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The Rundown: Boynton Talks Big 12 Tournament, NCAA Hopes

What Boynton said entering the Big 12 tourney.



STILLWATER — The Cowboys are headed to the Big 12 Tournament with a lot of options ahead.

Oklahoma State still has an outside shot at making the NCAA Tournament, with many thinking the Pokes would have to at least make the championship game this weekend in Kansas City to do so. There’s also the NIT, where the Cowboys could secure some home games with a good showing at Big 12s.

OSU coach Mike Boynton met with reporters Sunday morning in Stillwater ahead of the start of his team’s postseason. Here is a breakdown of what he said.

• On OSU playing its best basketball in March: “It’s kind of part of the plan going in. I think throughout the course of the year you can be many things. We obviously showed early that we’re capable of having success. Then we had some moments in the middle of the year where we weren’t as good. Credit to these kids for not giving in to the outside noise and continuing to believe the messaging that was delivered inside the building. All the credit goes to them for finding a way to find success again here late. I feel good going into the conference tournament that we’re a team that can continue to win.”

• Lindy Waters played the best defense in his career against Texas on Saturday.

• On the seniors winning in every Big 12 venue: “It’s awesome. I’d never thought about them not winning in Austin until we kinda got toward the end. Those guys were aware, and it was something that was an additional motivating factor for them. They all contributed at a high level. I’m happy that the end of this story is being written in a way that they’re gonna feel good about it when it’s over.”

• On having played Iowa State recently and playing the Cyclones again Wednesday: “There’s always some tactical things you gotta be mindful of. They beat us up there. We made some adjustments here. They got a really good coach who’s been to a Sweet 16 or two already. I’m sure he’ll make some adjustments, and we’ll have to be ready to counter that somehow.”

• On if OSU has the confidence required to make a run in Kansas City: “Yeah, I mean, I don’t think they’re in a place we were in the middle of January. At the same time, it’s all about how we prepare. I think they’re in the mindset of preparing well. What we’re gonna focus on is trying to win Wednesday. You can’t make a run if you don’t get out of that one.”

• On Thomas Dziagwa’s 7-for-7, 19-point performance against Texas: “Thomas is me. We’re all in this thing doing this together. There’s naysayers out there for all of us. I think that’s part of the reason that we’ve been able to work well together is because we have the same mentality that the work is the only thing that matters. Do you work hard enough to achieve the types of things you feel like you can? That other stuff comes and goes.”

• On if he has talked about the NCAA Tournament or NIT with the team: “We met with our team before Senior Day and just talked about finishing strong, whatever that looks like. For our young guys to understand that one day they’ll be seniors, and I want them to play in a way that, they don’t understand this, right, that they would want people to play for them three years from now. Other than that, it’s just game by game. Do your job every day. Show up, have a good attitude, practice hard, when the games come up try to execute the gameplan.”

• On the chaotic finish the to the Big 12: “It’s what it is pretty much every year, other than what Kansas does somehow. They’re the only team that can go 9-0 on the road multiple years and find a way to get back to the top of the league. Credit to them for this unbelievable run. I’m not sure we’ll see it again once their run is over — whenever it is. I hope it’s soon. It’s pretty impressive.

“Other than that, it’s pretty standard. Guys battle it out. It’s hard to win on the road. Most teams maybe find one or two wins on the road. That’s where Kansas’ deal is so special. I think they’ve been undefeated on the road in league play like six times.”

• “If we come out [Monday] morning and don’t practice well, then I’m going to be honest with the guys and tell them not to pack five days of clothes — let’s just go up there, enjoy some BBQ and come on home. But if we prepare well, I’ll tell them, ‘Hey, make sure you pack some extra undies and got enough toothpaste to get you through the week.'”

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