The Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-1) had an up and down experience at the 2017 Progressive Legends Classic over the past two days. It started on Monday with a blowout loss (72-55) to the Aggies of Texas A&M. The Cowboys were no match against Robert Williams and the Aggies impenetrable defense.
Williams, who was returning from a 2 game suspension made his presence felt on both sides of the ball. He’d finish the night with 11 points and 11 rebounds, but he was even more impressive leading the Aggies defense. He grabbed three steals and 2 blocks. Williams was the 16-17 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Cowboys all-around effort was pretty pathetic to say the least. The offense was stagnant the entire game. The Cowboys would finish the night with an embarrassing 29.9 percent from the field and an even more embarrassing 12.5 percent from beyond the arc. Would it be wrong to mention the Cowboys inability to hit free throws?
Cowboys guard Brandon Averette would be the only one to score double digit points with 10. If there’s one thing we found out during this game, the Aggies are for real. They’d go on to win the Legends Classic after a 98-87 win against Penn State.
On Tuesday, the Cowboys would make up for their embarrassing loss against the Aggies with a 73-67 consolation win over the University of Pittsburgh. Senior guard Jeffery Carroll went missing in his return from a 3 game suspension against A&M, but his presence was felt against the Panthers. Carroll would lead the team with 29 points off the bench.
Cowboys head coach Mike Boynton was very satisfied with Carroll’s play, but he knows in order for the Cowboys to be successful this season they’ll have to get quality play from everyone.
Boynton told reporters after the game that Carroll coming off the bench adds an element that most teams don’t usually prepare for. Carroll averaged over 17 points a game last season, so scoring is not a problem for the guard.
It’s not the impressive win the Cowboys are looking for in the early season. The Panthers are only 1-4 and have lost two straight games. The Cowboys ability to rebound the ball is what led to this victory. They out rebounded the Panthers 44-28.
The Cowboys shooting woes continue. Once again the Cowboys couldn’t shoot over 40 percent from the field. They’d finish with a measly 37.9 percent shooting effort, but unlike Monday, the Cowboys would be effective from the charity stripe making 84 percent of their shots.
The Cowboys are off to an impressive 4-1 record after all the early adversity, but Boynton and his team have a long way to go if they want to compete against the better teams remaining on the non conference schedule and even conference play. It’s hard to tell where this team is and the true potential it has for the season. There are also a lot of positives that can be taken from this trip.
Looking Ahead: The Cowboys have a nice four day break during the holiday. They’ll be back on the court this Sunday to take on Houston Baptist in Stillwater. The next test will be Saturday, December 9th, when Wichita State (4-0) comes to town.