Where Jawun Evans Ranks Among All-Time OSU Point Guards

[PFB]
Written by Hayden Barber

Jawun Evans is gone to the NBA so that makes two key personnel losses for the Oklahoma State men’s basketball program with Brad Underwood’s departure being the other one following one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory.

Evans’ declaration came four days after the Cowboys’ 92-91 loss to Michigan in the round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. After that game, he said he would, “more than likely,” be back to OSU for his junior season. He’s not, though.

His departure begs the question: Just how good was Jawun Evans at Oklahoma State? Here is how he stacks up among the other great Cowboy point guards and how I would rank the five best PGs in school history.

5. Maurice Baker (2000-02)

Baker put up the second-best scoring season in OSU guard history (and No. 1 among exclusively point guards) in the 2000-01 season when he averaged 19.8 per game.

That same season, he had 4.2 assists and 6.7 rebounds on average every time out. It was his first season with the Cowboys as a transfer from Dixie State. In year No. 2 though, he only averaged 12.9 per game, and his other stats fell off as well as he dealt with various injuries. But that first season was a beauty.

4. John Lucas (2003-05)

Lucas ended up at OSU after the scandal at Baylor (no not that one). He averaged 17.7 points per game in the 2004-05 season, and he did this in the 2003-04 season.

Lucas went undrafted, but that shot plus that stage plus that moment plus that call by Dave Hunziker plus a pair of unbelievable seasons in Stillwater will forever land him on this list.

3. Doug Gottlieb (1998-2000)

I’m afraid my credential will be revoked because I put Gottlieb No. 3 and not No. 2. Doug competed every year in the PassMaster Classic. He averaged 8.8, 8.6 and 6.9 assists per game in his three seasons in Stillwater. Those are the top three marks among OSU guards in the program’s history.

Give me a break.

Come on. Few human beings could make the pass he did there.

Gottlieb’s shooting wasn’t great, which is why he is No. 3. His highest point average for a season came when he was a senior and put up 5.9 points per game, which is 84th among all-time OSU guards.

2. Jawun Evans (2015-17)

Yes, better than who could have been his coach for his junior season Gottlieb.

Gottlieb had unbelievable passes, but he couldn’t shoot. Evans ticks every box. You know that during this past season, there were moments when No. 1 did something so spectacular that you had no choice but to lean back in your brown leather recliner and say to yourself, “My God.”

Like this.

In two years with the Cowboys, he averaged 16.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game while playing for a team that competes in the Big 12. Evans played only 22 games as a freshman because of a couple of injuries, and he still won Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

This season, he put up 19.2 points per game, which was seventh best of any OSU player in history.

That’s good, right?

1.Marcus Smart (2012-14)

His athletic ability was always going to come at 6-foot-4, but his vision and defensive potency against smaller guards made Smart stand out.

Smart averaged 16.7 points per game, 4.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds in two seasons at OSU. He averaged three steals a game as a freshman and won Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

What makes him better than Jawun is about four inches.

Smart could do everything Evans can but at a touch higher efficiency at the rim because he could rival the posts. Man, for me though, it’s like splitting hairs. Two different types of guards but the same take-a-game-over ability.

  • Christian Baker

    Are we just talking how talented they were or their accomplishments/contributions to the program? If it’s the former, take Doug off and replace him with multiple others, Jameson Curry and Byron Eaton just to start. Doug was part of some great teams, but the fact that he cannot shot AT ALL drops him well out of the top five. If it’s the latter, Jawun and Smart take a tumble. There’s no denying the talent, but I have a hard time thinking the two best PGs in OSU history combined for 0 NCAA tourney wins.

    • Doc Holliday

      I buy all that except wasn’t JO Curry more of a 2 guard?

  • Nate

    Mo Baker – not a true PG. Most of the time he played off the ball with Vic in the game, so he shouldn’t be on this list.

    Smart at #1??? Yikes. Also not a true PG, but played the position. He’s no better than 4th on this list.

    Top 5 True PGs:

    1. Evans
    2. Doug
    3. Lucas
    4. Thompson
    5. Smart

    • Christian Baker

      Doug cannot shoot, he just played on really good teams. A PG that has to be taken out of games in crunch time due to their inability to shoot better than 50% as a F-ing PG, like Doug regularly had to, cannot be our #2 PG. If Doug played this year, he would have done nothing.

      • Nate

        My gosh, just stop. You can’t be that stupid can you? He’s one of the all time NCAA assist leaders and the led the nation in assists his junior year and finished 2nd his senior year. But yet I’m sure you think he had success just because he played with good players… Get out of here. Doug would have averaged double digit assists in Underwood’s system.

        And oh btw, outside of Smart, he was the best defender on that list. To try and minimize his impact because he “couldn’t shoot” shows how clueless you are.

        • Christian Baker

          It’s a weak mind who needs to insult someone else for a difference of opinion. Doug’s success had everything to do with who he played with. He was a great PG, but like I said how great can he be given he had to be taken out of close games at the end due to his unfathomably terrible shooting. I went to OSU during Doug’s time, I had season tickets every year. Doug was great until gut check time when his lack of any shooting ability required him to leave the game. Sorry if you don’t understand this simple fact.

          • Nate

            You don’t even make sense… “Doug’s success had everything to do with who he played with. He was a great PG…”

            Again… Doug would have averaged double digit assists in Underwood’s system.

          • Doc Holliday

            I actually kind of agree with both of y’all..I think Doug is definitely in the top 4 because he’s one of the best passers that college basketball has ever seen. Smart and Evans were both extremely talented but had the disadvantage of not being coached well(Travesty Ford) and just not playing on as good of teams and without the old culture of OSU basketball. For me I think Lil John Lucas is the best PG to ever do it for the pokes.

      • Jason Canning

        Doug’s lack of shooting makes his ability to find the open man even more impressive. Teams would often sag way off of him and have a man free to cover other players. If you are minimizing his impact, you didn’t watch him play.

  • RyanO

    For me, there is no debate for #1, and that is John Lucas. He was the PG on one of the best teams OSU has ever had and is one of the main reasons why. He had everything you want out of a pg. He could shoot lights out, was automatic from the line and you could always count on him to make the big play when it mattered. It often goes overlooked b/c of how the game ended, but he hit a 3 with little time left to tie before Will Bynum hit the game winner.
    What Lucas did at his time here cements his place as #1 for me.

    • Doc Holliday

      My thoughts exactly..he may not have had the sheer talent of Smart or Evans but he was a great PG when OSU basketball was to be feared

  • BBinKC

    I know we all love Doug, but every player on this list was at least first team all conference. Doug highest conference accolade was honorable mention. Lucas was first team all conference twice and conference player of the year. Having Doug ahead of him is ridiculous.

    Baker is drastically underrated. His junior year he led the team in points, assists, 3 pt fg%, ft%, and was second on the team in rebounds as a point guard. He could absolutely do it all. It is too bad he got injured his senior year.

    I am not a huge fan of Smart, but I see why he is on the list.

    1. Lucas
    2/3/4 Evans/Smart/Baker (an argument could be made for these three in any order)
    5. Sean Sutton (don’t laugh, he was good)

    • Nate

      Baker was great, but he wasn’t a PG. Don’t understand why people think otherwise. Not a hard concept.

      Fine with Lucas being ahead of Doug, but not having Doug in top 5 is absurd. He’s one of the greatest assist men to ever play the game.

      • BBinKC

        Sorry, but Baker was the PG. Not a hard concept. We think otherwise because we watched all of the games. Victor wasn’t the full time point guard until his senior year 2002-2003 (after Baker left). When Baker got hurt in 2002 Cheyne Gadsen moved in to the starting lineup at point guard.

        Doug was a great passer, a really smart player, and a good point guard. But we have built him up in our heads over the years because he is in the media and because his alley-oops to Mason look really good on highlight tapes. He played at OSU three years. He made honorable mention all conference his senior year and wasn’t on any lists prior to that. I love Doug and wanted him as our coach, but as a player he had some limitations. To have him above two guys who were conference player of the year and two others who were first team all conference doesn’t make sense. I can see him as #5 on the list but definitely not higher.

        • Nate

          Your memory fails you, my man. The starters for the 00-01 team were Sanders, A. Williams, Jonzen, Baker, and V. Williams. And Vic sure as hell wasn’t playing the 2 guard.

          http://stats.okstate.com/sports/m-baskbl/120900aaa.html

          • BBinKC

            I know who that starters were and actually Vic was the 2 guard. I know he was much shorter and on paper it doesn’t make a lot of sense but Baker was the PG, Victor played off the ball when Baker was in the game.

            Watch the tape and take note who brings up the ball almost exclusively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0FE-VBAlwc

          • Nate

            Don’t know what more I can tell you… At best he was a 2 guard that brought the ball up. Put it this way, if he’s on the same team as Evans, Lucas, Smart, Doug, Thompson, or hell even Byron, he ain’t playing the point. He’s sliding over to the 2. He was more forced to play point that year because OSU literally had no other guards.

          • BBinKC

            Agreed that he may have been more in the mold of a combo guard (much like Thompson) and may have slid over to the two if he had those guys on his team, but the fact is that he played point guard for two years at OSU (and put up pretty impressive numbers).

  • David Einstein

    1. Evans
    2. Lucas
    3. Baker
    4. Smart
    5. Gottlieb

  • Kurt Templeton

    Sean Sutton, highly underrated PG, definitely needs to be in the Top 5. John Lucas should be higher than Evans. My Top 5 are Brooks, JL3, Sean, Evans, Smart.