Markel Brown Does It All For Cowboys

Desmond Mason hasn't done it. Neither has Bryant "Big Country" Reeves. Only one player in the storied history of Oklahoma State basketball will soon be listed in the record books like Markel Brown. The Cowboys guard needs just two assists to become the first player in OSU history to be listed among the top 15 players in points, assists and blocked shots in a career.

The 6-3 senior from Alexandria, La., will put the finishing touches on his outstanding four-year playing career in the next month (of course, it's all depends on how long the Cowboys postseason run). The stretch run for Brown's career begins Monday night in his final home game for the Cowboys in the nationally televised Big Monday game against Kansas State at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Brown needs just two assists to enter the top 15 in career assists. Here is where he is currently ranked in the record book:
Career scoring: 8th with 1,562 points.
Career blocks: 7th with 108.
Career assists: 16th with 294, and he will soon pass Sean Sutton (295).

Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford doesn't often struggle to put his thoughts into words but on Saturday night he struggled to do so after Brown helped the Cowboys upset the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks with 21 points, 4 assists and 3 steals.

"I love Markel Brown. I love him as a young man," Ford said. "He's improved every year, as a man and as a player. He's going to graduate on time. Markel has meant a lot to this program, he's meant a lot to me as an individual. Hopefully we can make it a good night for Markel. He's been special to the program."

Photo gallery of Markel Brown's four years at OSU

What Brown has accomplished during his OSU playing career is nothing short of miraculous. His numbers have improved in nearly every statistical category since he arrived following a standout playing career at Peabody Magnet High School in Alexandria, La.

Here's a look at his OSU stats from each season (Points per game, rebounds, assists and blocks):
Freshman (2010-11): 6.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 49 assists, 33 blocks
Sophomore (2011-12): 10.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 80 assists, 19 blocks
Junior (2012-13): 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 80 assists, 26 blocks
Senior (2013-14): 16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 85 assists, 30 blocks

While projections on where Brown will go in the 2014 NBA Draft vary (from a late first-round pick on to late in the second round), Bill Self is a believer in the Cowboys guard.

In Saturday night's must-win game for the Cowboys, Brown came up big as he tied Marcus Smart for game-high scoring honors with 21 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, including making 3 of 5 three-point attempts, and he was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line. He also contributed 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 38 minutes of play.

In his last four games against the Jayhawks, Brown is averaging 21.0 points while shooting 58.6 percent from three-point range (17 of 29) with 13 assists and only five turnovers.

"I don't know if you've followed it, but Markel Brown has been a Jayhawk killer," Self said. "Last year he made five threes against us at our place in the first half, and this year he made five threes against us (on Jan. 18 in Lawrence). Today he gets 21. That doesn't surprise me at all. He's gotten better all the time. He's a good player. He could be a pro."

He's definitely going to be remembered by Cowboys fans for all he's accomplished since arriving in Stillwater four years ago. In addition to being among the career leaders in scoring, blocks and assists, Brown will move Monday night against Kansas State into a tie for sixth place with Fredrik Jonzen for most games played in a career (130). Depending upon on many games the Cowboys play in the postseason, he could play in more games than any player in school history (topping Byron Eaton and Bryant Reeves, who both appeared in 136).

He also will become only the 10th player in school history to start 100 games if he is in the starting lineup for the final two regular season games of the year (and why wouldn't he be since he's started 76 of the last 78 over the past three seasons, including all 29 this season).

When asked if he's thought about his final home game Monday night, Brown answered, "I approach it like it's the first game I ever played here. Go out there and play hard, play for my teammates, play for this program, and go out there and play for one another."

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