Retention Of Current Players Is Top Priority

Mike Holder says his number one priority is retaining the current Oklahoma State players like Phil Forte and Jawun Evans and making sure the recruited players know they are still wanted.

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Robert Allen and the beat reporters covering Oklahoma State basketball had the opportunity Saturday morning to visit with Mike Holder. The OSU athletics director shared what went into his decision-making process that led to OSU and Travis Ford parted ways Friday.

Holder also said the top priority is not hiring a new coach but in keeping the current roster of returning players and recruits on board until a new coach is hired. Senior Phil Forte, who missed all but the first three games of the season with an elbow injury, will be one of the top priorities for the new coach of the Cowboys.

As will be Jawun Evans, who was named Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year. Evans led all Big 12 freshmen in scoring (12.9 ppg), assists (4.9 apg), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9 a/to), field goal percentage (47.1), 3-point field goal percentage (47.5) and free throw percentage (83.3).

Other key contributors with eligibility remaining are senior-to-be Leyton Hammonds, who averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds as a junior; Jeffrey Carroll (8.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg), Tavarius Shine (6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg), and Tyree Griffin (5.2 ppg, 3.9 apg).

The Cowboys signed four recruits to join the team in 2016-17: 6-4 guard Thomas Dziagwa from Tampa (Tampa Catholic), Fla.; 6-10 post Gorjok Gak from Bradenton, Fla. (Victory Rock Prep); 6-6 wing Cameron McGriff from South Grand Prairie, Texas, and 6-4 guard Lindy Waters from Norman (Norman North), Okla.

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