Fall Break Good For Cowboy Basketball Team

STILLWATER - It was six o'clock Tuesday evening and the sound of basketballs bouncing and tickling the twine could be heard in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Oklahoma State Cowboys were finishing up, courtesy of fall break, a long weekend to start preseason basketball practice. The Cowboys had a longer more fundamental workout earlier Tuesday morning, but came back in the evening, under the watchful eye of veteran head coach Eddie Sutton, for a workout stressing passing and shooting.

With nine total newcomers, including five true freshmen, the best talent the players could have over the past four days of two-a-day practices was ready ears as lessons were being taught just about every minute of every practice.

"I've been very happy," said head coach designate Sean Sutton. "They have listened well, and have been eager to soak it up. To use one player as an example, Keith Brumbaugh has paid close attention. He's getting more instruction than he ever has. I think he's been impressed with all the instruction we have to give him. I think several of the players have been."

It's still way too early to start making out a line-up for the start of the season. However, both point guards - junior college transfer Jamaal Brown out of College of Southern Idaho and Byron Eaton out of Dallas Lincoln High School - have started off well. Brown's experience puts him just a little ahead of Eaton, who continues to shoot the basketball well.

Two other Cowboys, returning preseason All-Big 12 pick JamesOn Curry and newcomer Mario Boggan, have been slowed by injuries. Curry looked good in practice on Tuesday, but that was his first day on the floor after sitting out the first three days with a slight injury from "An Evening with Eddie" last Friday. Boggan will join practices early next week coming off an injury.

Sutton had compliments for two other freshmen. He called Terrel Harris a really well-coached player who can really play defense. Sutton also felt that Roderick Flemings was playing very well.

We inquired specifically about senior post player Aaron Pettway. The senior played only a little after coming out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College as a highly regarded prospect a year ago. Last season Pettway showed he was capable of playing stout defense in the low post, could rebounded and block shots. On the offensive end his turnovers made him a liability.

"He's played his tail off so far, and has looked good," said Sean Sutton. "I'm hoping it continues because he could really help us this season. He's worked hard and it has shown so far."

Pettway, working with the other posts on Tuesday, showed his shooting had improved as he was smooth and consistent on his jump shots in the low post.

It's still very early but Sutton said the sponge process with teaching all the new players and the returners is well underway. He did add that most of the players needed some work on their defense and they were getting it. In fact, he confirmed that there were some sore quads and hamstrings from learning just how low you go to get in a good defensive position. It's just one of the techniques that was taught in the first four days as Eddie Sutton, Sean Sutton, James Dickey and Jimmy Williams begin molding the best collection of basketball talent ever brought together in Oklahoma State history.

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