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Hoops Notebook: Williams’ Mindset, Garrison’s Upcoming Summer and Wright’s Leadership

Three storylines from OSU’s Thursday media availability.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowboys have won back-to-back conference games for the first time this season, and Saturday they’ll have a chance to make it three in a row.

Oklahoma State hosts Oklahoma at 3 p.m. Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Mike Boynton met with reporters Thursday to preview the upcoming game. Here are three storylines that came from that availability.

Williams’ ‘F-U Mindset’

After a late timeout in the Cowboys’ Wednesday win against Cincinnati, Quion Williams trotted the length of the floor pumping up the crowd. But he was on the road.

Needless to say, Williams is a unique character, but he also provides his team with energy, both with his play and between whistles.

At one point Wednesday, Williams went and grabbed Brandon Garrison after a timeout and brought him over to OSU coach Mike Boynton to make sure everyone was on the same page.

Between hyping up the Cincy crowd, Williams nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

“You need that because the game requires it, especially on the road that you have a kind of F-U mindset, so to speak,” Boynton said. “That you believe in your group and what you’re doing, but in a respectful way. I don’t know if you can say F U in a respectful way, but you know what I mean. You’re really engaged with your guys and your teammates feed off of that emotion. It’s always good to have somebody that can bring that element to your team.”

Big Summer Upcoming for BG

Brandon Garrison’s potential is evident.

OSU’s freshman center, Garrison has averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.9 steals a game across the Cowboys’ past seven.

He scored 14 in Cincinnati on Wednesday, scoring 10 of those points before subbing out for the first time.

The scariest part of Garrison’s game is that, while he is good now, he’s only a freshman. Going into this offseason, Garrison will have a better idea on what he needs to bring back to his sophomore season.

“He has no idea how good he can be — none, no clue,” Boynton said. “This summer, it’s incumbent upon our staff to push him in a way that makes him grow, which means he’s gotta get uncomfortable. His body has gotta change — not in terms of composition, but his endurance. He needs to be the best-running 6-9, 240-pound guy in the country next year. That’s the challenge. What does that mean? It means the weight room, diet, extra treadmill. He needs to develop to be a guy we cant trust, and we can see it in little glimpses now, if he’s open, shooting a jump shot and everybody feels good about it.”

A lot was made about Boynton’s recent comments regarding OSU basketball’s NIL situation, but making sure Garrison stays in Stillwater was part of the message Boynton was trying to get across in that dialogue.

“Again, the retention word is a real thing,” Boynton said. “Gotta make sure he’s here to do that.”

John-Michael Wright Providing Leadership

Oklahoma State’s roster from last season was almost entirely turned over.

Bryce Thompson was the only player returning with this group that had played more than one season in Stillwater, but he tore his labrum in Lawrence. Thompson is still with the group, as he traveled to Cincinnati with the Cowboys this week, but in an available team full of newcomers, John-Michael Wright has stepped in as a leader, Boynton said.

Wright is in his second season with the program after a successful tenure at High Point. Wright has averaged 8.2 points a game this season — a number that is trending up. Since returning to OSU’s starting lineup against Kansas State on Jan. 20, Wright has scored in double figures in all eight of OSU’s games. In that stretch, he has averaged 12.8 points a game while shooting 36% from 3-point range.

“John-Michael Wright has been phenomenal,” Boynton said. “Obviously with Bryce out, he hasn’t been able to be as involved in that regard. He was really good for us early. But John-Michael Wright has really carried the water for us in that regard all year. Even when we were losing, he kept coming in and talking about, ‘Guys, we’re gonna get on a roll and win.’

“The young guys don’t know anything but what they hear from internally. That’s why it’s really important you have good kids. Guys who believe in what you’re doing, and guys who really care about the right things and want to help.”

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