The biggest crowd pleasers in basketball today are slam dunks and monster blocked shots.
Last night was no different as the fans were awakened more times than usual by the unleashed aggression and subsequent domination by Oklahoma State forward Andre Williams over the Kansas State Wildcats' frontcourt, leading the Cowboys to a 63-55 victory.
Williams shut down KSU forward Pervis Pasco, the Wildcats' second-leading scorer, only allowing him to score five points, less than half his season average. Williams also made it tough for other KSU players to be effective by blocking seven, snatching three steals and keeping the crowd screaming on offense with a couple of two-fisted slams.
"It's just being in the right place at the right time," Williams said. "Everything was just coming to me."
Even though Williams impressed the fans, he merely met the expectations of his teammates and coaches.
"I don't know if I am as impressed as you all are, because Andre can do it night-in and night-out if he really wants to, so we've just got to get him plugged in every night and we'll be okay," said Cowboy forward Melvin Sanders.
OSU head coach Eddie Sutton tried some motivation on Williams at halftime to stir Williams psyche.
"I challenged Andre at halftime," Sutton said. "I said, ‘How can you play that many minutes and get one rebound?'
"He came out (in the second half) and I thought he rebounded well and he blocked shots, and played better defense. And that's the way he needs to play all the time."
Blocking shots as well as he does, the thought of breaking the school record for blocked shots rears its head every once in a while.
"Yeah, I thought about it, but it's something that if I can get the blocks on the road," Williams said. "Last game I had two blocks against Texas, and they didn't count any of them."
Williams' game picked up toward the end of the game with two blocks and two dunks in the last five minutes to thrust the Cowboys to victory.
While Williams' performances have not always been this brilliant, Sutton thinks last night's game better indicates what Williams is capable of doing on a regular basis.
"I thought when he was young, he could be another Dennis Rodman," Sutton said. "I really thought he could be that kind of player."
Sutton said he showed Williams an article from the game against Missouri right after the 2001 plane crash. Williams pulled down 15 boards in the game, and Sutton used that to show him that he could easily be averaging "four or five blocks and 10 rebounds a game."
"I don't think Andre has worked as hard as he probably could have, and I think he would be the first one to admit to that," Sutton said.
The master motivator also brought up the short time left in the seniors college careers.
"I told him yesterday, I said, ‘You guys have got about six weeks and you're through with college basketball, and I don't want you lookin' back with any regrets," Sutton said. "And hopefully, you know, he'll start playing like that."
Williams must overcome many size disadvantages, however, in order to be as effective as he needs to be.
"For the most part the the guys that Andre covers are a lot taller, but more importantly, they're a lot heftier," Sutton said.