- 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 Cleveland State - Here's The Scout
- Oklahoma State is set to finish its three-game home stand when it plays host to Cleveland State Monday night. Tip is set for 7 PM on ESPN+ with Bryndon Manzer, Mike Wolfe and Jessica Morrey on the call.
- The two foes last met in 1981 - marking 40 years between games in the series. This will be the 22nd time in program history OSU has gone 40 or more years between games in a series.
- After dropping its first two games to open the season at BYU and at home against Ohio, the Vikings have won six-straight games (and have posted a 2-0 record in conference play along the way).
- CSU is under the direction of Dennis Gates, the 16th coach in program history. Gates enters his third season at the helm of the Cleveland State Vikings, fresh off of a 2021 NCAA Tournament appearance and his second-straight Horizon League Coach of the Year recognition.
Through Nine - Where We're At And Where We're Going
- Oklahoma State moved to 6-3 after its loss to Xavier. The Cowboys allowed 70 or more points in a game for just the second time this season during the result.
- In those six wins, OSU has dominated on the defensive side. It has held its foes to 35.6 percent from the field while forcing 21 turnovers per game. Along with the turnovers, it has recorded 8.2 blocks per game in the victories, as well as 12.3 steals.
- For comparison, in the three losses teams are shooting 41 percent and turning the ball over 16.7 times per game while OSU has recorded 3.7 blocks per contest.
- It's been Bryce Williams and Kalib Boone leading the charge in the six wins as the pair has averaged 10.2 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. On the boards it has been Moussa Cisse, as he's averaged 6.7 rebounds in those contests.
Tough Stretch - But We Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way
- According to Kenpom's rankings, OSU has faced the No. 55 (Wichita State) and No. 30 (Xavier) teams in the country in its past two games, with No. 157 (Cleveland State), No. 5 (Houston) and No. 13 (Southern Cal.) upcoming. When you stretch it out to the next six games, that adds No. 16 Texas Tech, No. 4 Kansas and No. 15 Texas.
Defense First - Because It Wins Games
- Oklahoma State has allowed just two of its nine foes to score more than 70 points in a game and has delivered the 12th-best adjusted defensive efficiency, according to Kenpom.
- A big point of that has been turnovers. OSU has forced a turnover on 26.5 percent of defensive possessions, which comes in at ninth-best in the country. If teams haven't turned the ball over first, they're also getting blocked on 18.8 percent of their possessions, the fifth-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 41.1 percent from inside the arc, the 11th-lowest percentage in the country according to Kenpom.
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 and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Single Game Records Taken Down 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 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 6 and Kalib Boone recorded 5 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 led the way off the bench at ORU on 11/26, setting a new career-high in scoring with 21. He also had important buckets in overtime, hitting the game-winner to push Oklahoma State past Oral Roberts on the road.
Streaks and Trends
- OSU has forced at least 10 turnovers 139 times under Mike Boynton.
- OSU has made at least one three-pointer in 706 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 13, 2001, which is the 24th longest current streak in college basketball.
- Although it missed the mark is back-to-back games prior to the Xavier game, OSU tallied 13 assists - marking the seventh time the team has reached double-digit assists.