Curry As Good<br>As Advertised?

If JamesOn Curry‘s collegiate debut is any indication of what to expect in the future, Oklahoma State Cowboy fans had better hang on for an exciting ride. Curry was outstanding in his debut last Friday night, finishing with 12 points, four steals, two assists and a rebound in 23 minutes of play as the Cowboys defeated Northwestern (La.) State 91-53 in the season opener.

The 6-foot-3 guard and the Cowboys return to action Tuesday night when they host Arkansas-Little Rock at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the OSU women's team playing New Mexico immediately following the conclusion of the men's contest.

Curry's numbers in his first game compare favorably with some former Cowboys who made their freshmen debuts under coach Eddie Sutton.
** Bryant "Big Country" Reeves scored 16 points in 20 minutes in a 86-74 win over Midwestern (Texas) State on Dec. 1, 1992.
** Adrian Peterson had 12 points in the Cowboys' 71-70 victory over St. Mary's (Calif.) in a Preseason NIT game on Nov. 20, 1996.
** Andre Williams scored six points in 17 minutes of action in a 69-46 win over UMKC on Nov. 21, 2000.

"This guy is so talented, so gifted," said Cowboy point guard John Lucas. "To me, he's not a freshman. I look at him like he's been out there for a year or so, like he already has it underneath his belt.

"He loves the game of basketball, and he feels like he can't be stopped when he's on the court. That's the kind of mentality you have to have, especially in our conference."

Curry entered the game against Northwestern State with 15:09 left in the first half. He was relatively quiet as the Cowboys built a 16-12 lead over the next five minutes. But then he showed how he became the all-time state of North Carolina high school scoring leader (3,307 points) – in a span of about three and a half minutes he scored eight points to increase the lead to 28-17.

He would be one of four Cowboys to finish in double figures (Lucas had 24, Joey Graham 18 and Ivan McFarlin 14).

"This guy will be a special player at Oklahoma State," said Sean Sutton of Curry. "He's fun to watch, (and) he's fun to coach because he loves to play. When he's out there on the floor he's having fun.

"He plays with such great passion, and I think that's the thing our staff sees in him and John – how much fun they have playing basketball."

Curry was asked after the game whether he was more satisfied that his first points as a Cowboy came on a breakaway slam dunk (after a Lucas steal and Stephen Graham assist) or minutes later he drained a long-range 3-pointer.

"Actually, I think the win," he said.

Curry has joined a team that seems to be a perfect fit. With seven seniors on the team and four starters returning from last season's Final Four squad he is not expected to be a bonafide superstar right away. He recognizes the opportunity to adjust and grow into his particular role.

"Imagine going to a team with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores, and you all coming together and you've got to take the (growing) pains together," Curry said. "These seniors have already been through the pains, and it's nothing for them to show me how to handle any situation. There's no situation that I run into on the court where I can't run to them and they'll have the answer.

"It's unbelievable."

That's the word his teammates already have begun using to describe Curry.

"To me, I know that when he's on the court I know it's time to step up to another level," Lucas said. "I know he's going to run the court like a thoroughbred. When I see him go, I'm going to make sure I throw the ball ahead so he can just go to work."

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