Thunder Stories

Orange Bowl Basketball Classic Preview: OSU vs. FSU

After a week off the hardwood, the Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2) are looking to get back on the winning side of things against No.19 Florida State (9-0) at the 24th annual MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic in Sunrise, Fla.

The last time the Cowboys were on a court, they suffered a 78-66 loss at the hands of No.6 ranked Wichita State. Today’s game against the Seminoles will be just as difficult for the Cowboys to win. The Seminoles are just one of the six unbeaten teams remaining in college basketball. Much like the Cowboys, the Seminoles haven’t had the toughest schedule to begin the season. The only difference for the Seminoles is an 83-66 victory over No.5 Florida.

Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton is a familiar face for the Cowboys. Before the legendary era of Eddie Sutton began in Stillwater, Hamilton was the guy. Hamilton spent four years as head coach of the Cowboys from 1987-1991. Stillwater is where Hamilton’s head coaching career began, and he is very thankful for his time there.

“We gained a lot of experience. I thought that we made progress in the program. It was a very important and meaningful part of my life and my coaching career, and I’m very appreciative to have had that opportunity,” Hamilton told ESPN. “But it will be a business trip for me. I won’t be reminiscing about the good old days, and I’m sure they won’t either.”

It hasn’t been the best week for head coach Mike Boynton and the Cowboys. They’ve been dealing with off court issues since before the season even began. Now the Cowboys are dealing with even more issues. Junior guard Davon Dillard and freshman guard Zack Dawson were dismissed from the team Wednesday, for failure to meet unspecified standards set by the program. If you thought the Cowboys were a hurting with depth, it won’t get any easier after this.

The Cowboys are going to need to lean on their talented backcourt in this one. The Cowboys are weak in the post, and the Seminoles will surely attack this weakness. The Seminoles have a very talented backcourt led by junior guard Terrance Mann (15.6ppg). The Seminoles are one of the better scoring teams in the nation averaging 87 points per game. Boynton is going to need the very best from his guards if he plans on winning the game or even keeping it close.

Keys to Victory

Flawless in the Post: The Cowboys are noticeably weak in the post. The Seminoles are one of the best offensive rebounding teams ranked 18th in the nation with 12 offensive rebounds a game. The Cowboys will need to do everything they can to play big in the post and keep the Seminoles from eating up the rebounds and second chance points.

Cowboy Up: The Cowboys are one of the better teams in the nation defensively. Boynton will be needing a perfect game from his defense. Cowboys are ranked 29th in opponent points per game. However, the Seminoles rely a lot on their points in the paint and midrange game. The Seminoles are the 8th ranked team when it comes to 2 point scoring. Unfortunately, the Cowboys are one of the worst teams in the nation when defending a 2 point shot, ranking 87th in the category. It’ll need to be a psychical one for the Cowboys if they plan on leaving Florida with a W.


Cowboys 73, Seminoles 81

When and Where?

BB&T Center in Sunrise,Fla.

1p.m. CT – Fox Sports 2

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