This season's first public appearance for the Oklahoma State Cowboys wasn't the prettiest sight, but OSU was able to pull of a win over Global Sports in exhibition action, outscoring its opponent, 86-63.
"It was kinda wild and wooly out there at times but I thought for the first outing we played pretty well," OSU head coach Eddie Sutton said. "I thought our defense the first half was outstanding and because of our defense we got some easy points."
OSU led throughout the entirety of the game, holding Global scoreless for 4:48 minutes into the first half. Victor Williams came out of the gate quickly for the Cowboys, sinking a three-pointer on OSU's first field goal attempt of the night.
Five Cowboys were in double-figures, with guard Cheyne Gadson leading the way for OSU with 18 points and six assists.
Gadson drove the lane all night long, going in for layups, taking jumpers and dishing it off to teammates in the paint.
"That's always been my game," Gadson said. "I just had to get it back from last year."
Sutton said he knew Gadson could produce down low, and was impressed that he took advantage of opportunities in the game.
"I thought tonight he did what he probably does best and that is really drive the ball and stop and shoot it or take it all the way to the basket," Sutton said. "He is strong and he can post up."
Two OSU newcomers, Tony Allen and Janavor Weatherspoon, scored 16 and 10 points respectively.
Allen took a Gadson pass to the bucket in the second half, and he jumped, caught it in mid-air and did a reverse dunk. Allen, humble about the dunking show that wowed the crowd, looked confused when asked about the shot.
"Dunk?" he asked. "What dunk?"
Gadson said he sees Allen attack the rim like that in practice everyday, so it was not a new concept to him.
"You get used to it after a while," Gadson said. "He catches it off the rim and just throws it back. He does it all the time, so it's just like natural to us."
The Cowboys collectively shot 60 percent from the field, surprising Sutton. During the off-season, Sutton was worried that this may be the worst offensive team he has ever coached.
"You can shoot 60 percent if you take good shots," Sutton said. "There were three or four shots that shouldn't have been taken, but there weren't very many what I would call bad shots."
Center Frans Steyn, playing in his first-ever game of organized basketball, was 1-for-1 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Steyn is an ex-rugby player from South Africa, and he is the tallest player in the Big 12 Conference, standing at 7-feet-2-inches.
Steyn logged 12 minutes for OSU, getting a standing ovation from the crowd on his first score.
"It is hard to believe he hadn't played an organized game until tonight," Sutton said. "That is amazing when you think basketball players start playing when they are in elementary school, junior high, high school. He had never played in a regular contest until this evening. I thought he played real well – he is getting better."
OSU led Global Sports by as much as 18 points, but turnovers plagued the Cowboys all night long. OSU threw the ball away 24 times on the night, something Sutton is a stickler about.
Gadson said Sutton had a few words about the turnover margin in the locker room following the game.
"Yeah, he didn't like that," Gadson said. "We gotta limit that definitely. One of our goals before we went in was 12 and under and we were way over that."
Sutton wasn't surprised that five players were in double-digits in the scoring column, and he said it will be like that all year.
"I don't think anybody's gonna average big points on this team," Sutton said. "I think you're probably gonna see – not that we're gonna score 86 points – but I think you're gonna have different people lead the team