Five Questions for... Oklahoma State Cowboys

Welcome to Five Questions for... Oklahoma St. Cowboys.

Here you'll see five of the most pressing questions for the Cowboys and our response to them.  Feel free to contribute your answers in the comments section.

1. How many games is an uber recruit like LeBryan Nash worth to a program?

2. Am I the only one who feels like Keiton Page has been in college for 12 years?

3. Travis Ford is in his fourth season, having compiled a career 24-24 Big 12 record. Is he on the hot seat?

4. Where does Gallagher-Iba Arena rank amongst Big 12 venues? Nationally?

5. Last season J.P. Olukemi averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds.  What's his ceiling?


 

1.      How many games is an uber recruit like LeBryan Nash worth to a program?
Matt Patton: Clearly, a consensus top ten recruit (6th by Rivals, 9th by Scout and 10th by ESPNU) is a huge boost for a program. That said, I'm not sure how much Nash will add to the Cowboys this season. The key to me is Keiton Page getting him the ball in a position he's comfortable scoring from. Don't get me wrong though: if you want the guy that will give you the most jaw-dropping "I can't believe he just did that" plays, Nash will definitely be in the running (with Baylor's Deuce Bello). The only question is, how quickly will his skillset mature to reach his athleticism.

Joe Loyd: Normally I would say it would add at least 2-3 wins from previous season but I am not sure with this team simply because they lack an inside presence it seems. They lost Matt Pilgrim and Marshall Moses and I don't see any suitable replacements on their roster.

Evan Pfaff: Given the right circumstances, an uber recruit can lead a team to a national championship, ala Carmelo Anthony for Syracuse. But generally speaking a recruit of Nash's stature will add 3 wins to a team, which is actually a 6 win swing...

2.      Am I the only one who feels like Keiton Page has been in college for 12 years?
MP: No, and I think this year Page will be the X-factor for the Cowboys. His leadership will be critical in transforming a team that's relied on hammering the ball down low to one that relies on slashers and its backcourt. The biggest question to me is can he increase his three point percentage?

JL: No not 12 years but maybe somewhere around 8 or 9 years.

EP: I agree with myself that it feels like he's been in the conference forever. But to Matt's point, if he's on, the Cowboys have a good chance of winning some difficult games.

3.      Travis Ford is in his fourth season, having compiled a career 24-24 Big 12 record. Is he on the hot seat?
MP: Definitely not. This answer would be totally different had Ford not landed Nash, but getting big time recruits from Texas will earn you at least another year or two. Now, if we don't see any improvement (or Nash leaves after one year and Oklahoma State starts to look like Oklahoma) then his seat will heat up quickly. For the time being, I think Ford is safe.

JL: Have to agree that he is definitely not. Has Nash coming in this year and then big time 2012 recruit Marcus Smart the following season and Cowboys should be athletic enough to win good amount of games this year.

EP: I somewhat disagree, or maybe my expectations are too high.  Two years ago they had the Big 12 Player of the Year in James Anderson and this year they have the best recruit in the conference. If they didn't win with Anderson, and can't win with Nash, then I would question his longevity in Stillwater.  That being said, if he can win this season then all is forgotten.

4.      Where does Gallagher-Iba Arena rank amongst Big 12 venues? Nationally?
MP: Unfortunately, I've never made it to Stillwater for a game, but by all accounts very high. I think it falls just behind Allen Field House in the Big 12, but it definitely sticks out with Purdue's Mackey arena Smith Spectrum at Utah State as three of the toughest places to play because of sheer volume.

JL: Never been there but I would say back when Oklahoma State was a Top 5 team in the country it might have been toughest in conference, even more than Allen Field House. I think this simply because of how tight it seems in there with people right up on you. Now it's definitely still in the top half but not as hard as it used to be.

EP: Three for three on never being there, but I can remember those odd angles they used to put TV cameras at, up in the rafters looking almost straight down from the highest vantage points in the arena. They hurt the eyes just watching a game, and add in the noise level and you can argue it's the toughest spot in the conference to play in and a top 5 spots in the nation.

5.      Last season J.P. Olukemi averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds.  What's his ceiling?
MP: I mentioned Page as the X-factor for this Cowboy team earlier, but Olukemi could be the most valuable individual player this season (barring Nash acclamating to the college game). One area he'll have to improve is shooting, and handling the increased workload that will come with more minutes. He is certainly a Big 12 player poised for a breakout season.

JL: I would say his ceiling would be around 12-14 points per game unless he can drastically improve his outside shot. With Nash in the fold, Olukemi's touches get reduced possibly so will be interesting to see how they share the ball.

EP: There's no reason Olukemi can't lead this team. With J.P. on one side and Nash on the other, the Cowboys have a formidable G/F line up. I feel like Nash will help J.P.'s numbers, but will agree with Joe that he'll average 12-14 and probably close to 14.

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