College Basketball

Preview: Austin Peay vs. Oklahoma State

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are off to a great 5-1 start to a season where some people thought would be a long one with all the off court drama within the program

Other than one blowout loss to a really good 9th ranked Texas A&M team, first year head coach Mike Boynton has his team playing exceptionally well in the early stage of the season. With Big 12 play less than a month away, the Cowboys will need to continue working out all the kinks.

Their game tonight against the Governors of Austin Peay (3-3) should be another matchup that helps polish the teams issues before they go on a tough stretch leading up to what will be another grinded out year in the Big 12.

The Governors haven’t been all that impressive so far this season with only one win over a Division I opponent (Miami of Ohio). The Governors defense shouldn’t be a problem for the Cowboys. The Governors are letting up 69.5 points per game so far this season, while only being able to rebound the ball 36.7 times per game. The Cowboys definitely have the size advantage in this one, which should make a big day on the glass.

The Governors aren’t the best offensive team either. They shoot only 29% from beyond the arc and 59% at the charity stripe. The good thing for the Governors is that the Cowboys aren’t the greatest shooting team either. The Cowboys have been ugly shooting the ball from three so far this season (33%), and the defense hasn’t been all there statistically. The only thing going for the Cowboys defense so far is the schedule they’ve been playing. The Cowboys have played one great offensive team in Texas A&M and tonight won’t be any different.

Keys to Victory

Play Smart – The only reason the Cowboys should lose this game is them beating themselves. If they play smart basketball for 40 minutes and knock down their season average of 12 turnovers a game, the Cowboys should come out of this with an easy win.

Size Advantage – The Cowboys are the bigger team here on average and it’s not even close. The Governors have only two players taller than 6’8. The Cowboys will need to focus on boxing out and win the rebound game. Don’t be afraid to take the offense to the paint.

Efficient Shots – The Cowboys aren’t the most efficient team when it comes to shooting the basketball. They do have an impressive 80% rate from the free throw line as a team, but the field goal percentage (43%) and the three point percentage (33%) is not going to get you very far come Big 12 play. The Cowboys need to fix this problem before things get ugly during the tougher stretch of the nonconference schedule, and it all starts with Jeffery Carroll’s 21% shooting from three.

Prediction

Cowboys 97, Governors 61

When and Where

Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tip-off is 7 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Oklahoma.

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