Crucial Hoops Recruiting Weekend Approaches

Maybe the title "Basketball Bash" doesn't quite do justice to how crucial this weekend could be for the Oklahoma State basketball program. A more appropriate title may be "Madness In The Afternoon" and if there was ever a time for OSU students to show their madness for the Cowboy basketball program it would have to be Saturday afternoon inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The annual Basketball Bash begins at 1 p.m. Saturday with Cowboy fans getting their first opportunity to see the Cowboy and Cowgirl basketball teams in person. The four-time defending national champion wrestling team also will be recognized. Admission is $5, and doors open at noon.

But the weekend will be of utmost importance to first-year head coach Sean Sutton's program. The Cowboys will be entertaining two of the most sought after high school prospects in the nation – wing James Anderson (ranked the 24th best recruit in the nation by Scout.com) and point guard Jai Lucas (ranked the 46th best recruit by Scout.com) – this weekend in Stillwater.

Anderson, a 6-6, 190-pound five-star recruit out of Junction City, Ark., visited Florida last weekend. He also has taken official visits to Kansas and Arkansas. Lucas, the 5-10 point guard from Houston (Bellaire), spent last weekend at Kentucky. He visits OSU this weekend and then has trips planned for Maryland and Oklahoma.

Also making the trip to Stillwater this weekend will be guard Nick Sidorakis, a 6-4 standout from Jenks (Okla.) High School who committed to the Cowboys early in the summer.

Two other players were also scheduled to make official visits to OSU but both of those have been postponed. Tracy Smith, the 6-8 forward who is the 45th-ranked best prospect by Scout.com, has yet to take his SAT and thus is not eligible to make official visits, according to NCAA rules. He could make an unofficial visit but that is highly unlikely. Mamadou Diarra, a 6-10, 240-pound forward from Stoneridge Prep in Simi Valley, Calif., had also planned to attend the Basketball Bash but that won't be happening.

"Mamadou is still very interested in Oklahoma State," said Stoneridge Prep director Mike Mahoney. "The decision has been made that he's going to take his vists late, and probably sign next spring."

The Cowboys have several other players they are targeting (CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ONE OF THEM) but getting both Anderson and Lucas to commit and sign in November are their top priorities. And, having about 10,000 fans inside Gallagher-Iba Arena will certainly help convince those two that Oklahoma State would be the place for them next fall. This is definitely a chance for Cowboy fans to make a difference.

The Cowboys, Cowgirls and the wrestling teams will be introducted at the Basketball Bash. The Cowgirls will participate in a 12-minute scrimmage, and the Cowboys will follow with a 20-minute scrimmage. There will then be a three-point shooting contest involving Cowgirls Christina Fox, Rita Kollo, Andrea Riley and Rashidat Sadiq, and Cowboys Mario Boggan, JamesOn Curry, Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris.

The OSU-Texas A&M football game kicks off at 6 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium.

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