March 31, 2023
Bernard Kouma brings value through screens


WACO, Texas – Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton hopes to keep away from creating an earthquake Saturday night.

As a result of when two large males, recognized for establishing brutal screens, collide, the bottom can shake.

“We need to go house,” Boynton joked.

Cowboys’ Bernard Kouma is 1,80 tall and 240 pounds. Baylor’s Flo Thamba can be 6-10 however 10 kilos heavier.

Each certainly one of them is excellent within the setting screens.

“I do not know if I’ve seen a greater display,” Boynton stated of Kouma.

Then he hesitated.

“Perhaps Flo Thamba from Baylor we’ll play towards. He form of made a residing there.”

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The great thing about the dialog is that Kouma has been efficient within the final three video games. Once they confronted Baylor in a recreation required for each groups on Saturday at 5pm, the Cowboys’ eleventh man discovered himself taking part in a restricted however key position.

Kouma has solely performed for 8 minutes since January 2 – primarily because of an ankle damage to middle star Moussa Cisse – however he is accomplished the soiled work.

He units up screens for pick-and-roll video games and even rolls into the basket for layups at Kansas State. He has three rebounds within the final two video games. And when he could be actually weak in his place, the Cowboys broaden the depth of his lineup.

“Bernie is happy with it,” Boynton stated. “By doing this, he understands that there’s worth in becoming a member of your teammate by serving to your teammates open up. Then, typically you fall for a 1-meter throw by yourself.

A yr in the past, Kouma was hardly ever used. Additionally, he wasn’t 100% wholesome.

He took half in solely six video games and performed 12 minutes. He has performed in six video games this season.

However in his first season two years in the past, he was an integral a part of the Cowboys making the second spherical of the NCAA Event.

Extra:Kalib Boone finds consistency, but ‘there has to be more’ for Oklahoma State basketball

Kouma performed in 26 video games, beginning twice. His position was largely the identical.

It was by design, with Kouma being his teammate’s favorite. Cade Cunninghamprofitable with pick-and-roll.

“Cade wished Bernie on the court docket as a lot as anybody,” Boynton stated. “The groups understood the worth of serving to him whereas preserving him the best way he’s.”

Kouma has held that worth ever since.

Minutes could be misplaced once more when the physique returns. But when not, it is as a result of Kouma will get an opportunity to set extra curtains and roll into the basket.

Cowboys could be higher for this.

“We have been in a position to get one thing from Bernie in the previous few video games,” Boynton stated. “It is a vital signal for us when it comes to one other physique that we will deal with 14 extra video games at this convention.”

This is a glance again finally week for the Cowboys:

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Two of the perfect gamers of this season

Moses Cisse: The 7-foot-1 junior stays on the high of the listing regardless of not taking part in this week because of an ankle damage. He leads the Large 12 in blocks and rebounds per recreation. Although the Cowboys saved a dozen blocks in his absence final Saturday, they might have used his presence on each side. Boynton stated Cisse recovered and had an MRI accomplished on Thursday simply as a precaution. Cisse can practice on Friday.

Kalib Boone: He is slowly climbing the Cowboys’ scoring leaderboard for the season, averaging 10.3 factors per recreation, simply 0.1 behind Avery Anderson III’s 10.4 factors. Solely Bryce Thompson averaged extra factors. Boone has been the Cowboys’ high participant within the final three video games and upped his recreation when Cisse was kicked out.

Extra:Eric Dailey Jr. attended the Oklahoma State basketball recruiting class of 2023. Meet others.

Finest participant of this week

Boone: Even in defeat, there was no higher participant for the Cowboys. Boone began the week with 16 factors, 10 rebounds and 6 blocks towards Texas. He adopted up with a career-high 23 factors, three rebounds, and two blocks in doubles and triples at Kansas State. Think about these numbers, the perfect three-game stretch of Boone’s OSU profession – 16.3 factors, 20-30 taking pictures, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 blocks.

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Rising participant

Caleb Asberry: The switch agent missed the final two non-conference video games in December because of a non-COVID sickness, which triggered some rust. Nonetheless, the 1.80 tall crimson shirt senior participant began to search out his place within the final two video games. His minute is up. So is the output. He scored two three-pointers, had 5 rebounds, and had three assists in his loss to Texas. He performed 27 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to Kansas State, scoring 15 factors, taking pictures 5 of 11 pictures, getting 5 rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Because the sixth man, his significance is important on each side, however for a workforce that’s in search of a spark on offense, he could be the person of the massive moments.

Extra:How Oklahoma State basketball promotion ‘made seniors feel a little younger’

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The Cowboys are caught within the bubble of creating the NCAA Event, with ESPN Bracketology revealing them from the surface starting midweek.

OSU is estimated to be one of many subsequent 4 to be ranked 73rd general.

A win at Baylor, the projected fifth seed, would positively assist get the Cowboys again on the sector.

They nonetheless make prediction, putting forty fourth within the NCAA NET Rankings. OSU can be ranked #30 on

Extra:Tramel: What does it take for Bedlam rivals OU and OSU to qualify for the NCAA basketball tournament?

Statistics to know

22%: Cowboys’ share of turnover, in accordance with Worst share of all groups within the six main conferences and 334th nationwide. OSU averaged 15.1 turnovers per recreation. Within the final two video games, a mean of 17, each losses.

Jacob Unruh covers school sports activities for The Oklahoman. You may ship your story concepts to him at or on Twitter at @jacobunruh. Help the work of him and different Oklahoma journalists: buy a digital subscription today.

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