OSU-OCU Basketball: Five Questions

Oklahoma State launched an exciting season with a bevy of talented young high school standouts and juco All-Americans with a 107-64 exhibition win over neighboring NAIA power Oklahoma City University on Tuesday night. What questions were answered? We explore at least five of the questions that Cowboy fans are asking.

1. What caused the slow start offensively?
Just call it first game nerves. The Cowboys knew they had OCU overmatched and with a little surprising turnout of 10,966 fans and the OSU students pumping up the volume like it was a Big 12 game, the players wanted to start fast. They did, too fast and it showed in their execution and their shots both inside around the basket and on the perimeter. Later in the first half, and in the second half, they still played a lot of up tempo but they did it more under control and the offensive execution was so good that the coaches called six special scoring plays that the team had just been taught and they executed five of the six for points. The slow start offensively will also help the coaches make a point they want in that offense comes and goes and can't always be controlled, but defense can be and it can keep you in games where the offense struggles.

2. Is Tuesday night's starting line-up of Mario Boggan, Kenny Cooper, Marcus Dove, JamesOn Curry and Jamaal Brown going to be permanent? If not, who will be the starters?
No, you can count on Boggan, Curry, and either Brown or Byron Eaton making up three spots in the starting lineup, but the other two positions are up for grabs and could vary most of the season. When defense is needed add Aaron Pettway and either Terrel Harris or Roderick Flemings to the mix. When outside shooting is needed you could see Curry, Eaton and Brown all in the starting lineup. It could be mix and match depending on the opponent and how OSU best matches up. At the least it will be a while before the coaches see players develop to the point they can count on performances night in and night out.

3. Will anybody on the team redshirt this season?
After the game head coach designate Sean Sutton said that right now he doesn't see anybody redshirting. Keith Brumbaugh sat the game out with a shoulder injury but he should be back for the season opener a week from Friday. He will be behind in practice time, but he won't redshirt. Flemings and Harris looked like strong possibilities because of their youth, but it was the combination of those two that ignited the offense when they came in the game. The pair combined for 8-of-9 shooting and 23 points. Harris turned the ball over twice, but he also had two steals and the pair combined for three rebounds. Cooper was an early bet, but Sutton said despite his tough outing (1-of-6 from the field, 3 points and 4 rebounds) he may stay in the starting lineup and will be a major factor this season. It sure looks like 12 guys -- 12 very athletic guys -- vying for minutes. Keeping attitudes up will be a major challenge for the coaching staff.

4. Did Aaron Pettway's line of 3-of-3 from the field for 6 points, five rebounds, seven blocked shots, two turnovers and three fouls put him in line for more playing time?
Yes he did. Very few times has Eddie Sutton pulled a player out off the court just to give him a hug. Sutton did that in the second half and told Pettway great playing and then sent him back on the floor the next opportunity. Pettway is older and while he can be a liability some offensively with his lack of shooting, he does finish in the paint and man, can he slap shots into the second deck. Jammal Brown was asked if he felt sorry for some of the OCU players that Pettway rejected and he said no way. Pettway's blocks fuel the Gallagher-Iba crowd every bit as much as a monster alley oop. The well hyped recruit of a year ago has finally arrived.

5. Who is the better of the two point guards?
To be totally honest the best point guard on the team is JamesOn Curry. Curry had some delicious feeds in the second half, showtime-type stuff and he finished with a team-high seven assists to go with his 20 points and six rebounds. However, Curry will be the shooting guard and that leaves Eaton and Brown. Both will play, but Eaton seems to have more of a point guard mentality. He had five assists and seemed to look for open teammates first before seizing an opportunity to score himself. Brown shot well from three and took eight shots to Eaton's six. It is not as simple as numbers, but you just get the feel from watching that Eaton is more of the true point guard. He also has four years to play to Brown's two years. The attitude could be let him make the position his since he will be in Stillwater for the long run. Again, both will play and both are needed.

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