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Hoops Notebook: Finding the ‘Magic Formula,’ Boynton Coming Up on 100 Wins, Cisse Update

Boynton would be the fifth coach in program history to hit 100 wins.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — When the Cowboys head to Norman on Wednesday, they won’t be short on storylines.

Oklahoma State plays Oklahoma at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Lloyd Noble Center with the Bedlam rivals each planted on the NCAA Tournament bubble entering the game. Mike Boynton met with reporters Monday to discuss the matchup. Here are some things that stood out.

Finding the Magic Formula

With Moussa Cisse out of the Cowboys’ lineup, Mike Boynton has opted to stretch the floor with Woody Newton the past four games, and it’s worked.

With Newton in the starting lineup, OSU is 3-1 (three conference games and the Big 12-SEC Challenge) after starting Big 12 play 1-4. Newton hasn’t exactly set the world ablaze, averaging nice nine points a game as a starter, but he his ability to shoot from 3-point range paired with OSU upping the tempo has spaced things out and allowed for more of a free-flowing offense.

Kalib Boone has been one of the biggest benefactors of this, scoring 16 points a game since Newton has started. Newton drawing an extra defender to the 3-point line gives Boone more space to work his post offense.

The Cowboys have also averaged 72.5 points since Newton’s introduction to the lineup after averaging 59 points a game through their opening five Big 12 games.

With that, though, the Cowboys have lost a bit on the glass. In Big 12 games where Newton starts, OSU’s average rebounding margin is -5.7. In the first five Big 12 games of the year, it was -5.0. It was better Saturday against Ole Miss, with OSU outrebounding the Rebels by 10, but it was particularly bad in Austin, where OSU was outrebounded by 14 against Texas.

Boynton said he is in search for the “magic formula.”

“I think the immediate thing that you realize is people have to defend [Newton] outside the 3-point line,” Boynton said. “We talked about it in the offseason, Kalib and Moussa (Cisse) and Tyreek (Smith) all worked on their jump shots, but none of them were going to be that 3-point stretch [center] that maybe they one day will become. It’s not where they are right now. So when you play with two guys that are traditionally paint players, it actually in some ways helps the defense. It gives you advantages that you can rebound better because you got more guys in there with size and length. But, again, you have to make 3s in this game. … Woody being able to stretch the floor and make a 3 gives us a different look. Him being the most natural cutter and passer as a [power forward] also helps us in terms of our offensive flow.”

Boynton at 99 Wins Heading into Bedlam

Boynton enters Wednesday’s Bedlam matchup with a 99-82 career record, meaning he can hit the century mark in the rivalry matchup.

At 41, Boynton has long said he isn’t going to coach long enough to break any records, but he would be just the fifth coach in OSU’s history to crack the century mark:

Henry Iba — 653
Eddie Sutton — 368
Travis Ford — 155
Paul Hansen — 107

Boynton said he doesn’t want to coach when he is 65, so what does 65 look like for Mike Boynton in 24 years?

“I hope I’m still alive, first and foremost,” Boynton said. “But probably spending time with my kids, maybe grandkids at that point. Maybe actually enjoying that I’m married and spending some time with my wife. I don’t get to do those things all that often now, but obviously we got some time before we get there.”

Moussa Cisse ‘Moving Better’

Moussa Cisse played 7:32 in Oklahoma State’s 82-60 win against Ole Miss on Saturday and looked as healthy as he has in a game since suffering an ankle injury against West Virginia on Jan. 2.

Cisse sat our the Cowboys midweek matchup against Texas last week, and Boynton said the goal is for Cisse to come back and to be able to play as long a stretch as possible — not to use him as quickly as possible and risk further aggravation.

“He’s moving better,” Boynton said. “Obviously we took some precaution with him on Saturday in terms of number of minutes, but checking on him after the game and then [Sunday], he’s feeling better. He’s moving fine. We obviously got to get through another day of practice here so we can get caught up to speed. It’s one of the things that people just don’t quite understand outside, being in the process, it’s not just missing the games. The practice time is important. The rhythm in practice, we continue to add things. We coincided with changing a lot of our offense with him not being in the lineup. So him adapting to the things we’re doing now is a part of what goes into him being able to come back and be effective. He’ll continue to work with our trainers and strength coaches to get that ankle stronger and more durable.

“The most important thing for me is to have him for as long as stretch as possible. And not just in and out of the lineup because we think he’s that kind of difference maker that can give you a chance to maybe do what Baylor is doing, which is run four, five, six wins in a row off and put yourself in a good position to finish the season strong.”

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