Can Cowboys Rebound Against Panthers?

Oklahoma State's game against seventh-ranked Pittburgh on Thursday night in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City could answer a lot of questions about what lies ahead for the Cowboys. Just three days after suffering its first loss of the season (turning the ball over 23 times and allowing 21 offensive rebounds), OSU gets a chance to rebound – in more ways than one – against the Panthers.

Oklahoma State could easily be 12-0 and be looking at a top-10 ranking if not for Monday night's disaster against Tennessee. The Cowboys were outrebounded by just two (37-35), but 21 of the Volunteer boards came on the offensive end and resulted in 26 second-chance points – including the game-winning tip-in with just 1.9 seconds left in the game.

Pittsburgh, 10-1 after losing to 89-75 to Wisconsin on Saturday, is one of the better rebounding teams that the Cowboys have faced in the first six weeks of the season. The Panthers outrebound their opponents by 7.4 per game, and have one of the nation's best big men in 7-footer Aaron Gray, who leads the team with 16.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Pitt averages nearly 11 offensive rebounds per game with Gray grabbing 38 already this season.

The Cowboy frontline of Mario Boggan (7.0 rebounds), David Monds (5.8), Marcus Dove (3.5) and Kenny Cooper (2.6) will face a challenge in Gray, 6-9, 225-pound Levon Kendall and 6-8, 245-pound Tyrell Biggs (coming off the bench).

The Cowboys must stay out of foul trouble – JamesOn Curry fouled out and Boggan (who picked his fourth up with 14 minutes remaining), Byron Eaton and Terrel Harris each finished the game with four fouls in Monday night's loss to Tennessee – since the loss of freshman Obi Muonelo this past weekend to a broken bone in his left leg. The loss of Muonelo leaves first-year head coach Sean Sutton with only eight scholarships players and two walk-ons.

The 6-7, 247-pound Boggan leads the Cowboys in both scoring (20.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.0). Guards JamesOn Curry (17.3 ppg and 4.7 assists) and Terrel Harris (11.2) also average in double figures.

Probable starters for the Cowboys
F: 4, Mario Boggan, 6-7, 245, Sr.
Has scored 20 or more points in last five games
F: 5, Marcus Dove, 6-9, 212, Jr.
Started for the first time in five games vs. Tenn.
G: 24, JamesOn Curry, 6-3, 193, Jr.
Leads the team with 56 assists
G: 1, Terrel Harris, 6-5, 184, So.
Shooting team-best 52.4 percent on treys
G: 00, Byron Eaton, 5-11, 221, So.
Has started the last five games
Coming off the bench for the Cowboys
F: 32, David Monds, 6-8, 245, Sr.
Has scored in double figures four times
C: 40, Kenny Cooper, 6-10, 253, So.
Scored season-high 11 points in just 18 minutes vs. Tenn.

Probable starters for the Panthers
F: 14, Levon Kendall, 6-9, 225, Sr.
Kendall is the team's second leading rebounder (6.2)
C: 33, Aaron Gray, 7-0, 270, Sr.
Gray averages a double-double (16.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg)
G: 31, Mike Cook, 6-4, 220, Jr.
55.3 FG% (47 of 85) in 11 games this season
G: 22, Antonio Graves, 6-3, 190, Sr.
Scored double figures in 7 of 11 games
G: 2, Levance Fields, 5-10, 195, So.
Leader in assists (5.3) and a:to ratio (3.41)
Coming off the bench for the Panthers
G: 4, Ronald Ramon, 6-1, 180, Jr.
46.3 3FG% (25 of 54) in first 11 games
F: 5, Tyrell Biggs, 6-8, 245, So.
Four double figure scoring games
F: 23, Sam Young, 6-6, 215, So.
15 career double figure scoring games

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