Originally Published: Jan 4, 2011 10:11 PM CDT
The Cowboys have finished non-conference play at 12-2. I think Travis Ford wouldve taken that before the season started. They lost to Virginia Tech out in Anaheim in a game that the Cowboys led by 7 points with 6 minutes to play. The loss to Gonzaga was the Pokes only game on an opponents home floor.
The one thing OSUs two losses had in common was that Keiton Page scored only two points in each game. Now, you cant put that all on Keiton. His teammates have to help him get good shots, but clearly the Cowboys cannot win consistently without their sharpshooters help.
Page also scored only two points Monday night, but the Cowboys beat former OSU star Brooks Thompson and his UTSA Roadrunners by 16 points. And the reasons they won offer encouragement for the future.
Sophomore junior college transfer Jean Paul Olukemi hit 7 of his 10 shots and scored 16 points for the Pokes. In his last 5 games, Olukemi has hit 22 of his 30 shots and is averaging 14 points per game. Hes athletic and can rebound as well.
Freshman guard Markel Brown is beginning to figure some things out. He scored 11 points against UTSA. In his last 6 games, Browns minutes are up from 8 per game to 18 per game and his scoring is up from 3 points per game to 8 points per game. Brown has become more aggressive and is the Cowboys most athletic player.
The emergence of these two guys is important as conference play starts against Kansas State Saturday. Offense has been hard to come by and Olukemi and Brown can get their own shots and create points quickly by getting out in transition.
If Olukemi can play the 4 spot, as Obi Muonelo did the last 2 years, it will allow the Cowboys to, on occasion, play a more athletic lineup than their opponent. There arent many power forwards who can matchup with Olukemi defensively just as they couldnt with Muonelo.
Just something for future OSU opponents to think about.