Facing Ole Miss - Here's The Scout
- Oklahoma State men’s basketball is set to return home Saturday evening as it plays host to Ole Miss in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Tip is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2 with Roy Philpott and Tim Welsh on the call while Cowboy fans can listen to Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb on the Cowboy Radio Network or Varsity App.
- Ole Miss comes into the contest with a 9-11 record, including a 1-7 mark in SEC play. The Rebels have dropped two-straight games and eight of their past nine.
- The Ole Miss defense currently averages 66.6 points allowed per game, only letting their opponents top 70 points four times this year. A major part of their defensive identity has been enforcing the paint, as the Rebels rank 28th in the country and fourth in the SEC in blocks per game (4.8). They are led down low by senior transfers Theo Akwuba (25 total blocks, 1.25 per game) and Jayveous McKinnis (24 total blocks, 1.26 per game). Senior transfer Myles Burns has made an immediate impact for the Rebels on both ends of the floor with a unique talent blend as a defensive force and a go-getter on the offensive glass. Burns ranks 22nd in the NCAA with 43 steals, while also ranking 10th in the conference at 2.2 offensive boards per game.
- Ole Miss has been quick to react on defensive rebounds and turnovers, outscoring their opponents on fast-break opportunities by 79 this season (217-138). The Rebels has recorded more fast-break points than the other team in 15 of their 20 games so far. Ole Miss has faced off with some of the best competition college basketball has to offer, as the Rebels current strength of schedule ranks seventh in the nation. With a combined opponent record of 247-140 (0.638), they have taken on 10 foes with a current NET ranking in the top-100, including seven in the top-50 and two in the top-10.
- The Rebels' depth has been on full display to begin the season, as the Ole Miss bench has accounted for over a third of the team's scoring through their first 20 games (36.3%, 490 of 1,350 points). The Rebels have topped their opponents in bench points in 13 of 20 contests and are outscoring their foes' benches by 133 on the year (490 to 359). Their 24.5 points per game off the bench rank 64th across college basketball and fifth in the SEC.
The New Sheriffs In Town
- John-Michael Wright, a High Point transfer, brings experience and poise to the Oklahoma State locker room. In the 2021-22 season, his junior year of eligibility, he played and started in all 32 games for High Point while averaging 34.9 minutes per contest. He shot .410 from the field and .363 from behind the arc as he averaged 18.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
- He finished the year with the eighth-best assist-turnover ratio in the Big South, the ninth-best field goal percentage, had the second-most free throw attempts (third-most made), led the conference in scoring average and had the eighth-most assists.
- Alongside Wright from the transfer ranks is Caleb Asberry from Texas State. He started all 29 games during the 2021-22 season, the only Bobcat to do that, as he led the team in scoring with a career-high 13.6 points and also paced the team in minutes played (847), steals (37), three-pointers made (63).
- Asberry was notably a two-time All-Sun Belt (2021: Third Team, 2022: First Team) selection.
- The lone freshman of the group, Quion Williams, joins the Cowboys from Jonesboro. During his high school career, Williams helped lead his team to two state championships and a 30-3 record.
Mid-Season Quick Hitters
- Kalib Boone, Tyreek Smith, Woody Newton and Bernard Kouma teamed up to help fill the Moussa Cisse gap, as he missed three games due to injury before returning last Wednesday night to face Oklahoma. During the stretch, Smith made three-straight starts while averaging 25.1 minutes with 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 2.0 points. Newton made the start on Wednesday night against OU.
- Boone amped up the scoring in those three games, as he averaged 15.7 points with 5.3 rebounds in 27.1 minutes of work. For Newton, he averaged 17.5 minutes with 4.7 points and 5.0 rebounds.
- After the Wichita State result, Oklahoma State has now held at least one opponent to less than 50 points in a game in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2016.
- There have been 17 seasons since the 2000-01 year that OSU had at least one game holding an opponent to less than 50 points while the program has done so in back-to-back seasons 13 times during the stretch.
- Just two teams, Baylor and Texas, have scored more than 69 points on the Cowboys in eight Big 12 games thus far while no Big 12 team has scored more than 60 in Stillwater.
- Only two teams (UT Arlington and Southern Illinois) have scored more than 60 points in GIA this season through the first nine home games of the season.
- A big part of those numbers? The Cowboys have held a 61-20 blocked shots advantage at home, with Cisse leading the way at 21. Boone has recorded 16, himself.
- For his efforts against Iowa State and Oklahoma last week, Oklahoma State’s Avery Anderson III was named the Big 12 Player of the Week. He averaged 16.0 points per game. The honor was the first of his career.
Big 12/SEC Challenge
- Oklahoma State boasts a 6-3 in the Big 12/SEC challenge, having participated in the event every season since it began in 2013.
- The Cowboys have yet to be defeated at home in the challenge, carrying a 4-0 record in games hosted in Gallagher-Iba Arena with two wins over South Carolina and two against Arkansas.
- Before falling to Florida in Gainesville last season, Oklahoma State had won three straight Big 12/SEC Challenge games, its longest win streak since the series began.
- When the Cowboys have won, they've won big. In their six wins in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the Cowboys average margin of victory is 14.2 points, boosted by a 27-point win over South Carolina in their inaugural game of the challenge in 2013 and a 28-point win against Arkansas in 2017.
- The Big 12 hasn't won the Big 12/SEC challenge since 2019, with the conferences tying in 2020 before the SEC claimed the title in each of the last two seasons.
- Avery Anderson III joined Oklahoma State’s 1,000-career point club last Wednesday night in Gallagher-Iba Arena. While teammates Caleb Asberry and John-Michael Wright won’t count toward the OSU records, as they transferred in at the start of the season, they are both part of the larger club that spans the nation.
- Around the league, Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas all have four on their current roster while Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have three. Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia and TCU have two.
- For Wright, he currently has the 89th-most career points in Division I basketball and is fifth among current Big 12 players.
- Wright is within striking distance of finishing with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds (27 away) and 300 assists (12 away).
Moussa Got Better Last Season - And Here's The Numbers To Show It
- Based on his first 15 games in Stillwater last season, in comparison to the final 15 of last year, the evidence shows Moussa Cisse got better as the year went along and was playing his best basketball at the end of the season.
- Through his first 15 contests as a Cowboys, Cisse was shooting 49.2 percent from the field while averaging 5.4 rebounds, 6.4 points and was playing 17.5 minutes per game.
- Flip it to the last 15 games, and Cisse shot 61.5 percent from the field while averaging 7.5 rebounds with 8.1 points and was playing 22.4 minutes per game.
- Just looking at the last 10 games of the season, he recorded a double-double in three contests (West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma) and had multi-digit rebounds in six of them, including all of the final four.
- In that stretch of games down the stretch, the numbers immediately jump out from the West Virginia win on Feb. 12. Cisse posted 18 points with 10 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive side of the ball.
The 100 Games Played Club Gained Two More
- Oklahoma State’s Avery Anderson III and Kalib Boone both played in their 100th game in a Cowboy uniform against Kansas in the Big 12 opener for the Cowboys. In doing so, they became the first two players on the current roster to play 100 college basketball games. John-Michael Wright, who transferred in, played his 100th basketball game against West Virginia.
- Other notable members of the club include Darwyn Alexander, Joe Adkins, James Anderson, Markel Brown, Terry Collins, JamesOn Curry, Byron Eaton, Marcus Dove, Phil Forte, Isaac Likekele, Desmond Mason, Ivan McFarlin, Marshall Moses, Keiton Page and more.
- Anderson III’s first game came on Nov. 6, 2019, in an 80-75 win against Oral Roberts in Gallagher-Iba Arena. He played 13 minutes with five points, two steals and an assist.
- Kalib Boone’s first game was the same night. He played 10 minutes, bringing in four rebounds and recorded two blocks.
The Winning Formula This Year
- In its 11 wins this season, Oklahoma State has four players (Avery Anderson III, Bryce Thompson, Kalib Boone and John-Michael Wright) averaging at least 10 points per game.
- The Cowboys have shot 36.6 percent from behind the arc in their victories while allowing their opponents an average of just 58.9 points per game.
- For comparison, in the nine losses just one player, Kalib Boone, has averaged at least 10 points or more while OSU has shot 27.7 percent from three. Opponents have still averaged just 68.7 points per game in the Cowboy losses.
- Sharing the ball, alongside sharing the scoring, has been key as well. OSU has averaged 14.6 assists per game in wins while averaging 11.6 in losses.
- Turnovers have been another winning indicator as the Cowboys have averaged 13.8 in wins while forcing an average of 14.0 in contrast to an average of 15.4 in losses while opponents are averaging 13.2.
The Upcoming Schedule
- Oklahoma State is at the start a key portion of its schedule that features six of its nine games at home. The stretch started last Wednesday when it defeated in-state rival Oklahoma before it defeated Iowa State on Saturday afternoon.
- The Cowboys hit the road for one game on Tuesday at Texas in a loss before they return home to face Ole Miss on Jan. 28. Twenty-two years after the tragic 2001 plane crash, the Oklahoma State family will honor and continue its promise to Remember The 10 when the Cowboys face Ole Miss.
- Ten members of the OSU basketball program were lost when its plane crashed following a road game at Colorado on Jan. 27, 2001. From that moment, the University vowed to always Remember The Ten. The men who perished in the crash were: Kendall Durfey, Bjorn Fahlstrom, Nate Fleming, Will Hancock, Daniel Lawson, Brian Luinstra, Denver Mills, Pat Noyes, Bill Teegins, Jared Weiberg. At 6:37 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, the OSU Library Carillon will once again toll 10 times in honor of each of those that have been lost.
- Following its emotional game against Ole Miss, OSU will hit the road next week to face Oklahoma on Feb. 1 before returning home to face TCU and Texas Tech. The Cowboys will look for the season sweep over the Sooners for the second time in the past three years and the third time since 2017.
- A quick trip to Ames on Feb. 11 to face Iowa State will be followed with playing host to Kansas on Feb. 14 to round out the six home games in the upcoming nine contests.
An Oklahoma State Win Would...
- Improve the Cowboys to 2-0 all-time in the Ole Miss series.
- Improve the Cowboys to 7-3 all-time in the Big 12/SEC challenge.
- Improve the Cowboys to 9-2 at home this season.
- Improve the Cowboys to 5-0 at home in the Big 12/SEC challenge.
- Extend its home win streak to three.
- Be head coach Mike Boynton's 99th win, putting him one shy of becoming the fifth coach in program history to win 100 games.
Streaks and Trends
- OSU has made at least one three-pointer in 747 consecutive games dating back to Jan. 13, 2001.
- The Cowboys have posted 10 or more assists in 27 of their past 32 games dating back to last season.
- Dating back to last season, OSU has held 22 of its past 24 opponents under their season scoring average.
- Oklahoma State has reached double-digit second chance points in six of eight conference games this season, with a high of 16 against Kansas State and Baylor.
- As a team, the Cowboys have reached at least three blocks in all 20 games this season. OSU leads the Big 12 with 5.6 blocked shots per game, which ranks 12th in the country.
- The Cowboys have made 10 or more free throws in 14 of the first 20 games this season after doing so in 18 of their 30 games last season.
- OSU has forced 10 or more turnovers in 12-straight Big 12 games.
- Oklahoma State has recorded at least five steals in 18 of its 20 games this season.
- Caleb Asberry has shown a strong ability to rebound as of late as he's brought in five or more rebounds in five of his last six games.
- Woody Newton has played the best basketball of his career since being inserted into the starting lineup, making at least one three-pointer in four-straight games and has recorded two or more rebounds in 11 consecutive contests.
- Kalib Boone has scored 10 or more points in six of his past seven games and has scored 13 or more in five of his past seven.
- Tyreek Smith has recorded at least one block in eight-straight games and collected at least two in four of those eight.
- Boone has posted 49 points and ten rebounds in his past three road games.
- OSU has recorded five or more blocks in five of its six road games this season.
- John-Michael Wright has made a three-pointer in each of the Cowboys’ past three games, and is shooting 34 percent from beyond the arc on the season.
- Bryce Thompson continues to shoot the three at a high clip in conference play, making 45.7 percent of his attempts while averaging two makes per game.
- The Cowboys have shot over 40 percent from the field in three straight games for the first time since Nov. 20-27.
- Oklahoma State is averaging 42.3 points per game in the second half in its last three contests.