OSU-Miami: NIT Preview

OSU's basketball team is in unfamiliar territory – playing in the National Invitation Tournament – but the Cowboys might as well make the most of it. Sean Sutton points out that Memphis made a run in last year's NIT, and used that momentum to win 24 games this season. The Cowboys are hoping to use the NIT to extend their season – and gain some practice time – for another three weeks. It all begins Wednesday when the Cowboys, 17-15, face the Miami Hurricanes, 16-15, in a first-round NIT game.

Oklahoma State (17-15) vs. University of Miami (16-15)
National Invitation Tournament, First Round BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Fla.
Wednesday, 8 p.m. (Central time)
Television: ESPNU
Cowboy Radio Network: Dave Hunziker and Tom Dirato

This will be the first ever meeting between the Oklahoma State and Miami basketball teams.

Find Mr. Boggan No, not Mario Boggan's father. We mean the Cowboys have to find a way to get the ball to the 6-foot-7 junior who shot better than 58 percent from the field this season and averaged a team-best 14.8 points per game. The Cowboys have gone through scoring droughts in many of their losses this season, including a one-point loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament. The Cowboys scored just one basket during an eight-minute stretch in the first half against the Jayhawks, and then were held scoreless for nearly eight minutes in the second half. When the Cowboys see they are having trouble scoring just make the decision to get it inside to Boggan.

Take The Crowd Ouf Of The Game This is a sarcastic statement if there ever was one. The Hurricanes averaged only 4,347 fans this season at their on-campus BankUnited Center, which holds 7,000. But don't expect 4,347 fans on Wednesday night because of the short period of time between finding out they were hosting a game and tipoff and because it's spring break which means the students are not around. The Cowboys are going to find out the real difference between playing in the NCAA Tournament and the NIT – taking the court in front of nearly 18,000 in the Ford C enter in Oklahoma City and 3,500 against Miami.
Keep The Streak Going As in Miami's six-game losing streak in NIT games. Miami is 1-7 all-time in the NIT with the lone win coming against St. Francis (N.Y.) in 1963. South Carolina defeated Miami 69-67 in last year's NIT.

Ride The Dynamic Duo
Miami guards Guillermo Diaz, a second-team All-ACC selection, and Robert Hite, third-team All-ACC, have become one of the greatest scoring tandems in school history. Diaz (539 points) and Hite (508 points) became just the first duo in Miami history to record 500 points apiece in consecutive seasons. The pair are also working their way up the single-season three-point field goal list. Hite's 76 treys this season ranks third and Diaz's 72 is tied for fifth. Both have a chance to break the school single-season record of 79 set by Steven Edwards in 1979.

OSU's projected starters:
F: 4 Mario Boggan (6-7, 235, Jr., 14.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg)
C: 40 Kenneth Cooper (6-10, 260, Fr., 2.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg)
G: 00 Byron Eaton (5-11, 215, Fr., 7.8 ppg, 3.2 apg)
G: 10 Jamaal Brown (5-10, 200, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 3.1 apg)
G: 24 JamesOn Curry (6-3, 190, So., 13.7 ppg, 4.0 apg)

OSU's key reserves:
F: 55 Torre Johnson (6-6, 215, Jr., 10.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
F: 32 David Monds (6-8, 232, Jr., 8.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
F: 5 Marcus Dove (6-9, 215, So., 3.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
G: 1 Terrel Harris (6-5, 190, Fr., 4.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg)

Miami's projected starters:
F: 50 Anthony King (6-9, 230, Jr., 8.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
C: 2 Gary Hamilton (6-10, 265, Sr., 3.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
G: 15 Denis Clemente (6-0, 165, Fr., 5.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
G: 13 Guillermo Diaz (6-2, 186, Jr., 17.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
G: 22 Robert Hite (6-2, 190, Sr., 16.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg)

Miami's key reserves:
F: 42 Raymond Hicks (6-7, 230, So., 4.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
G: 12 Anthony Harris (6-2, 187, Jr., 10.1 ppg, 2.3 apg)

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