The much anticipated start of the Le'Bryan Nash era at Oklahoma State begins this evening.
Nash, Rivals' sixth ranked player in the Class of 2011, is arguably the highest profiled recruit to play for the Cowboys. The 6'7 small forward from Dallas committed to the OK State after offers from most of the elite schools in the country including Big 12 foes Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Through two exhibition games, Nash has averaged 18 ppg and 7.5 rpg, highlighted by a 26 point, 11 rebound performance in his first game, in only 22 minutes of floor time.
Nash will be joined in the starting lineup by senior guard Keiton Page and junior forward J.P. Olukemi. Those three form the nucleus of the Cowboys' 2011-12 campaign and will need to take over offensively for departed Marshall Moses.
Page is the team's leading returning scorer, having put in 13.2 ppg, helped by an 89.4% free throw percentage. In his first season in the Big 12, Olukemi was third on the team in scoring with an average of 11.1 ppg.
Personally, I'm excited to see redshirt freshman Michael Cobbins, who was the 40th ranked player in the Class of 2010. Despite modest numbers in the two exhibition games, the 6'8 Amarillo, Texas native should account for some of the rebounding lost with the graduations of Matt Pilgrim and Moses and the legal battles of Darrell Williams.
Tonight's game against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders tips at 7:00 p.m. CT at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater. The game will also be the first in the Islanders' Big 12 tour, having Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and West Virginia on the schedule.