The 21st-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys come to town this evening as one of the hottest teams in the country. The Frogs will look to halt the Pokes' three-game winning streak and end their own seven-game losing streak. I met up with Josh Poteet from Cowboys Ride for Free to discuss tonight's contest. You can check out my responses to their questions right here.
1. After starting conference play 4-5, the Cowboys have really picked it up as of late. Oklahoma State has won three straight games, all against ranked teams, with two of those coming on the road. What has fueled this recent run of excellence?
That's a tough question and there probably isn't just one answer but I'll try and narrow it down for simplicity. Teamwork. It sounds so cliché, but despite this team having stars the offense repeatedly finds contributions from outside Nash and Forte. But where this team has really excelled over the past three games is on the defensive end where they have held their past three opponents to no more than 65 points. When this team plays good defense they can play with nearly anyone in the country.
2. The Cowboys currently sit at 7-5 in Big 12 play, good for 5th place in the Conference. After re-entering the rankings this week, what is your outlook for the rest of the season? What is the ceiling for this Oklahoma State team?
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT IN STILLWATER! Seriously, everyone was calling for Travis Ford's job after the loss to OU at home but then this happened. Lunardi's most recent bracket had us as a 5 seed. The ceiling is probably a three seed and a couple wins in the tournament. This team is essentially a mystery in the sense that no one really knows how good they are. I don't even think the team knows how good they are.
3. With this being the first matchup between TCU and Oklahoma State this season, who should TCU fans pay attention to on this Cowboys team? Which players have surprised you the most this season?
The two big names are Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte. Nash is one point away from topping Desmond Mason as the #5 scorer in OSU history. Nash is a fourth year senior and was a 5* recruit coming out of high school. Nash is averaging 17 points and 5.6 rebounds a game. Phil Forte is a tiny white guy who shoots from half court and makes it. He is the second leading scorer in the Big 12 conference. Those are the two stars on the roster but Anthony Hickey leads the Pokes offense at the PG position where he dishes out 3.6 assists per game. Hickey has been the big surprise of the season as he transferred here from LSU and has been fantastic for this team.
4. Throughout the program's history, TCU has really struggled with Oklahoma State. The Cowboys lead the overall series 21-2 and have won the last 10 straight meetings. What do the Frogs have to do today to knock off Oklahoma State for the first time since 1986?
It's gonna be tough for the Frogs to upset the Pokes but not impossible. Kyan Anderson is going to have to have a HUGE night where he scores 35 points or so. As a team TCU will have to find a way to take away the 3-point shot from Oklahoma State and especially Phil Forte. An early lead will be crucial to the success of Frogs as they simply can't play from behind and expect to knock off the Pokes.
5. Finally, how do you see the game playing out? Do the red-hot Pokes come to Fort Worth and extend TCU's losing streak, or can the Frogs reverse their fortunes and finally knock off a ranked opponent?
Trent Johnson has been great for the Frogs this season. This team is leaps and bounds ahead of last year's team but they still aren't there yet. The Pokes should win by 15+ but that's why the play the game. Nash and Forte will combine for 40 points and lead the Pokes to a 78-52 win.
Special thanks to Josh Poteet, Chris Ross, and the team at Cowboys Ride for Free. Look for continued coverage of TCU vs. Oklahoma State right here leading up this evening's game.