Forte ‘Is A Tough, Little Feisty Burger’

STILLWATER, Okla. – Phil Forte became just the 40th player in Oklahoma State basketball history to score 1,000 points in Saturday’s 61-47 victory over Kansas State at Gallagher-Iba Arena. But it’s more than his ability to score points that had K-State head coach Bruce Weber talking about the 5-foot-11 Cowboys guard after the game.

Forte led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, including making 3 of 7 from behind the three-point arc, and now has 1,013 points in his two-plus seasons at Oklahoma State.

“That’s the one thing I admire about Forte. That dude is a tough, little feisty burger,” Weber said after the game. “He just competes. He’s like that every play, whether he makes baskets or not.

“If you’re an Oklahoma State fan, you got to love a kid like that. He’ll take some bad shots and (make) some crazy plays and do some things but you’ve got to love how hard he competes and how hard he plays. That’s why he’s won. He won in high school, and you have to give Marcus [Smart] a lot of credit, but this kid has been a winner his whole life. We need somebody (at Kansas State) to be that competitive, feisty guy. Whether it’s Forte or Chester Frazier, my old player (and now) my assistant, guys like that, those are the guys that make a difference.”

Forte has now led the Cowboys in scoring in six of their 13 games this season. It was the fourth 20-plus point game of the season and the 15th of his career.

OSU head coach Travis Ford points out that it doesn’t come easy to Forte, who works harder than any other player on the team to improve his game.

“When you work as hard as he does, extra (and) outside of practice, getting in the gym, good things are going to happen for you. You deserve it, and he deserves it as hard as he works extra,” Ford said.

“He always is trying to evolve in his game. He always wants to know what else can I do and how else can I score because he knows that everybody is going to be locked onto him. When he comes off a screen, they’re going to be there, and people are trying to put bigger guys on him. We’ve been through all of that.

“I always want more from him. Even though he had 20 (points), I think there are things he could have even done better. People switching out to bigger guys, he’s got to take them on a little bit more. He’s got to get inside the paint a little more, draw fouls and get to the free throw line more. When you can shoot free throws as well as he can shoot them you’ve got to get to the free-throw line. We want him to get there more.

“It’s amazing to me that every team is obviously going to key on him and then he still figures out a way to get his points. That’s a tribute to his teammates as well. They look for him. They obviously try to find him because they know he can make points.”


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