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Hoops Notebook: Injury Updates, Small’s Film Study, Alexander Returns to Oklahoma

Thompson could be back for the Cowboys’ clash with Creighton.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys will face their toughest test of the nonconference on Thursday.

Oklahoma State hosts No. 15 Creighton as part of the Big 12-Big East Battle. OSU coach Mike Boynton met with reporters Tuesday to preview the matchup. Here are three topics that stood out.

Injury Updates

The Cowboys have yet to play a game this season at full strength.

The year started with Javon Small, Jamyron Keller and Isaiah Miranda on the shelf. Small and Keller have since emphatically returned, but Bryce Thompson went down with an apparent leg injury during the Cowboys’ trip to Brooklyn.

It looks like OSU could get Thompson back Thursday, though. Boynton said Thompson practiced on Monday and that he was “trending toward being available” for Thursday’s game. Thompson is OSU’s leader in points per game this season, averaging 14.3. That includes a game where he played just a single minute in the second half before exiting with injury. He has shot 50% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.

After suffering a hip injury in OSU’s exhibition, Miranda — a 7-foot-1 unicorn from Rhode Island — was supposed to make his college debut against New Orleans on Nov. 20, but he stepped on a foot in pregame shootaround and suffered an ankle injury. Boynton said an MRI showed nothing was wrong structurally with the ankle, but he said Tuesday that Miranda hadn’t started practicing yet, listing the big man as doubtful.

Small’s Film Study

Javon Small has been outstanding in the start of his OSU career.

A transfer point guard from East Carolina, Small has averaged 14 points a game while leading the team with 28 assists. He has spearheaded a revamped OSU offense that has seen the Cowboys have 103 assists to 69 turnovers through six games. In their first six games last season, the Cowboys had 89 assists and 89 turnovers through six games.

Small is averaging 5.6 assists a game thus far this season. For reference, Isaac Likekele has averaged the most assists in a season, averaging 4.5 in 2019-20. In watching Small, you can tell he sees the game different than most — something that he and Boynton said has to do with his film study.

“One thing to watch a kid on tape, even another thing to coach him in practice and in games — but it’s a whole different thing to watch how a kid functions as a player, as a student of the game,” Boynton said. “Probably as much as any kid I’ve ever coached, he constantly sends me video from practice or from other games that he’s watching, ideas that he thinks maybe could work for us. That’s always good when you’ve got a guy who is certainly always thinking about the game, even moreso watching it and trying to learn how to get better. So I think that’s what makes him a little bit unique.

“It’s not as common anymore, that, kids being as engaged with the game outside of playing it and practicing it, unfortunately. But he’s one of the few that are.”

Trey Alexander Returns to Oklahoma

Creighton guard Trey Alexander will return to Oklahoma this weekend.

Out of Heritage Hall, Alexander was a four-star recruit in the 2021 class, initially inking a letter of intent with Auburn before enrolling with the Bluejays. He has made 56 starts with Creighton over the past three years. As a junior this season, Alexander is averaging 15.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists a game — all career-highs.

Oklahoma State was the first program to offer Alexander a scholarship, but he chose to carve his path outside of the state’s borders.

It’s early in the season, but Alexander is in some mock drafts (including this one from Kyle Boone) as a first-round pick.

“I watched Trey Alexander as a freshman in high school probably play as good of a high school game as a freshman that I’ve ever seen,” Boynton said. “I watched him in the state championship game in 2018, and I think his team was down like 15 points going into the fourth quarter. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a 14 or 15 year old literally will his team to a state championship the way he did that day. Quite impressive, obviously.

“Comes from a big basketball lineage. He’s been committed to the game for a long time. Not surprise that he’s had the type of success that he’s been able to have and that he’s getting the attention he’s getting.”

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