anymore.”

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