Archives For December 2011

10 Thoughts On Virginia Tech

Kyle Porter —  December 31, 2011 — 6 Comments

BOX SCORE

1. OSU worked so hard on the offensive boards today. Nash, JPO, Cobbins, everybody was crashing hard, I think that’s something that’s been missing since McFarlin left in the last few years from these guys. I hope they can keep it up.

2. The fact that OSU has been playing such great defense in the last few weeks (35% | 46% | 36% | 41% in the last four games) has been lost because of how bad the offense has been and/or the fact that 66% of the scholarship point guards have left.

3. I would absolutely wager on “Philip Jurick will not score field goals on consecutive possessions” the rest of the season. Copious amounts of money.

4. This is something I 100% agree with:

5. Cobbins makes OSU’s offense better because he’s so active in setting screens, getting boards, and making passes. He’s very Fred Jonzen-like in that area, and built like him to boot. Not everything he does will show up in a box score, but OSU is definitely better as a team on offense when he’s out there.

6. My favorite moment of the entire game was the dude in the Spurs #25 jersey tee going bonkers after Brian Williams’ dunk in the second half.

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5 Halftime Thoughts On Virginia Tech

Kyle Porter —  December 31, 2011 — 1 Comment

1. Bob Knight looks about as excited to be at this game as I was to help my wife wrap Christmas present*. Also, him saying “the first thing I want a shooter to learn is the shot fake” near the end of the half is the least surprising thing I heard in 2011.

2. This is kind of a random thought, but how much better does our court look these days since they got rid of the faded lanes? The transparent Pete, the orange three-point line, and Eddie’s signature are all great accessories to the nearly-century old maple.

3. Is it bad when I’m surprised that OSU completes a successful fast break? I’m going to go ahead and say that it probably is. Nevertheless, I love seeing this team run and dunk and play hard defense. The crowd wants to carry them in the second half so bad.

4. Brian Williams baby (6 points, 3 boards, and a steal)! He’s one of those guys that just always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

5. Here’s the crowd today courtesy of @vhpatel. Not the greatest we’ve ever seen in GIA, but considering the circumstances (bowl game, NYE, and an inept offense), not that bad. I’m sure the free admission didn’t help at all!

*I didn’t help my wife wrap Christmas presents

Gundy Going Buck Wild

Kyle Porter —  December 31, 2011 — 3 Comments

I present this to you without commentary because no commentary is needed. Ladies and gentlemen, the head coach of your Big 12 champion Cowboys:

See The Forest For The Trees

Kyle Porter —  December 30, 2011 — 5 Comments

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

I traded questions with Hank Waddles who writes at the blog GoMightyCard.com. You can see my answers here and Hank’s below. He did a great job breaking down the other side of what should be a terrific game on Monday night (not sure why I would expect a Stanford to not do a great job writing and analyzing something like football).

1. Who is the offensive player not named Luck that OSU fans should be worried about?
People who haven’t watched Stanford play this year would probably be surprised to learn that Andrew Luck doesn’t have a consistent threat at wide receiver. There is no Justin Blackmon on this team. (Alright, there’s no Blackmon on any team.) You asked for one player to watch, but instead I’ll give you three — tight ends Zach Ertz, Coby Fleener, and Levine Toilolo. These three players combined for 79 receptions, 1,281 yards, and 19 touchdowns. Even though all three of them will be on the field together about 40% of the time, their skill sets are different enough that they can each impact the game in distinct ways.

Ertz is more of a possession receiver, and is often Luck’s first look on third and short. Fleener is a deep threat, and even though defenses know this and know to watch for him on play action, he still somehow manages to get loose behind the defense at least once or twice a game. Once he gets free, he won’t be caught. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but he’s the second-fastest player on the Stanford offense, even though he’s 6’6″ and 244 pounds. The third tight end, Toilolo, is even bigger at 6’8″ and 263. You’ll see him running patterns over the middle where he’ll shed linebackers as if they were schoolboys, but he’s most dangerous around the goal line. When Luck finds himself inside the five yard line, he’ll often look to split Toilolo out wide against a cornerback and throw a jump ball towards the corner of the end zone. The defender is usually half a foot shorter than Toilolo, which isn’t really fair.

2. Would Stanford be 12-0 if Jim Harbaugh was still the coach?
I’ve heard some people say this, even some Stanford fans. The idea is that Harbaugh would’ve given the team that extra edge necessary to keep things together and beat Oregon. I don’t buy it. Jim Harbaugh was a great coach, and all year long I’ve been saying that he was probably the only human alive who could’ve done what he did. He arrived at a school without much recent history of football success, and he arrived following what was indisputably the single worst season in the history of Stanford football.

I don’t think the athletic department had any inkling of what would happen next. In fact, I believe most of the decision makers — including Bill Walsh — had given up on the football team. Harbaugh believed he could build a championship-caliber team at Stanford, then went out and did just that. His departure wasn’t a surprise, but David Shaw was probably the perfect choice as his replacement. There might have been a decision or two that could be questioned during the Oregon game, but I just don’t think Stanford was going to beat the Ducks on that night, Harbaugh or Shaw.

3. Is this year’s Stanford team better or worse than last year’s squad that buried Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl?
I think there are two differences between last year and this year, and neither has anything to do with personnel. First, the 2010 Stanford Cardinal was incredibly healthy. The 2011 squad has resembled a MASH unit. The top defender, Shayne Skov, went down during the third game of the season. The top wide receiver, Chris Owusu, suffered three concussions and only finished six games. Other key players on both sides of the ball also missed games, and all of that certainly weakened the team.

The second issue was the schedule. Last year the Cardinal lost to Oreogn in the fifth game of the season and had seven games after that during which to build momentum. This year they coasted through a ridiculously easy early schedule before stumbling in their tenth game against Oregon and having trouble with Cal and Notre Dame. If Stanford seems weaker now than they did last season, it might just be a matter of perception. Obviously, we’ll know a lot more in a few days.

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Dowell’s Farewell

Kyle Porter —  December 30, 2011 — 4 Comments

In keeping with tradition (Fred Gulley did it three weeks ago) Reger Dowell tweeted his farewell to OSU on Thursday night. Pretty classy, respectful stuff from a kid who doesn’t want to be in the program anymore that probably doubles as more ammunition for the Ford haterz.

Daily Bullets

Kyle Porter —  December 30, 2011 — 8 Comments

Thayer Evans writes a bunch of words and calls it reporting and insinuates that Justin Blackmon is in trouble. (Fox Sports)

Also, here’s an OSU follow-up. (News 9)

Good story by Jenni on Austin Box’s relationship with the Chelf bros and Casey LaBrue, but didn’t Adam Kemp write the exact same story for the O’Colly four weeks ago? (NewsOK)

Good stuff from Bill Haisten on OSU’s prolific offense. (Tulsa World)

David Ubben with a very smart, very good post on the OSU defense. (ESPN)

Good point here by Matt Hinton: “This year, Alabama and Oklahoma State are identically qualified for the second ticket, and split the final vote for it roughly down the middle. When a strong contender that effectively earned 50 percent of the vote is rewarded with zero percent of the opportunity, the system has failed.” (Dr. Saturday)

Berry Tramel says Michael Harrison is the heir apparent to Blackmon, Weeden says it could be Torrence Carr. (NewsOK)

Herschel Sims thinks Brandon Weeden is a 1st round pick. Also, I love “exclusive interviews” on okstate.com, high unintentional comedy. (okstate.com)

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Dave Sittler and Bill Young

Kyle Porter —  December 29, 2011 — 10 Comments

Dave Sittler and Bill Young have a really interesting conversation that I’m betting all my January paychecks neither knew was being picked up by the microphone. Take a look below with some comments after the jump.

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Daily Bullets

Kyle Porter —  December 29, 2011 — 9 Comments

You want 3.1 million reasons to pay Gundy right now? They can all be found right here. Read it. (ESPN)

I mean at some point this is becomes an issue, right? (The Big Lead)

Ubben says he’d take Weeden over Luck. (ESPN)

Oklahoma State is preseason #10 in a poll that mimicks the first AP poll of the year. Baylor is #7. (National Champs)

Good stuff here on the SMU game last night from Anthony Slater, a lot of thoughts on what’s wrong (or right) with the offense. (O’Colly)

Jamie Blatnick says OSU can’t give up the yardage it has previously. (NewsOK)

Interesting quote here from Bill Young on whether or not he’d like to be the #1 defense in the country (hint: he wouldn’t). (CBS Sports)

“Take football away from Andrew, and still he has the personality and character to become president of the United States some day.” (NewsOK)

I don’t understand what Ford means here when he says “I had to do tweaking in the offseason, it takes time” as a reason for why people are leaving the program. (Tulsa World)

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10 Thoughts On SMU

Kyle Porter —  December 29, 2011 — 5 Comments

BOX SCORE

1. Tonight was a big win for a team that was in desperate need for one. You can poopoo on the fact that they were playing a crappy SMU team and they shouldn’t go to overtime with anybody after only giving up 49 points in regulation, but the fact of the matter is that OSU hung in and won a game it absolutely had to have or the season was pretty much over.

2. Two people that know their roles and need to play more (and probably will play more): Michael Cobbins and Brian Williams. Kind of gives some credibility to that whole redshirting players thing. Williams (7), Keiton (6) and Markel Brown (8) actually led the team in rebounds tonight as well which is kind of bizarre to me since none of them really play inside all that much.

3. Speaking of Williams, how about the following minute totals for OSU:

Keiton – 47
Williams – 41
Markel – 38
Cobbins – 37
Cezar – 29
Nash – 28
JPO – 19
Jurick – 11

If you had “Brian Williams will play more than Nash and Jurick combined in this game” please step forward and collect your prize. The first five on that list is a really strange, really athletic group of players (minus Keiton obviously).

4. First thing on Cezar: Anthony Slater tweeted this after the game and he was absolutely correct – OSU is 5-7 instead of 7-5 without him this year. He hasn’t lost OSU a game (yet) but he’s basically won two of them single-handedly (with help from Keiton tonight).

5. Second thing on Cezar: I love the intensity dude, I mean I freaking love it. But you’re averaging a 7-1-1 line as the backup point guard for the worst or second worst team in the Big 12. You don’t need to be sneering at opponents you’re favored to beat after hitting a three in overtime. You can celebrate, you can drop f-bombs at Keiton, you can invent a Mexican assassin dance, I don’t care, just leave the flexing and eye drop sneers for someone else. Maybe someone who starts.

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5 Halftime Thoughts On SMU

Kyle Porter —  December 28, 2011 — 2 Comments

1. Matt Doherty coaches SMU??? How did I not know this? SMU is a haven for washed up coaches trying to reignite their careers. Oh, and the backdoor offense they run is one of my favorite things in sports.

2. Keiton at the point is not the answer, I’m sorry, I love him, but he’s just not. And at this point I don’t even think he’s a stopgap.

3. You know what OSU misses from Byron Eaton (and I did not like Byron Eaton)? His ability to get to the rim. It opened up opportunities for Keiton, James, and Obi to shoot and he could finish really strong. I don’t know who on this team can do that at the point guard position, but whoever it is (and it ain’t Keiton), that’s who should play point.

4. On that same note – for having as many athletes as it does, this team cannot penetrate at all. I mean at all. It’s like there’s a faux concrete wall at the free throw line and if you have possession of the basketball you can’t go past it. One more reason they should be running and pressing.

5. Over/under on 100 Jurick FG attempts on the year? He has 18 through 11 games. He also has 27 blocks and 23 points according to Anthony Slater.

10 Memorable Moments

Kyle Porter —  December 28, 2011 — 3 Comments

Golf Photo Attribution: Zach Gray

These ten moments aren’t necessarily the best, the most riveting, or even the most enjoyable. Hopefully though, they are the ten things we remember most when we look back on 2011 and say “what happened with OSU that year, what meant something to the Oklahoma State program?”

Honorable mention: Bedlam walkoff in Tulsa…Kye Staley’s TD against Baylor…Wrestling gets its 1000th victory…OU and OSU bands playing at halftime of Bedlam…the 3 AM football game in Tulsa…the Kansas basketball game in the Big 12 Tournament…KD plays flag football.


10. Sean Einhaus hitting a 20-footer to extend the Augusta State match
It wasn’t the most talked about or most covered even that happened this year but for those who were there it might have been the gutsiest. There were the Cowboys, on their own turf (literally) tied 2-2 with the defending champs in the semifinals of the NCAA golf tournament. Peter Uihlein had just gotten drilled by Patrick Reed 8-and-7 and Einhaus needed to beat Carter Newman by one in the last two holes to advance to the finals. After they split #17 Einhaus got in a little trouble on #18 and found himself in the bunker but proceeded to chip out to 15 feet. Newman made his birdie and Einhaus would have to slide one in to extend the match with basically every golf fan in Stillwater breathing down his neck from the 18th fairway.

Cullen Carstens, a former OSU golf coach was there and he said this about the moment: “it was a 20 footer downhill left to right, it probably broke about 18 inches. We obviously ended up losing Sean’s match and the semifinal match as well, but the moment when he made that putt in front of those fans was the loudest roar I’ve ever heard on a golf course. When Sean hit the putt everyone was dead silent and they all just erupted when it went in. It just showed how much people in Stillwater love their OSU golf.”

9. The baseball series against Texas
After an incredible 15-inning 1-0 loss in which Chris Marlowe notched 12 strikeouts in 6 innings of relief, OSU came back to win the final two games of the series 3-1 and 10-3. It was the first time OSU had taken a series from Texas since 2008 and just the 6th and 7th losses of the season for #4 Texas. Brad Propst received Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors for his 7-hit 1-run effort in the Saturday game and OSU would go on to win 10 of its next 13 games.

8. The Masters
OSU sent Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Bo Van Pelt, and Peter Uihlein to the Masters this year in what has become a glorified annual alumni reunion in the deep south. Only Van Pelt was in it on Sunday (finishing T-8) but it was a blast to see former Cowboys infiltrating golf’s most illustrious major and should only be a precursor for what’s to come over the next decade or so (if somebody gives you anything above 10-1 odds that a former OSU golfer will win the Masters in the next 10 years, empty your checking account). In fact Augusta National was teeming with as many Oklahoma State participants as there were from the countries of Spain, England, and South Korea. I had a blast following those guys around and even got to write about it a little bit for Yahoo.

7. The thriller over Kansas State
It was, in retrospect, a game OSU had to have to win the Big 12 (who would have thought OSU and K-State would play a November tilt for the Big 12 title back in August?). It was also a game that served as the dividing line between BCS bowls and bowls nobody watches for the entire conference. You could even make the argument that Joseph Randle’s game-winning TD was a multi-million dollar score (difference between Cotton Bowl payout + exposure and Fiesta Bowl payout + exposure). As much as the A&M game set the table for the entire year, this game was simply foreshadowing for OSU’s first Big 12 championship. Oh yeah, and that lob to Blackmon over the middle was mighty nice too.

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Fiesta Bowl and Travis Ford

Kyle Porter —  December 28, 2011 — Leave a comment

Carson Cunningham joins me to preview his time out in Glendale and try to figure out what the heck is going on with the basketball team.

You can listen to the podcast below or feel free to subscribe in iTunes here.

Play

Daily Bullets

Kyle Porter —  December 28, 2011 — 9 Comments

Not sure if y’all have already seen these but OSU has some pretty sweet iPhone backgrounds if you got one from Santa this Christmas. I downloaded the Desmond one (duh). (okstate.com)

“My mindset is playing defense and getting this team some wins.” Good. (NewsOK)

Good pics in here from practice yesterday. Tracy Moore is a man. (okstate.com)

David Ubben says OSU is about to face something it hasn’t faced all season. (ESPN)

OSU finds itself on both the good and bad side of the best comebacks of 2011. (Dr. Saturday)

Berry Tramel interviewed Matt Millen and Millen mentioned Brodrick Brown. Stunning! (NewsOK)

Interesting: ESPN has told the Big 12 it wants to move up the TV contract negotiations timetable. h/t @landthieves (Austin American-Statesman)

Really smart take on the OSU PG situation by Jimmie Tramel. (Tulsa World)

Good story about the lengthy hours coaches put in and how many days off the OSU coaches have had since August. (Tulsa World)

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Travis Ford’s Problem

Kyle Porter —  December 27, 2011 — 9 Comments

Photo Attribution: @eknielsen

Sam Bryant over at CRFF wrote today about how Travis Ford is recruiting backwards but not able to move forward once he gets his guys. It was a really thoughtful post and one I thoroughly agreed with.

I wanted to add something though, it’s something that’s been bugging me all year, and I think it’s the bigger issue that his recruiting-developing juxtaposition shines a light on.

And to be clear, if Sam is gathering the firewood in Travis Ford’s camp then I’m heating up the baked beans and putting coat hangers through the weenies and marshmallows. I’m firmly in it, always have been, and probably will be for quite a while.

It gets pretty tiring to get on Twitter during games and see these instant reactions from people over a bad game or a short losing streak. And yes, I know, it’s been building up and your vitriol is the spillover from three years of regression. But the way everyone reacts you’d think they want Holder to walk across the court at Gallagher-Iba during a live game and hand Ford his pink slip. Heck, maybe they do.

Anyway Travis Ford’s problem, and this comes from me having watched mostly every game for the last decade, is that he doesn’t have a plan.

I don’t expect coaches to go to the tournament in their first year on the job at a fledgling program (though he did). I don’t really expect them to go to the tournament at all in their first two to three years (though he did twice).

I do however expect to have some concept of what that coach is building towards. And right now I have no freaking clue what Travis Ford is building or what he’s building towards. Worse than that, I don’t know if he even knows.

When Ford was at UMass (from 2005-2008) two things were true: he had a much smaller contract ($200,000 a year) and his teams had an identity. In 2008 Ford’s UMass team led the nation in possessions per game and was 5th in points per possession. Whatever else may or may not have been true about that squad, you could bank on the fact that that squad was going to get the ball and run and score. That’s who they were.

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Daily Bullets

Kyle Porter —  December 27, 2011 — 7 Comments

I think Sunday/Monday was the first 2-day break I’ve taken from PFB in…maybe ever. Hope you guys had a great Christmas and are ready to get back after it this week with the Fiesta Bowl looming next Monday. Let’s get to some links:

I’m puuuuumped about the “Cezar Guerrero for 40 minutes at PG or Keiton if he’s hurt and Markel if they’re both overmatched” era! (NewsOK)

Olivia Hamilton is headed to Tempe, courtesy of an OU fan. (NewsOK)

John Klein says Brandon Weeden and Bob Fenimore are the two most important OSU football players ever. (Tulsa World)

The Big 12 only has two basketball teams with winning percentages under .700, and OSU is one of them. (Big 12 Sports)

Cowboys take two spots on the biggest gaffes of 2011. (Dr. Saturday)

Great Jenni Carlson on Andrew Hudson and the hit that ended his career. (NewsOK)

Rivals says Nash is the #14 small forward in the country. (Rivals)

OSU got a new QB at the end of last week, and he looks strangely like the current front runner for the position next season (see below). (NewsOK)

Gina Mizell asks the question we’ve been asking all season. (NewsOK)

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