- The 2021-22 Cowboys will attack the season with a 17-man roster, including five newcomers and four returning starters from last year's squad.
- Speaking of new - Oklahoma State welcomes three new assistant coaches (Terrence Rencher, Larry Blunt and David Cason) and a new strength coach (Mark Mitchell).
- The Cowboys return four starters from last season’s squad that returned OSU to the postseason and have added four key transfers with ambitions of pushing past the NCAA Round of 32. Setting its sights on a deep run in March, Oklahoma State returns 73 percent of its points from a year ago, 94 percent of its offensive rebounds and 74 percent of its assists.
- Oklahoma State is set to compete in 17 games against 2021 NCAA Tournament foes.
Facing WVU - Here's The Scout
- Oklahoma State returns home for one game when it plays host to West Virginia on Saturday. Tip is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN2 with Dave Neal and Jon Sundvold on the call.
- The Cowboys dropped the first meeting on Jan. 11 in Morgantown as Jalen Bridges tied a career-high 22 points after making all 10 of his foul shots while Gabe Osabuohien had a season-high 12 points to help West Virginia pull away from Oklahoma State for a 70-60 win.
- Kedrian Johnson made two foul shots to give the Mountaineers a 53-37 lead with 11:32 left before Oklahoma State scored nine straight to get within seven points as Isaac Likekele scored six during the run.
- West Virginia responded with a 15-4 run to seal it. Taz Sherman scored 13 and Sean McNeil 12 for the Mountaineers.
- Buoyed by Osabuohien's nine points off the bench in the first half, the Mountaineers went on a 13-2 run and led 24-13 with 7:40 before halftime.
- In 125-career games it was only the sixth time Osabuohien reached double figures scoring.
- West Virginia went to intermission up 34-23.
The Conference Wins - Trends And Points
- Oklahoma State earned its first ranked win, and conference victory, with a 64-51 win over No. 14 Texas inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Pokes led from start to finish as they held Texas to its lowest scoring outing of the season at the time.
- OSU earned its second ranked win, and Big 12 victory, with a 61-54 win over No. 1 Baylor in Waco. Bryce Thompson recorded a, at the time, career-best 19 points to help lead the Cowboys to their first road win over the No. 1 team in the country in program history.
- The Cowboys earned Big 12 win No. 3 over TCU, 57-56, as Oklahoma State forced TCU into 22 turnovers, the most turnovers for a Cowboy opponent in a Big 12 game this season.
- Win No. 4 came thanks to a 64-55 win over Oklahoma. The Pokes had 41 points from Oklahoma natives in the in-state victory as they held OU to its lowest scoring outing in the series since 2004 when OSU won 65-52 in Norman to sweep the season series that year for the first time since the 1998 squad.
- In those four wins, OSU has outscored its foes by 20 in the second half and held them to just a 35.6 shooting percentage from the field.
- The defense has caused all sorts of issues, forcing 8.5 steals per win with 6.0 blocks.
- A common theme? None of the four Big 12 foes OSU has taken down have scored 60 points. Three have scored 55 or less.
- Individually it's been Bryce Thompson taking on the scoring effort as he's averaged 10.8 points.
- Isaac Likekele has done a little bit of everything. He's only averaged 4.0 points per game in those wins, but he's also stuffed the stat sheet with 5.0 rebounds per win (team's best) with 3.8 assists.
The Last 5
- Avery Anderson III and Bryce Thompson have led the scoring effort over the past five games as Anderson has posted 14.6 points per game while Thompson has averaged 11.2.
- On the boards it has been Isaac Likekele leading the charge with 5.8 per game.
- Anderson and Likekele have been a problem on the defensive side of the ball for opposing teams as they've both recorded eight steals during the five games.
- During the stretch in which OSU has posted a 1-4 record, starts haven't been the issue. OSU has outscored its five foes 173-172 in the first half (+1). That's in contrast to the second half, where opposing teams have outscored the Cowboys 182-174 (+8) during the final 20 minutes of action.
- Watch out for Kalib Boone. He posted one of his better outings of the year on Saturday with 12 points five rebounds in 16 minutes of action in the win over Oklahoma.
Through 23 - Coming Down The Home Stretch
- Oklahoma State moved to 11-12 on Tuesday night with a loss to TCU in Fort Worth to close out the season series at 1-1.
- OSU now finds itself in the middle of its final eight games, a stretch in which it has famously shined under head coach Mike Boynton. The Cowboys finished last season 6-2 in the final eight games with wins over ranked teams such as Texas Tech, Oklahoma (in Norman and Stillwater) and West Virginia (on the road).
- The same stretch in 2020? OSU went 6-2 with notable wins over Texas Tech, OU and Texas.
Defense First - Because It Wins Games
- Oklahoma State has allowed just 10 of its 23 foes to score more than 70 points in a game and has delivered the 19th-best adjusted defensive efficiency, according to Kenpom.
- A big point of that has been turnovers. OSU has forced a turnover on 24.1 percent of defensive possessions, which comes in at 12th-best in the country. If teams haven't turned the ball over first, they're also getting blocked on 15.2 percent of their possessions, the 13th-most in the country.
- But don't expect things to get any easier without a turnover or blocked shot. OSU hasn't given up many easy looks inside the three-point line, leading to teams shooting 45.0 percent from inside the arc, the 19th-lowest percentage in the country according to Kenpom.
Tough Stretch - But We Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
- According to Kenpom's rankings, OSU faced the No. 55 (Wichita State), No. 30 (Xavier), No. 157 (Cleveland State), No. 5 (Houston), No. 4 (Kansas), No. 14 (Texas), No. 41 (West Virginia), No. 18 (Texas Tech), No. 2 (Baylor), No. 61 (TCU), No. 15 (Texas), No. 32 (Iowa State) and No. 47 (Oklahoma) teams in the country during one singular stretch this year.
- OSU is set to finish the year against eight teams inside the top-60, according to KenPom.
- Four weeks ago, Oklahoma State traveled 3,269 miles between Monday and Saturday night following the trip home from Waco. The Cowboys left Monday afternoon for Morgantown and did not return to campus until Saturday night around 9 p.m.
Single Game Records Taken Down And Top Performances So Far
- The Cowboys 43-point victory on opening night against UT-Arlington was the largest since the 51-point victory vs. Southeastern Louisiana on 12/29/19.
- The Cowboys were able to finish the first half with a 43-14 lead in that game. The 29-point lead matches the 12th largest halftime lead in school history and the largest since 2016.
- Oklahoma State logged 11 steals in the first half against Prairie View A&M on 11/14, which tied for the third most in a half in school history and was the most since 11/23/16 vs. Georgetown.
- Oklahoma State had six total players score in the double-digits against Charleston on 11/22, which marked the first time this season and the first time since Iowa State in January of 2020.
- The Cowboy centers made their impact known in that game on the defensive end as Moussa Cisse recorded a career high in blocks with six and Kalib Boone recorded five of his own. The team as whole totaled 16 blocks, which is the most in all of college basketball this year and tied the school record set in 1989 vs. Oklahoma.
- Bryce Williams recorded a career-high in points with his 29 and a career high in three-pointers made with five in the win over Cleveland State on 12/13. Avery Anderson III also posted 29. This marked the first time OSU had two 20-point scorers since Anderson and Cade Cunningham did it against Baylor in the Big 12 tournament last season on March 12, 2021.
- Keylan Boone posted a career best in three-point baskets made and points scored in a game in the 64-51 victory over No. 14 Texas on Jan. 8, 2022.
- Bryce Thompson recorded a, at the time, career-best 19 points in the win over No. 1 Baylor on 1/15 in Waco. The win was OSU's first over the No. 1 team in the country on the road in program history. The Cowboys were 0-4 on the road against the top-ranked team prior to that win.
- OSU recorded eight blocks as a team against TCU on 1/19 and later against OU on 2/5 - the most for the Cowboys in a Big 12 game this season.
The New Sheriffs In Town
- 2021 American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and former five-star big man Moussa Cisse certainly stands out in this year’s group of newcomers. Listed at 7-0 and a springy 225 pounds, Cisse started every game for Memphis as a freshman in 2020-21 and helped lead the Tigers to the NIT Title.
- Joining Cisse is 2020 McDonald’s All-American and former Kansas standout Bryce Thompson. A unanimous five-star talent, he finished his time at Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington High School as the nation’s No. 19 recruit according to Rivals. He comes to Stillwater as the seventh-highest rated Cowboy signee in the recruiting rankings era (since 2003).
- Former Texas Tech Red Raider and four-star recruit Tyreek Smith will be complementing the duo. The 2021 Academic All-Big 12 Conference selection was the 2018 TAAPS 5A Player of the Year for Trinity Christian High School in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, where he averaged 17.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a senior.
- Rounding out the highly-anticipated class is Woody Newton. A former Rivals four-star recruit out of District Heights, Maryland, Newton is coming off a freshman campaign at Syracuse in which he posted a 46.4 shooting percentage, 38.9 percent clip from 3-point and averages of 3.5 points.
- Oklahoma State was a perfect 4-0 in overtime games last year, started 2-1 this year after the loss to Iowa State on Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena and has won nine of its last 11 OT games dating back to 2016.
- Last year's mark tied for the most overtime games in a season in program history, and the perfect 4-0 record in extra sessions equaled the marks set by the 2006-07, 1982-83 and 1964-65 squads.
- Mike Boynton and the Cowboys are 8-2 in OT games during his career.
ICE X 4 = 1K
- With seven games left in his fourth year as a Cowboy, senior Isaac Likekele is just 19 points away from reaching 1,000 career points.
- In doing so, he would become just the 44th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark and the first to do so since Lindy Waters III and Cameron McGriff in 2020.
- Likekele needs to average 2.7 points over the next seven games to reach the mark.
- Some of the notable 1,000-point scorers in program history include Byron Houston (leading scorer in OSU history with 2,379 career points), Bryant "Big Country" Reeves, Desmond Mason, Bob Kurland, Phil Forte, Randy Rutherford, Ivan McFarlin, Keiton Page, Byron Eaton, John Lucas and current Boston Celtic Marcus Smart.