It wasn’t pretty in Lubbock for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State fell to a white hot Texas Tech team 78-57 in United Supermarkets Arena on Thursday night. After fighting out of a 10-0 hole, the Cowboys couldn’t maintain the momentum needed to put an end to Tech scorching the Big 12. Here are five thoughts on the game.
1. Good Defense Is Average in the Big 12
This was brought up by the broadcast team of Ted Emrich and Bryndon Manzer, but entering Thursday’s game Oklahoma State ranked 12th nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency.
That’s pretty good, but it ranks fifth in the Big 12. It’s another stat that shows just how crazy tough this league is this season. A defense in the Top 12 nationally is middle-of-the-road in the conference. Texas Tech (No. 4), Iowa State (No. 5), Texas (No. 8) and Baylor (No. 10) all rank ahead of the Pokes in the league.
It certainly didn’t help OSU on Thursday that the Cowboys’ good defense wasn’t good. The Red Raiders shot 50% from the field with 30 points in the paint and 39 points off 3-pointers.
2. Good Finishes Matter Less after Bad Starts
There is something to be said that this OSU team, without a postseason to play for, closes these games with as much fight as they do. But, these fights to the finish mean significantly less when the Cowboys start games poorly.
The Cowboys outscored West Virginia 37-36 in the second half Tuesday and were outscored only 36-30 in the second half Thursday. The problem with that is that they were outscored a combined 76-50 in the first halves of those games.
It’s just two games, so it’s hard to call that stat a trend this early on. The fight is there, which is good, but the first halves of the past two games have made it a bit of a moot point.
3. MA Moncrieffe Was a Positive
If you’re looking for some good things about the Pokes’ 21-point loss, here is one.
It was one of Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe’s best games of the season. Miraculously in a game the Cowboys lost by 21, Moncrieffe was +1 in 22 minutes on the floor. That means while Moncrieffe was out there, OSU was one point better than Texas Tech. He finished with nine points on five shots to go with six rebounds and three assists.
4. Keylan Gets Green Light, Kalib’s Stays Red
Entering Thursday, the most 3-pointers Keylan Boone had attempted in a game were the eight he put up against Oregon State last season. He shot seven by halftime Thursday.
For a while now I’ve been on the Keylan Boone needs to jack up more 3s train because he’s been the Cowboys’ most threatening 3-point shooter this season, and it seemed as if he had the go-ahead early to shoot as he pleased. He only put up two 3-pointers in the second half and finished just 2-for-9. Despite the lower-than-wanted percentage of makes, I think this is still a good strategy moving forward.
Meanwhile, Kalib, Keylan’s twin, continued his recent role of bench riding.
Kalib didn’t play at all against Texas on Saturday before playing 12 minutes against West Virginia. Against Texas Tech, Kalib checked in with 2:37 to play and finished with a point, a rebound and a personal foul.
After the Texas game, OSU coach Mike Boynton said Tyreek Smith had earned minutes over Kalib. Boynton went onto say that it was more what Smith showed in practice, that it wasn’t necessarily something Kalib did wrong. Still, it is befuddling that Kalib has hit the pine despite being the best offensive option among he, Smith and Moussa Cisse.
5. Waco Awaits
Well what do you get now, Pokes? A date with a ticked off No. 1 team in the country and the defending national champion.
It’ll be a “How do you respond?” game for both teams. How is Baylor going to respond to a tight loss to Tech on Tuesday, the Bear’s first loss since cutting the nets down in Indianapolis last season? How is Oklahoma State going to respond to two poor road showings to start this three-game road trip?
OSU and Baylor tip at 4 p.m. Saturday in Waco.
Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 78-57 Loss to Texas Tech