STILLWATER -- The Oklahoma State basketball squad complete with head coach Eddie Sutton and staff, all players, and visiting potential transfer John Lucas III had breakfast this morning at The Stillwater Country Club. All this while outside the OSU Cowgirls basketball team and head coach Julie Goodenough and her staff were hosting supporters in their annual golf tournament. Hoops headquarters today was the SGCC. Heard between bites of the breakfast inside is that Lucas III is fairly certain that OSU is where he wants to end up for the next two years.
The way this will work is that Lucas III would pay his own way this season and then be on scholarship for his second year as a Cowboy. The announcement on Lucas III will be made on Monday. After consulting with the individual schools, whom we understand showed great compassion over the Baylor situation and the disposition of the Bear players and their future, the Big 12 office will be given the responsibility of deciding whether transfering Baylor players will get a waiver on the conference trasfer rule which calls for any player going from Big 12 school to Big 12 school to lose a year of eligibility. Our understanding is that Lucas III, a good student with good character that is willing to pay his own way to be at OSU, stands a very good chance to be approved for a waiver.
Lucas III and his apparent new college teammates worked out on Saturday afternoon in the OSU auxillary gym in The Athletic Center. Lucas III, who averaged 13.3 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 turnovers a game last season for the Bears. In Baylor's 74-72 upset over OSU in Gallagher-Iba last season he scored 20 points.
Lucas III would immediately plug in at point guard for the Cowboys and would be worth a number of games in the win column, maybe as much as a half dozen. It frees Stevie Graham to go back to playing a wing position in combination with backing up Lucas III at point guard. Having Lucas III makes OSU a more likely preseason pick for third or fourth in the Big 12 versus what was likely to be a fifth or sixth preseason pick in the conference.
Outdoors, the Cowgirls were displaying their golf ability, but these girls are much better at shooting jump shots than attempting birdie putts, although a few knocked in the putts. Let's start with the best player on the team from the last two seasons. Trisha Skibbe is finally going to play her true position of power forward (four) this season. The 6-foot-2-inch Skibbe worked hard all summer, something she had not done in the past. Skibbe is not bulkier, but the weight has been redistributed. It is easier to see she is stronger in the shoulders. She also made her miles run time for the first time in her career showing she is in the best shape of her career. The entire team, including all but one of the nine newcomers, spent the summer in Stillwater working out. Oregon transfer Catheria Turner is completely rehabed from her knee surgery and she should make an immediate difference. Lori Allen looks to be stronger. Of the newcomers, all have great personalities. Nina Stone and Shyra Samuels both out of Wabash Valley J.C. in Illinois, look like good athletes. I would expect Duncanville, Texas, freshman Destanie Sykes to be real difference maker. She looks like she is very athletic. The twin towers of 6-foot-5-inch freshman Christian Hood and 6-foot-4-inch Brazilian Elizangela Gomes will make a huge difference in the program that has never had athletic post players, at least not in a long time. Look for the Cowgirls to shock people in the Big 12 this season.
Finally, the Cowboy football squad is getting some well-deserved time off to get their legs back under them. The squad went through a two and a half hour workout this morning that really amounted to a long walk-through as theyy went over all kinds of scenarios that could come up next Saturday in Lincoln. In fact, as I write this, the Cowboys a week from now will be going into the fourth period at Nebraska, hopefully working to finish up a season-opening victory that would rival the opening wins in the 80's against Arizona State and Washington. The Cowboys will reassemble on Sunday night for a team meeting and get back to practice on Monday as they make the final push toward the game with the Huskers.