For Immediate Release | Date: Feb. 17, 2017 | Contact: Stephen Howard (Stephen.email@example.com)
Opponent: Oklahoma (9-16, 3-10 Big 12)
Date/Tipoff: Feb. 18, 2017 / 7 p.m. Central
Series: OU leads 95-136 • In Stillwater: OSU leads 61-45
Tickets: okstate.com/tickets or 877-ALL-4-OSU
TV: ESPNU (Rich Hollenberg & Miles Simon)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker & John Holcomb)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 145, XM 199
Internet Radio: http://okla.st/osutunein
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
►With its 71-68 victory at TCU on Wednesday, Oklahoma State (17-9, 6-7 Big 12) picked up its fourth consecutive road win in Big 12 play. The Cowboys have won seven of their last eight games overall and played their way back into the NCAA Tournament picture after an 0-6 start to league play. OSU now turns its attention to Oklahoma and the year's second installment of the Bedlam rivalry. Thanks to last month's dramatic 68-66 win in Norman, Oklahoma State has a chance to sweep the Sooners for the first time since 2004 and for just the fifth time in the last 50 years. OSU will also pay tribute to the memory and family of former Cowboy great Brooks Thompson, who passed away on June 9.
On the Air
►Oklahoma State and OU will face off on ESPNU with Rich Hollenberg and Miles Simon on the call. This is the 11th of 13 scheduled appearance on ESPNU for the Cowboys this season. OSU is 7-3 on ESPNU this season, and 36-31 all-time on the network, which hosted its inaugural broadcast at Gallagher-Iba Arena on March 5, 2005. As always, Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb will have the Cowboy Radio Network call from the historic white maple floor.
Oklahoma State Snapshot
► COWBOY QUICK HITTERS: According to KenPom, Oklahoma State has faced the nation's toughest strength of schedule, and OU ranks second in SOS ... The Cowboys have now won four straight Big 12 road games for the first time since the 2012-13 squad won five in a row ... In the Big 12, only Kansas (7) has more true road wins than the Cowboys (6) ... Joe Lunardi's latest Bracketology report has the Cowboys as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament ... The last team to make the NCAA Tournament field after falling in their first six conference games was the 1985-86 Maryland team led by Len Bias.
►Jeffrey Carroll is the nation's most improved power conference player, and in the conversation for the best wing player in the Big 12. The redshirt junior is only playing 3.4 more minutes per game this year, but boasts a scoring improvement of +9.3 points per game over his 2015-16 season. He is the only Big 12 player averaging at least 17 points (17.5, 3rd Big 12) and 6.6 rebounds (6.7, 9th Big 12), and he is the nation's only active power conference player averaging 17 points or more that can claim an improvement of +9.0 points from last season. Carroll joins Bryant "Big Country" Reeves as the only Oklahoma State players to ever make the same leap from one year to the next.
►Carroll entered the 2016-17 season with a career high scoring game of 18 points, but has tied or topped that mark 16 times this season, including in 10 of the last 13 games. He has 12 20-point scoring games this season, including seven in Big 12 play, and ranks second in scoring in league games at 18.5 per contest. Carroll is shooting an incredible 50.0 percent from 3-point in Big 12 play, which is second in the conference.
►The Cowboy offense is on record-setting pace. KenPom ranks the Oklahoma State offense No. 2 in efficiency behind only UCLA. At 85.8 points per game, OSU is on pace to set a new school record for scoring average (current record: 83.5 in 1988-89), and in fact, is on pace to be the second-highest scoring squad in Big 12 history behind only the 2001-02 Kansas team that averaged 90.9 per game. The Cowboys have scored 95 points or more eight times this season, including a school-record tying five 100-point performances.
►A minor shift in defensive philosophy has been at the heart of OSU's recent resurgence. After five straight losses in close games (one or two possession games in the final five minutes) the Cowboys tweaked their defense and the results are staggering. Since the change, OSU has won seven of their last eight games, including four straight road games. In 320 minutes of clock time in this eight-game resurgence, OSU has only trailed for just 92:35.
►Jawun Evans was named one of 30 players still in consideration for the Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's best player. The sophomore has won multiple Big 12 Player of the Week awards this season (Jan. 30 & Dec. 5), and ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring (17.9) and assists (5.7), and is fourth in steals (1.9). Evans has nine 20-point games and three 30-point games this season alone, and he also earned a spot on the Maui Invitational All-Tournament team. Evans owns two of the Big 12's top three scoring performances this season - 35 points against UConn, and 34 points against Campbell.
►Davon Dillard entered Big 12 play on Dec. 30 with a career total of 63 minutes played, but has burst onto the scene in the last month for OSU. The sophomore brings a dose of attitude and athleticism to the Cowboy lineup, which is evidenced by his three appearances on the SportsCenter Top 10 since Jan. 23, including an explosive dunk from outside the paint that helped cement the win at No. 7 West Virginia that earned his the No. 1 spot on the countdown. Over the last eight games Dillard is averaging 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 54.3 percent shooting, including a 55.6 percent clip from 3-point.
►Phil Forte III is the big man on campus lately. The redshirt senior became the program's all-time 3-point king in the win over Arkansas, and just two-days later hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to beat Oklahoma in Norman for the first time since 2004. Forte is now up to 312 career 3-pointers, which ranks sixth in Big 12 Conference history and is third among all active players nationwide. Forte has been on fire since Big 12 play began, and is averaging 2.8 3-pointers per game on 48.7 percent shooting from deep, which ranks third in the league.
►With the win at Texas Tech, Brad Underwood picked up his 100th career victory in his 122nd game, which tied him for the 10th fastest coach to reach the century mark in college basketball history. At 106-23, Underwood owns an 82.2 career win percentage, which is tops among all active coaches, and his 89 wins at Stephen F. Austin tied him with Brad Stevens of Butler for the most victories by any coach after three seasons. Underwood is also tied for the ninth-best win percentage by a fourth-year head coach.
►OSU fields one of the youngest and most inexperienced lineups in the country. Even with fifth-year senior Phil Forte and his 128 career games, OSU still ranks 279th nationally in experience according to KenPom. The Cowboys entered the 2016-17 with just 15 combined years of collegiate experience, and currently have just 283 collegiate starts on the roster. OSU's average age of 20.2 years is tied with Texas for the youngest in the Big 12.
►The Cowboys have cleaned up on the offensive glass this year. OSU is ninth nationally with 13.85 offensive boards per game and sixth in offensive rebound percentage at 38.5 percent. A true team effort, only one player on the team ranks inside the top 100 in the country in offensive boards - Mitchell Solomon (94th, 2.77). The Cowboys have pulled down 15-plus offensive boards in 12 games this year.
Oklahoma Connections & Snapshot
►Oklahoma State has the opportunity to sweep the home-and-home season series with Oklahoma for the first time since 2004, and for just the fifth time in the last 50 years. In the 109-year history of the rivalry, OSU has taken both meetings just 17 times. Only three OSU coaches have swept the regular season series with Oklahoma - Mr. Henry Iba (13 times), Eddie Sutton (3) and Paul Hansen (1).
►The Sooners lead the overall series, 136-96, although the Cowboys own a 61-45 edge in Stillwater. OU has won in their last three trips to Gallagher-Iba Arena, although last year's meeting came down to the wire thanks to Jawun Evans' 42 points. The No. 2 Sooners squeaked out a 74-72 win in GIA that day.
►Oklahoma State and Oklahoma compete yearly in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma Bedlam Series, an all-sports competition between the two schools, which are separated by only 80 miles along Interstate 35. The series champion is decided by wins and losses in head to head competition. In sports where there is no head to head matchup, the Big 12 Championship final standings are used. Oklahoma State has won the overall Bedlam series each of the last three years.
►A pair of Kansas State alums will square off as the head coaches of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Both OSU's Brad Underwood (1984-86) and OU's Lon Kruger (1971-74) played for the legendary Jack Hartman at K-State. Hartman, who played his college ball in Stillwater for Mr. Henry Iba, won 295 games and advanced to four Elite Eights and two Sweet 16s as the head coach at K-State.
►Jawun Evans scored 24 points against the Sooners in Norman last month, and it actually caused his Bedlam scoring average to fall to 33.0 points per game. In his first Bedlam appearance as a freshman, Evan rewrote the record books with a 42-point performance in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The 42-points are the most by any player - OU or OSU - in the Bedlam rivalry, and the second-most by any Big 12 freshman. He was 18-of-31 (.581) from the floor, which are the second most field goals in school history.
►Phil Forte etched his name into Bedlam lore with his game-winning 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining in the Jan. 30 meeting in Norman. The win was OSU's first in Norman since 2004, and their over the Sooners in the last seven tries.