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Beyond the Fort: Walk-ons in Stillwater, Minister McConaughey and more

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Take a journey with us around the rest of the Big 12 Conference.

Oklahoma v Texas Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images

The first month of the new year is already approaching its tail-end, and good news: There hasn’t been any shortage of newsworthy happenings in the Big 12 and beyond.

Want some off the court drama? You got. A dose of celebrity news? There was that too. Another season of rather ridiculous parity in Big 12 basketball? That’s also been in the cards so far.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride in the latest edition of Beyond the Fort.

Walk-on central at Oklahoma State

Sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. That’s become nothing short of a reality for Mike Boynton and Oklahoma State men’s basketball, as the Cowboys have now added six walk-ons to the roster following open tryouts — something which was prompted following the dismissal of three players early this month.

Though an opportunity for some that they never may have dreamed of, it goes without saying that the depth issues Oklahoma State has encountered are far from ideal for a team that came achingly short of cracking the NCAA Tournament last year in Boynton’s first year as head coach. The Cowboys sit at 2-4 in Big 12 play and 8-10 overall, and while there is plenty of basketball still left before mid-March, the journey ahead doesn’t appear to be getting any easier. Then again, the Cowboys defied the odds more than once last season, so who knows — maybe it will be deja vu.

If you want to see the walk-on-laden team in person, Oklahoma State pays a visit to TCU on Wednesday, Feb. 6. So go ahead and mark your calendars. The Horned Frogs later travel to Stillwater on Feb. 18.

Matthew McConaughey, Minister of Culture

Matthew McConaughey’s allegiance to the Longhorns isn’t exactly a secret. The Texas alum has frequently made his appearances at UT sporting events over the years, but the academy-award-winning actor is taking it to the next level upon being named Minister of Culture for Texas basketball’s new arena, which will be opening in 2021.

But McConaughey — who has also served as an adjunct professor at Texas — hasn’t wasted any time in embracing his new gig after sitting on the Longhorns bench during the team’s upset of Oklahoma last Saturday, a scene which has since gone viral in the college basketball world.

You’re eyes aren’t deceiving you. Matthew McConaughey sporting a burnt orange suit and literally coaching the team — joining the team huddles and all — is real life in 2019. Heck, it’s incredible. Can every team have its own celebrity Minister of Culture?

The circle of doom is complete! (already)

Well, that sure didn’t take long!

With West Virginia upending Kansas last Saturday in Morgantown, the circle of doom is already complete in the Big 12 less than a month into conference play. Don’t believe us? See for yourself.

It may sound simple, but it only took six conference games for this wheel to be complete. Let that sink in. Six. Conference. Games.

So what should we expect moving forward? Great question. And the answer: probably nothing, because in this conference, it’s “any given day.” Let us take a moment to remind you that the Big 12 is the lone conference with every team to be featured in the top 100 of the KenPom rankings, if you had any more doubts about the lack of parity.