Cobbins, Cowboys Ready For Memphis

Michael Cobbins knows what to expect Saturday when he goes up against the best pair of post players Oklahoma State has faced thus far in the season. The Cowboys travel to Memphis for a nationally televised game (ESPN2), and Cobbins will see plenty of Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols.

The 6-8, 230-pound OSU senior won’t be surprised when the Cowboys take the FedExForum court against the Tigers at 5 p.m. Saturday because the two teams met twice a year ago. OSU won 101-80 on Nov. 19, 2014 in Stillwater, and Memphis won 73-68 a few weeks later in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic.

Cobbins missed much of last season with an Achilles injury but he was still healthy and played against Goodwin (6-9, 228, Jr.) and Nichols (6-8, 228, So.) a year ago.

“They’ve got great bigs,” Cobbins said. “They’re skilled, they’re athletic, and they go to the glass really well.”

Cobbins enters the game averaging 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks while playing 26.4 minutes for the Cowboys. He finished with eight points and four rebounds in OSU’s 21-point win a year ago over the Tigers, and had seven points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Goodwin leads the Tigers (3-3) in both scoring (11.8 points) and rebounding (7.0) through the first six games this season, while Nichols averages 10.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.

“As two guys inside, I don’t know if there are four or five better combos of post players in America,” Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford said. “There are some good ones out there but as far as two guys and the numbers they’re putting up, these are two really good, experienced low-post players.”

Cobbins said, “There’s going to be a chip on both teams’ shoulders. We kinda evened out last year, and I guess this is kinda the tiebreaker in a sense. It’s going to be a physical battle down low, and I know our guards are going to handle the job out top.”

The Cowboys are 7-1 after suffering their first loss of the season last Saturday – 75-49 at South Carolina. Memphis is 3-3 after defeating Bradley 73-45 on Saturday.

Despite the .500 record, Ford believes Saturday’s game will be good for his Cowboys.

“It’s a great test. It’s a really talented basketball team,” he said. “They have a lot of guys new to their team but they are transfers, guys who have sat out a year. They’re an experienced basketball team with talent.

“Memphis has great tradition, great fan support. It’s going to be a tough, tough game for our team. Hopefully we respond, not just to Memphis, but hopefully we respond better than we did in our last game, period.”

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