College Basketball

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back.

There’s a welcome home party tonight, and it’s taking place in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-0) are hosting the Charlotte 49ers (1-0) tonight, and a familiar face is coming with them.

49ers head coach Mark Price is making his return home for a Monday night showdown against the Cowboys. Before Price got the job as a head coach, he was once a high school basketball star at Enid and has his number 25 retired for Georgia Tech and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cowboys will have a lot on their plate tonight as they welcome a team who scored 116 points in their first game.

Head coach Mike Boynton and the Cowboys are leaving fans wondering what the identity of this team is without their star guard Jeffry Carroll (17 points per game in 16-17) not playing due to the ongoing NCAA investigation within the program. They showed a lot of strengths and weaknesses in their 78-47 victory over Pepperdine. Their strength seems to be more on the defensive side of the ball, but the offense could use a little work with Carroll out. The Cowboys managed to shoot just 47 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three against Pepperdine.

With the Cowboys being a 14 point favorite, this game has “upset alert” written all over it. Price had his team firing on all cylinders in their first game of the year against Methodist. The 49ers scored 116 points while shooting 62.7 percent from the field and over 40 percent from behind the arc. You can’t ever grasp how good a team really is after the first game of the season, but 116 points in a college basketball game is kind of a big deal.

Boynton is going to need to get his big men fired up for this one. The 49ers on average are the bigger team, but the Cowboys have the two biggest guys in Lucas N’Guessan and Mitchell Solomon. They’re going to need to put in some extra time on the boards, because the way the 49ers looked in their first game, the Cowboys are going to need to prevent the opponent from getting offensive rebounds. Therefore, this game is going to come down to who owns the paint, and whether or not the Cowboys pressure the 49ers offense and not let off.

Price is more than ready for this trip to Stillwater and told John Helsey of NewsOK, that he’s excited to come home and show his players where he got his start and is excited to coach in front of family and friends. Price definitely has a great opportunity to leave his home state with a W tonight.

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