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This Could be the Worst Oklahoma State Basketball Season Since …

All is not well in GIA.



After Wednesday’s shellacking at the hands of No. 15 Texas Tech, Oklahoma State is now 9-15 on the season with seven conference games left plus one game in the Big 12 Tournament come March (it would be overly optimistic to even hint that OSU would play more than one game in the Big 12 Tournament).

OSU’s record is now 9-15 and 2-9 in Big 12 play. That is a .375 and .182 winning percentage respectively. Not good by any measure, and even the most optimistic Mike Boynton supporters (raises hand) currently have their daubers down.

But just how bad is it? Well, let’s take a gander.

This is the 110th season of Oklahoma State hoops and 98th conference season. If it ended today, this year’s OSU team would be tied for 88th in overall winning percentage and also 88th in conference winning percentage (according to basketball reference — shoutout to their recent NYT love, by the way).

Howevah … if OSU goes 1-6 the rest of the way like KenPom predicts and also loses its first game in the Big 12 Tournament to make that number 1-7, that would mean it would finish 10-22 and 3-15 in the Big 12, which would move OSU further down the list nearing the 100th best overall season — again, OSU has only played 110 seasons in its history.

And now Travis Ford’s lowly 2015-16 team is in play here. That squad went 12-20 overall and 3-15 in conference play. If OSU wins one more game it will at least match the conference mark, but if it goes 1-7 the rest of the way like I noted above (and which seems optimistic), it will be the worst overall season since 1986-87 when that OSU team went 8-20 overall in Leonard Hamilton’s first year.

If OSU goes 0-8 (definitely in play!) this will be the worst overall season since 1966-67 (!) and worst conference season since 1933-34 (!!). If the Pokes finish 2-16 in the Big 12 this year by losing their last seven regular season games, only three conference seasons will have been worse, and they all happened before the second World War.

But it gets better when you look at advanced numbers, right? No, no it does not. OSU is +6.3 in adjusted efficiency this season, which is No. 103 in the country and also the worst since KenPom started measuring such things back in 2001. That final Ford year saw OSU at +7.8, and for the sake of reference, Brad Underwood’s only year was +22.5 (OSU was +13 last year).

So there are no numbers that paint a pretty picture, except of course the ones next to OSU’s recruiting class ranking for 2019. This season is (and has been) teetering on the historical side of things, but certainly not for reasons Boynton wants.

“This is a game of confidence and we don’t have a ton right now, as you could see,” Boynton said after Wednesday’s loss to Tech.

“And, they’re one of the best teams in our league because in mid-February you have to still have confidence to be able to go on the road and play the way they played tonight. They beat us in every facet of the game. They were the better team and it’s a lesson for us and that’s how you approach things when you’re competing for a championship.”

Something OSU hasn’t done in a long, long time.

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