5 Questions about Cowboy Basketball

1. How good is this Cowboy basketball team? <BR><BR> ESPN.Com recently had a column that compared this OSU team to last season‚s national champions. That has to say something about this team.

The team is looking better than ever since John Lucas came alive against Oklahoma and Joey Graham took to new elevations against Texas. The team is finally looking like the chemistry is flowing among the teammates and Sutton knows what their talents are. Lucas is shooting more confidently, and Bobik looked like his best since non-conference play when OSU beat Tech on Saturday. Ivan Mcfarlin looked inconsistent throughout the first part of the year, but has played a lot better since the big win against the Sooners. If the team continues to play as a team, the Cowboys should go far. This team has the potential to go to the Sweet 16 and even on to the Elite 8. It is still too early to give them a reservation in San Antonio, but if they keep it up the National Championship could be a realistic goal for this team.

2. Can the Cowboys hold first in the Big 12?

With another big win against a Big 12 school, the Cowboys proved they deserve to be in a share for the conference lead. OSU has now beat Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Texas Tech since the Cowboys conference opener against Tech at Lubbock. With Kansas losing to Iowa State, the door both opened wide for the Cowboys and it got a little tougher to keep open. In a conference full of great teams and many good teams, OSU cannot look at its schedule and check off a game as an automatic win for the boys of orange and black. With games remaining against Texas and Kansas at home and games against the Sooners, Iowa State and Missouri on the road, Sutton‚s crew has their work cut out for them. The two remaining home games could easily go either way, but the Cowboys have the talent to beat KU and once again beat UT. When it comes to the road games, anytime a giant steps on the other team‚s court, the home team is foaming at the mouth. Just ask Kansas about the trip to the state of Iowa or go over to the SEC and ask Kentucky about the trip to Vandy. When it comes to road games in the Big 12, anything can happen. OSU should at least finish in the second spot, and that is only if Bill Self can come home and beat the legend at his throne. I guess will see.

3. Why does the talk of Sutton leaving keep coming up?

This OSU team has the most talent since Eddie took a trip to Seattle almost a decade ago with a team that focused on getting the ball to Big Country. Since then, Sutton has had amazingly good players like Desmond Mason, Joe Adkins, Melvin Sanders and Victor Williams among others, but all of those players‚ teams had mixed results in March. This team is an example of why some may say Sutton is getting too old for the game. Almost every key player on this team is a transfer with a few good recruits on the roster. Some say this is a sign of players wanting to play for younger coaches like Sampson at OU or Self at Kansas, but who would want to pass up a chance to play for a legendary coach in a legendary stadium. It would be possible that if the team won the national championship, Sutton would ride his horse into the sunset. If the team fails to earn the trophy and the cut down net, I believe Sutton will stay until his contract expires. The only other reason he would leave would be due to health, and let‚s all hope it doesn‚t come to that. Sutton should keep adding wins to his total until he decides to hang up his whistle. We‚ll leave the question of Sean Sutton taking over for another day.

4. Is there a better time to be an OSU athletic fan?

Sure football season is over after a successful season, but look at all the other sports. Soccer had its most successful season in school history and cross country finished the year with a Top 25 final showing. Men‚s basketball is a Top 20 team, and the women are on pace to win more games than they did last season while knocking off two Top 25 teams already this season. Wrestling is continuing to dominate with championship just around the corner. Then comes all the spring sports getting ready to start rolling. Baseball is beginning a new tradition with coach Frank Anderson and the team is going into the season with a ranking just outside the Top 25. Softball is starting its season in the Top 25 with an all new pitching staff and many new players. Men‚s tennis is ranked in the Top 20 with some of the nation‚s best players on the OSU roster. Both golf teams look to be strong and with the addition of Casey Wittenberg on the men‚s golf team, a national championship trophy should be in their sights. Equestrian is as strong as ever and both track teams look to add hardware throughout the season. This should be a good spring and an overall good year for OSU athletics.

5. With the baseball season approaching, will Josh Fields be across the diamond at first base?

After talking with both Anderson and Fields, both said the same thing, „It‚s a rumor.‰ Fields is coming off a great year at third base and after being labeled a preseason All-American at the hot corner, there is no reason for him to switch positions. Some would question his arm strength, but after proving he can chunk a football 50 yards down field as quarterback of the Cowboys, Fields should have no problem ignoring the rumors. Besides, with Fields being a Major League Baseball prospect why would Anderson want to lessen his player‚s stock by moving him to a position he probably hasn‚t played since his days in little league ball. While it remains to be seen if Fields will ever wear No. 13 for Les Miles, he is saying it will depend on what happens this season and how he feels come June. It has to be horrible to have to choose between a lucrative career in baseball or another year playing two sports in Division I, Big 12 play. Poor guy.

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