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Hoops Preview: Isaac Likekele Set to Return as Cowboys Host SLU

Ice is set to return just before the Cowboys’ start Big 12 play.

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Well everybody,

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The Oklahoma State basketball team hosts Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday in Gallagher-Iba Arena, and for the first time in four games, FIBA U19 World Cup champion Isaac Likekele will be available for OSU coach Mike Boynton, following an undisclosed illness that has kept him out.

The Cowboys were 7-0 before Likekele’s illness but went just 1-3 in his absence. How much Likekele plays, in what will be the Cowboys’ final tune-up before Big 12 play begins, is still up in the air, but the Cowboys probably won’t need him to be a world-beater Sunday.

The Lions are one of only a handful of division-one teams that are winless against division-one opponents. SLU is 3-8 this season with victories against Xavier (Louisiana), Mobile and Southern-New Orleans.

The Lions’ KenPom ranking is the worst of any team on OSU’s schedule at 316 (of 353). The Cowboys’ past four opponents are all in the top 45 of KenPom’s rankings.

With Likekele’s return, the Cowboys will also hope sophomore center Yor Anei busts out of the bit of a funk he’s been in since his fellow sophomore has been absent. Anei scored in double figures in six of OSU’s first seven games, but since Likekele has been gone Anei has put up double figures just one time, scoring 18 points in the Cowboys’ win against Houston.

Likekele and Anei both rank among the nation’s best on the defensive end. According to KenPom, Likekele is ranked sixth in the country in steal percentage at 5.2 percent. He’s the only player in the top 10 at a high-major school. Anei’s 14.3 block percentage ranks 11th in the country.

The Cowboys are 4-0 all time against Southeastern Louisiana with the last game coming in 2014. In that matchup, Le’Bryan Nash scored 22 points en route to a 83-55 victory.

Viewing Info

Time: 1:30 p.m. Sunday
Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena
Watch: ESPN+

Oklahoma State’s Projected Lineup
Name Class PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Dee Mitchell Sophomore 1.6 0.4 0.8 0.2 0
Thomas Dziagwa Senior 8.8 1.5 1.1 0.7 0
Lindy Waters Senior 13.7 4.7 2.5 1.3 0
Cameron McGriff Senior 10 6.4 1.8 0.3 0.3
Yor Anei Sophomore 11.2 5.8 0.3 0.8 2.5
Southeastern Louisiana’s Projected Lineup
Name Class PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Von Julien Senior 7.9 3 5.2 1 0
LaQuan Butler Sophomore 6.7 1 1.8 0.6 0
Byron Smith Freshman 6.2 2.3 1.4 0.5 0.1
Tyron Brewer Sophomore 17.6 8.5 0.8 1.6 0.7
Pape Diop Junior 10.2 6.2 0.4 0.8 0.4
Oklahoma State’s Past Five
Opponent Result Score
vs. Ole Miss W 78-37
vs. Georgetown L 81-74
vs. Wichita State L 80-61
at Houston W 61-55
vs. Minnesota L 86-66
Southeastern Louisiana’s Past Five
Opponent Result Score
at Vanderbilt L 78-70
at Louisiana L 98-81
vs. Southern-New Orleans W 79-74
at Lamar L 79-73
vs. Ole Miss L 83-76

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