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Underwood Displeased With Defense, Rogers State Still Impressed



Oklahoma State only had nine steals during its 101-85 win over Rogers State on Wednesday evening in GIA. It was its second-lowest output of the young season, and it came just after OSU had 19 steals against Georgetown last Wednesday. Brad Underwood was not happy.

“They controlled the whole tempo of the game with their effort,” said Underwood. “I think all you have to do is to look at our steals total, nine. Five of them came from Jawun just at the half court line. It shows our activity on the defensive end. I was fearful of that. We had three of the four days off coming back from Maui. To be honest, we didn’t practice great. We practiced very lethargic.”

Five of them did come from Jawun, and here are three of those.

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Still, OSU allowed Rogers State to shoot over 55 percent from the field, and barely got any steals that were not a NBA player picking on Division II dudes.

“You can overcome a lot of things with effort,” said Underwood. “And you saw what happens tonight when you don’t have that and you don’t have energy. We have to continue to work. Will we get better? Absolutely. But we have to continue to work every single day and we can’t afford to take a day off in practice or two days off in practice. We have to grow in that. That is this team’s challenge right now.”

OSU’s adjusted defensive efficiency (points given up per 100 possessions) is top 85 in the country right now which is all right but should probably be better (his SFA team last year was No. 38).

OSU’s team this year (and every team coached by Underwood)¬†thrives on defense by creating turnovers (25.1 percent of possessions) and getting steals (15.9 percent of possessions). It does not thrive on keeping teams from shooting lights out.


That’s why Underwood was upset on Wednesday. OSU did not get steals like it usually does (11 percent of possessions compared to 15 percent, and they were all due to Jawun). Still, Rogers State coach Justin Barkley felt overwhelmed by OSU on the defensive end.

“I thought we competed for 40 minutes, and yes we lost the game, but there were some positives,” said Barkley. “The way they [OSU] plays defense, my gosh. We couldn’t get the ball in reversals, and we kind of had to reinvent ourselves this week just so we could have some success on the offensive end.

“They’re [OSU] going to have success this year, but I thought our guys responded. If you take away some of the silly turnovers where the probably picked our pockets and got some uncontested layups, if you take away a few of those, maybe it’s a little bit of a different basketball game.”

Thus the ire from Mr. Underwood. OSU will try to respond on Saturday night against Maryland.

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