Mike Boynton Calls Oklahoma State’s Loss at Kansas State, ‘Gutless’

[USATSI]
Written by Kyle Porter

Oklahoma State got beat in Manhattan by Kansas State on Wednesday evening, 86-82. The Pokes surrendered 36 points in the last 10 minutes as KSU shot 56 percent on 2-pointers and 38 percent on 3-pointers. Everybody, it seemed, except for the equipment managers had a career high as OSU fell to 1-3 in the Big 12 Conference.

Head coach Mike Boynton did not mince words after the outing,

“To be honest, it was a pretty gutless performance by my team,” he told reporters. “I’ve never been more disappointed than I am today since I became the head coach at Oklahoma State. Our fans deserve better. They’ll get better.

“I’ve never really been around teams who had that problem (of not being ready to roll),” he added. “This is new territory in a lot of ways. But we won’t be here very long, that’s for sure. We’ll play guys who want to play, who’ve got passion, who want to compete, who want to represent Oklahoma State basketball the way it wants to be represented.”

Whooo buddy, I bet there were some steps in GIA that saw a lot of action today. As Mark Cooper pointed out, Boynton was frustrated with how many 3s OSU was taking, at least early on. To that end, coming into this game OSU was on pace to take more 3-pointers per game than any team in school history.

Additionally, Kansas State, which came in at 1-2 in league play, was without its starting point guard, and OSU could not stop them in the second half (they scored 53 of their 86 after the break). OSU forces around 22 turnovers a game, but could only get eight of them from a lower-tier Big 12 team without its floor general.

I can see why Boynton was fired up about a team that is supposed to pride itself on getting stops and playing elite defense.

“We were pretty lifeless today for the better part of the game,” said Boynton. “That’s disappointing. You can’t win in this league, at this level, if you don’t have great energy and fight every night. If you don’t have great courage to go out and take a game and punch the other team before they punch you.”

  • Forever 14

    Only upside was we started making our free throws again. If we don’t make those, this would have been a rout. Oh, and Averette came to play: 8/11 overall, 6 assists to 2 turnovers.

    The downside was pretty much everything and everyone else. Kendall Smith 5/15 with one (1) assist and 1 turnover. Lindy Waters 1/6 from 3, 3/9 overall. Mitch Solomon 0/2 from 3 (should be 0/0, I mean really?).

    • two4osu

      I hear you on Averette. I wanted to give him the ol’ cane-by-the-neck exit stage left at the Iowa State game last weekend…

    • Jawbreaker

      Averette is the only one who regularly plays with the level of intensity required to win some Big 12 games. I think its mostly personality, just not a lot of real aggressive guys on this team. Good guys but no one who is going to go and impose their will on the opposing team. Boynton has to find a way to push their buttons.

  • Bring. It. All.

  • AC

    I said it on another post, but I’m willing to eat a ton of crow on this: I am all in on Boynton now. I was one of those very unhappy when he was hired and it took a while to warm to him, but this won me over. To me, this is the mark of what will make a coach successful long-term. His willingness to go after his team for giving what he sees as poor effort and less than their best shows he has guts and WANTS to improve and get better. In contrast to a certain other coach who just gives the ‘we have to execute better’ garbage and does nothing to improve, I believe that Boynton is going to do everything he can to not only get better talent but demand excellence from the talent he has. He cares – clearly. That’s what I want in a coach and that’s why I will defend him to the death now.

    • He’ll really have my attention if he breaks out the shoulder pads …

    • Gundy Forever

      AC, old friend you truly have come full circle

      • AC

        I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong. I will always believe that how the search was handled by Holder (who I still think needs to step aside gracefully) was absolutely horrendous, but Boynton has stones, is willing to go after legit top talent (even if he strikes out), and won’t accept less than his team’s best. That’s enough to change my mind on him.

        • maarek

          I was on that very heavily populated island with you and am glad to be sailing away from its shores. I still want to see the whole FBI thing close with nothing bad happening to him and I think Holder needs to step aside gracefully or be thrown overboard within the year. I like Boyton but I don’t trust him yet, I want to, but there’s a guy at Illinois right now that I trusted too quick… and he didn’t have an assistant caught up in a FBI investigation.

  • Lee Cothran

    I love that Boynton isn’t making excuses for this team… even though he has plenty. Very refreshing after this last decade. Give this man some resources and some time and he will have us where we want to be.

  • Mark

    Okay, I’m sure I’ll be perceived as being out on a limb for saying this, but I kind of worry about a coach who uses words like “gutless” and “lifeless” so easily. Fans are praising his honesty, but “coach speak” exists for a reason, and that reason is that the coach has to be level-headed and not get too high or low on his team. With Boynton, I feel like the intensity level is like 150%, even during his post-game interviews. That only works if the ship gets righted and fast. If it doesn’t, then such intensity, such expressions become a liability rather than an asset.

    To use a comparison, can you imagine Kansas football coach David Beatty saying stuff like that after they keep losing and losing and losing and losing?…. at some point it begins to sound ridiculous and the players will start to sell instead of buy. I’m not saying Boynton is already to that point, but I’m saying he could get there if he isn’t careful.

    • AustinCowboy

      In contrast, when we played well and lose he doesn’t nearly take the same tone. He only said that they played gutless because it was true and I’m sure he will point to it on film. The beginning of both halves we came out slow and uninspired.

    • AC

      I don’t think that he should do it every game by any means. We don’t need that kind of coach. But we DO need a coach that will hold players accountable and hold the team publicly accountable. If the effort is not there and he calls it, that makes a statement that the level of effort is not and will not be accepted. That’s what I like. He is demanding more from his team. Coach Smith does the same thing, even going so far as to say that some guys may not be wrestling for him this year. In contrast, Gundy goes completely even-keel with the media (I’m a man, notwithstanding) and always says the same sort of thing. He doesn’t call out weak effort, weak tackling, anything like that. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but in comparing the football and basketball teams, I honestly see a brighter long-term future for basketball. It’ll take a little time but there’s no complacency or settling – it’s ‘this isn’t okay – do better’ and that’s a winning attitude.

      • KCOC10

        I hope it’s something rare. In general he should be able to get his point across in practice, team meetings, and in the locker room. I understand he needs to express to the public this level of product is not acceptable long term. Calling them gutless to the media seems pretty strong though. If your kid is acting out you don’t reprimand them on social media you talk to them directly. I feel like he should be able to get this done within the team and find a better way tell the fans/administration that there will be improvement.

    • KCOC10

      Doing this only gets you so far. Hopefully he is reading the players’ tone and using this as a rare tactic to get them kick-started.
      He’s in a tough spot right now after doing some house cleaning, dealing with the investigation and working to revive the program. He has to be careful though with calling out the fans then calling out his players. You cash in some equity every time you do that. It can get results and bring back your investment plus a return or just leaves your balance lower. I’d say he didn’t start off with a high amount of initial capital so he needs to use if wisely. He doesn’t want to be the rebound coach who just sets the table for the long term guy.

      • The fans need to be called out, though. Everybody was saying “oh it’s just because they’re not playing anybody, it’ll be better when conference starts”. But then we have the announcers asking fans from the 300s to come fill out the lower sections during conference games. That’s embarrassing and the team deserves better.

        As for the players, I tend to agree that hopefully these aren’t the types of things he says publicly several times. However, for this one time: I loved it. Of course, the only downside would be if they respond negatively. But hopefully he knows his own players better than that and this will light a fire.

        • Cowboys🏀

          Couldn’t say it better myself! It’s a huge double standard that fans are giving to the coaches and players. “You must win games”, “You must play better competition” and so forth. They’ve won plenty of games and have a resume booster, they are playing better competition so the results are going to fall off a little but you can’t say it’s going to change once they play better competition because it hasn’t and it wont. WV should have been a completely packed game and GIA had the chance to make the difference. It was a opportunity that was missed by fans. Nobody wants OSU where they are currently but it’s not going to change overnight. The basement has been reached with Travis Ford and it will be a continuous climb back up to the national level but it cant be done without the fans.

    • David

      We are comparing OSU Basketball to KU football now?

  • Bootstrap Bill

    Boynton is not the answer and it’s pretty clear the team doesn’t respect him.

    • David

      You have no clue what you’re talking about.

      • Bootstrap Bill

        Just calling it like I see it. Sorry if that upsets you. It was a bad hire.

        • David

          It doesn’t upset me, you’re just flat out wrong.

        • David

          Cold take is a cold take, Velcro Strap Bill. Get your tail to GIA next weekend. 🍻

          • Bootstrap Bill

            I was there today. It was a great comeback and a much needed win. I also watched the first 35 minutes and still know Boynton isn’t the answer.

  • T-Bone

    I keep hearing about this great defense we are trying to play and I just don’t see it. Seems to me the opposing teams are setting career scoring records. We don’t have the big men to keep big men from scoring inside and Smith and Averette can’t seem to keep them from scoring on the outside. I saw Carroll standing around on several plays and let his man dribble and shoot with no defensive pressure.

    So we don’t have offensive players and our defense isn’t very good either. Is it really the attitude of the players?

  • OSUgary

    i’m all in on Mike Boynton … he speaks the truth in a non- disparaging, non-personalized way … he intends to be successful and expects his team to play like they have the same intentions … in spite of the fact he has limited talent to work with ….

  • Roper1

    I was hoping we would switch to a zone at about the ten minute mark. We were gambling on defense too much, couldn’t stay in front of the K-State guards, allowed a lot of easy lane penetration, which resulted in easy Wildcats shots. I thought a zone might force them to have to at least settle for outside jumpers. I sure got weary of watching Barry Brown shoot lay-ups every trip down!