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The Future is Bright*



Photo Attribution:Emily Nielsen

I really shouldn’t write this before OSU plays Iowa State, Texas, and A&M at home, but golfing jinxes be damned (and my longtime followers will know what I’m referencing), I’m going to anyway.

At some point during the Baylor game, everything clicked for me. I realized the Missouri win wasn’t a function of Gallagher-Iba’s magic (it’s hard to make magic with only 6,000 people) and that the game in College Station was absolutely an anomaly.

Missouri was about this team. And this team is going to be good. And soon**.

Think about it, are there four freshmen/sophomores on any one team in the Big 12 you’d rather have over the next three years than Markel, Cobbins, Wiliams, and Nash? Okay, yes there are: you’d rather have the Perry Jones-Quincy Miller-Cory Jefferson-Deuce Bello-Brady Heslip fivesome but I’m banking on the fact Bryce Drew’s brother is going down before then, and besides, Miller and Jones are basically already running sets for the Raptors and Cavs respectively at this point.

Back to our guys. In some ways, this has all worked itself out in a terribly wonderful way. If it weren’t for the shredded knee of JPO, gimpy ankle of Jurick, and uhh…acrimonious charges against Darrell Williams then Brian Williams and Mike Cobbins wouldn’t be getting the invaluable playing time they’ve been getting.

Consider the following about OSU’s three best freshmen…

  • Williams already has three 20-point performances this season, something JamesOn, Terrel Harris, and Obi only did four times in their freshman seasons combined.
  • Cobbins already has three 10-rebound games this season, something Marshall Moses didn’t accomplish until his 12th game…of his sophomore year.
  • Nash is going to pass James Anderson for the second most points by a freshman in school history as long as he reaches his season average (13.4) in each of OSU’s last eight regular season games plus whatever they do in the Big 12 tournament.

The real question for Le’Bryan*** is going to be if he can make the same leap James made his sophomore year when he jumped to averaging 18 points, six boards, and two assists a game.

So what happens going forward?

Well for starters, Keiton completes his unfortunate ride into the sunset with a whimper as his career ends having never played in the Sweet Sixteen. Beyond that though? It’s all sunshine and rainbows and orange-colored unicorns.

Get Markel all the time at the one you possibly can. I don’t know how to make this any clearer. With the Cezardrama and no other point guards on the roster, you won’t have a choice but to play him there next year, which is looking more and more like a viable, if not beneficial, thing for everyone.

Continue to ride Cobbins and Williams the rest of the season. They’re both 19 years old, if they throw up after games (as Cobbins did on Saturday), they throw up after games. These are the breeding grounds for NCAA tournament runs****. Getting them through so many games and with the amount they (as well as Markel) have improved, I can’t help but be stoked about the 2012-2013 rotation.

So next year this is what you’re looking at:

1. Markel
2. Williams, B.
3. Nash
4. Williams, D. (pending)
5. Cobbins

With a bench of Jurick, Smart, Forte/Cezar, and JPO. That’s your rotation*****. Soucek will redshirt, Kamari probably will too, and Forte will either redshirt or Cezar will leave.

Call me crazy, but that seems like it plays as a legitimate top five Big 12 team and, with a few breaks, NCAA tournament participant.

I know, I know, we’ve been here before, but for real this time…just wait til next year!

*As long as Le’Bryan stays
**As long as Le’Bryan stays
***As long as Le’Bryan stays
****As long as Le’Bryan stays
*****As long as Le’Bryan stays

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