Game Notes: OSU vs. Baylor

Friday, January 6th 2017, 7:14 pm
By: News On 6

Game Center

Opponent: 2/3 Baylor (14-0, 2-0 Big 12)
Date/Tipoff: Jan. 7, 2017 / 6 p.m. Central
Series: OSU leads 54-24 (Tied 17-17 in Waco)
TV: ESPNews (Mark Neely & Mark Plansky)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker & John Holcomb)
Satellite Radio: XM 84, Sirius 84 (Baylor call)
Internet Radio:
Live Stats:
Oklahoma State Game Notes

The Basics

• A second half run by Texas was too much for Oklahoma State to overcome on Wednesday night, and the Cowboys fell to 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play for the first time since 1996-97 - the first year of the league. Now the Cowboys will make the short trip up I-35 to Waco, Texas to take on No. 2/3 Baylor. The Bears took both meetings against the Cowboys last season and have won nine of the last 10 meetings at the Farrell Center. In its history, OSU has nine wins over teams ranked inside the top two of the Associated Press poll. 

On the Air

• Oklahoma State and Baylor will face off on ESPNews, with Mark Neely and Mark Plansky on the call. This is OSU's first appearance on ESPNews this season, although the Cowboys have a 4-3 record on the network all-time. Last season, OSU was 2-0 on ESPNews. As always, Dave Hunziker and John Holcomb will have the Cowboy Radio Network call from the Ferrell Center.

Baylor Connections & Snapshot

• Baylor jumped to No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll, which is the highest ranking in the program's history. Baylor's previous high ranking was No. 3 on Jan. 16, 2012. OSU is a combined 9-14 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the AP poll.

• At 14-0, the Bears are one of just two unbeaten teams remaining nationwide, joining Gonzaga. The program's best start of 17-0 came in the 2011-12 season.

• Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. is one of the nation's top shot blockers. The 7-footer from Melbourne, Australia is averaging 3.57 blocks per game, which leads the Big 12 and ranks third nationally.

• Baylor head coach Scott Drew is well on his way to a sixth consecutive 20-win season with the Bears. Drew and the Bears have taken down 16 ranked opponents over the last three seasons, including a perfect 4-0 mark this year. Since his arrival in Waco, OSU is 15-12 against Drew, although Baylor took both meetings last season.

• Manu Lecomte was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after racking up 14 points and a game-high four assists and no turnovers in Baylor's 27-point win over Oklahoma in Norman last Friday.

• Oklahoma State leads the all-time series against Baylor, 54-24, including a 17-17 split in Waco. However, the Bears have taken nine of the last 10 games played in the Ferrell Center. OSU's lone win in Waco in that span was on Feb. 9, 2015 when a 22-point outing from Le'Bryan Nash led the No. 21 Cowboys to a 74-65 win.

• Saturday's game will be a near-homecoming for several OSU players that call the DFW Metroplex home. Seven OSU players went to high school within a two hour drive of Baylor's campus is Waco; Brandon Averette (Richardson), Jawun Evans (Dallas), Tavarius Shine (Irving), Cameron McGriff (Grand Prairie), Phil Forte (Flower Mound), Leyton Hammonds (North Richland Hills) and Jeffrey Carroll (Rowlett).

• In two games against the Bears last season Jawun Evans racked up 19 total assists (9.5 apg), which are the most for Evans against any opponent. The Big 12 Freshman of the Year tallied eight points and nine assists against the Bears in Waco, and had nine points and a then-career-high 10 assists in the return trip to Stillwater.

Oklahoma State Snapshot

• At 99-18, Brad Underwood is on the verge of becoming one of the fastest coaches to reach 100 wins in the history of college basketball. With 89 wins in his time at Stephen F. Austin, Underwood tied Brad Stevens of Butler for the most victories by any coach after three seasons. Currently, Underwood's .846 career win percentage ranks behind only Buck Freeman (.914, St. Johns, '28-31) and Adolph Rupp (.882, Kentucky, '31-34) for the best win percentage ever by a fourth-year coach.

• OSU leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth in the country in scoring at 91.0 points per game, but their high-pressure defense is the main reason why. The Cowboys rank eighth in the country with 9.9 steals per game and fourth in turnovers forced at 19.4. According to KenPom, OSU is holding opponents to an average possession of just 15.0 seconds - the shortest in the country - and they rank fourth in turnover percentage with a mark of 24.6.

• One of the nation's elite point guards, Jawun Evans is taking the nation by storm this season. The sophomore leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.7 points per game and is third in steals at 2.2 per game. KenPom currently rates him as the No. 10 offensive threat in the nation. The Naismith Trophy and Cousy Award watch list member has six 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 also ranks among the league's top 10 in assists (4th, 5.1 apg) and free throw percentage (4th, 78.2%), and he owns two of the Big 12's top three scoring performances this season - 35 points against UConn, and 34 points against Campbell.

• Phil Forte's free throw streak came to an end in the loss to Texas, but he is on the verge of a couple of OSU milestones. The senior ranks second nationally with a clip of 95.9 percent (47-of-49) from the line, and before his miss on Wednesday night he had made 25 straight dating back to OSU's Maui Invite opener on Nov. 21. With 1,491 career points, Forte can become just the 14th player in program history to reach the 1,500 point plateau. He also has 277 career 3-pointers, which is just 22 shy of the Cowboy record.

• Oklahoma State pushes the tempo on offense. OSU is sixth nationally with 77.8 possessions per game, and they rank 19th in KenPom's offensive efficiency rating. In fact, the Cowboys average 8.5 more shots per game than their opponents. OSU also knows how to get to the free throw line, where they rank sixth nationally in free throws made (22.0). The Cowboys have made 51 more free throws than the next closest Big 12 team, West Virginia.

• At an average of 38.3 points per game, the Cowboy bench ranks fifth nationally in scoring. OSU's bench averages 42.4 percent of its minutes, which ranks 12th nationally. The Cowboy bench has been responsible for 36-plus points in nine games this season, including three games with 58-plus points.

• Underwood has called OSU's freshmen "fearless" and no player exemplifies that attitude like Thomas Dziagwa. A coach's son, Dziagwa ranks second in the Big 12 with a mark of 48.8 percent from 3-point, including a 14-of-28 (50.0 percent) mark from deep over the last six games. At Tulsa, Dziagwa hit a trio of 3-pointers over the final 10 minutes and the game-clinching free throws, and he hit 3-of-4 from downtown at Wichita State.

• Jeffrey Carroll has been a scoring and rebounding machine this season. The redshirt-junior remains the Big 12's only player ranked inside the league's top seven in scoring (4th, 16.2 ppg), rebounding (7th, 7.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (5th, .566). Carroll has five 20-point games this year, and is coming off a career-high 24 points at Texas.

• The Cowboys have cleaned up on the offensive glass this year. OSU is seventh nationally with 15.43 offensive boards per game and seventh in offensive rebound percentage at 40.0 percent. A true team effort, not one player on the team ranks inside the top 100 in the country in offensive boards. The Cowboys have pulled down 15-plus offensive boards in nine games this year, including six of the last eight outings. Mitchell Solomon posted nine offensive boards against TAMU-CC, which is only one off the school record.