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Cowboys Continue Climb In AP, Coaches Polls

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma State's early-season wins against Akron, Tennessee and then-No. 6 North Carolina State were impressive enough to vault the Cowboys into the top 25 for the first time in five years last Monday.

With only one game this past week – an 81-58 drubbing of Portland State – OSU still managed to climb in the polls on Monday, as several teams in front of the Pokes lost.

OSU jumped up to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and also moved up to No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

In the AP poll, the Cowboys jumped previous No. 9 North Carolina, No. 11 UCLA, No. 13 Missouri, No. 16 NC State and No. 19 Memphis, who all suffered losses this past week except for NC State.

For the second consecutive week the Cowboys will play just won game, but it will be a good résumé builder for the Pokes should they win. OSU travels on Saturday to face ACC foe Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Hokies are 5-0 and defeated the Cowboys twice last season.

The Cowboys are 6-0 for the first time since 2009 with a chance to start 7-0 for the first time since the 2006-07 team that started 11-0 and was ranked No. 9 in the country at one point.

OSU is currently led in scoring by sophomore Le'Bryan Nash, who is averaging 19.2 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. Junior Markel Brown is averaging 14.6 points and 5.2 boards.

Freshman sensation Marcus Smart, who is already gaining national freshman of the year momentum, is stuffing the stat sheet with 13.4 points, 7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.

The Pokes' strong start should be even more encouraging considering the wave of injuries that the team has endured. Forwards Brian Williams and Jean-Paul Olukemi are both out for the season while post players Marek Soucek and Michael Cobbins are both recovering from injuries and are scheduled to return to action in the coming weeks.

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