Hoops Notebook: Overcoming the Hump, Kouma’s Screens and Newton’s Search for Rhythm
STILLWATER – Freshly recovering from the slightest casualties in a row, the Cowboys should get again within the saddle for a visit to Waco this weekend.
Oklahoma State performs Baylor at 5pm Saturday on the Ferrell Heart. The Cowboys had their midweek media presence Thursday. Listed here are three that stand out.
Overcoming the Hump
The Cowboys had been in a basket within the final 4 minutes in every of their three Massive 12 losses, however they could not get previous the well-known bumps.
After a tricky loss to Kansas State on Tuesday, OSU coach Mike Boynton mentioned he is assured the Cowboys will finally discover a breakthrough if the group is not demoralized by the losses. How was Thursday’s follow?
“The boys stayed collectively,” Boynton mentioned. “For me, it is about persevering with to push them as a result of we’ve 16 video games at the moment of 12 months and it is getting tougher to concentrate on the grind every day. When you begin wanting on the program in its entirety, it is like – shit*t. Excuse my French, however when will we take a break? And there is not one. There is not one there. Coaches must maintain urgent these buttons to say, ‘Hey, if we need to do that, there isn’t any method out’. You need to move.’ No exit. There is no such thing as a one to save lots of you. You need to stay it and cope with it on daily basis. You need to watch the groups within the league and see that everybody is coping with the identical issues.
“[Practice] it was intense. It was in all probability slightly extra confrontational as we speak, however that is okay.”
Regardless of at present 9-7 per 12 months, OSU continues to be ranked thirtieth on KenPom. The Cowboys are the second highest ranked group with at the very least seven losses (Creighton ranked nineteenth out of 9-8). They’re going to get one other shot at a top-flight win this weekend, after they head to Baylor at 5pm on Saturday.
“I really feel like we’re actually shut,” Bryce Thompson mentioned. “We’re actually near breaking that hurdle and profitable these video games we all know we will win.”
Bernard Kouma scored his first basket in over a 12 months on Tuesday.
In his third 12 months on the present, Kouma now scored 47 factors as a Cowboy. He has seen a spike in his minutes not too long ago after Moussa Cisse suffered an ankle harm towards West Virginia on January 2. Kouma performed two minutes in that recreation towards the Mountaineers earlier than enjoying two extra instances towards Texas and 4 extra instances towards Kansas State on Tuesday.
Previous to this three-game time beyond regulation, Kouma had performed in simply three of the Cowboys’ first 13 video games.
A Kalib could not have Boone’s offensive capability or Cisse’s sheer athleticism, however Kouma exceptionally does one thing underestimated: the display.
“I do not know if I’ve seen a greater display,” Boynton mentioned. “… Bernie is pleased with it. By doing this he understands that there’s worth to hitch the group by serving to your teammates open up. After which typically you fall for a 1 meter shot by yourself.
At 1.80 meters tall, 240 kilos, it is simple to see why defenders battle to move Kouma, however the sweep additionally requires Kouma’s willingness to tackle contact to free a teammate. There was at the very least one one that did not overlook Kouma’s capability to unleash a ball possession, and that individual was #1 within the NBA Draft.
“I will let you know one thing you in all probability do not know: When Cade (Cunningham) was right here, that is why Cade wished Bernie on the court docket as a lot as anybody else,” Boynton mentioned. “Groups understood the worth of serving to him whereas holding him the way in which he was. I did not coach. [a better screener]. I do not know if I performed with one, however he is nice at it.”
Newton Looking for a Rhythm
Woody Newton has been by means of quite a bit this season.
Newton, a young person from the DC space, misplaced his father earlier within the season, forcing him to overlook seven non-conference video games when he returned house to be together with his household. Newton mentioned his father was instrumental in getting him into the game – taking him to Washington Commanders and Washington Wizards video games as a child.
“There is not a day that I do not take into consideration my father and issues like that,” Newton mentioned. “To be with my brothers, my teammates, Coach Mike, [Larry Blunt]They assist me, maintain my stability and all the time be sure I am okay if I want something. It is powerful, however I am getting assist to get by means of it.
On the sphere, Newton averaged 13 minutes per recreation within the Massive 12 recreation and performed 21 minutes on Tuesday – the best he has performed in a recreation for an OSU jersey. He averaged three factors per recreation in 4 convention video games. The one true ahead on the roster, Newton was in search of a breakthrough from the 3-pointer vary. 4v0 from the depths of the Massive 12 recreation and 11v3 within the season.
Boynton mentioned on Thursday that Newton wanted a confidence booster. It might be huge for the Cowboys if he can achieve some confidence.
“I nonetheless really feel like I am looking for a rhythm from 3,” Newton mentioned. “I’ve by no means truly been checked out. I’ve had just a few appears towards Kansas. I have not been hitting the ball a lot since then. I have been looking for different methods to affect the sport – rebounding, slicing off the ball, looking for methods to attain off the ball and affect the sport. As soon as I am again within the rhythm I really feel like it is going to proceed to rise.
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