OSU-Baylor Notebook

STILLWATER - Travis Ford believes that Cowboy standout James Anderson is not receiving the recognition he deserves. The Oklahoma State second-year head coach said he recently saw a list of the top 10 candidates for National Player of the Year honors and the Cowboy junior was not included on the list, and that is unacceptable, Ford said.

The 6-foot-6 Anderson was outstanding against Baylor in Oklahoma State's 82-75 victory on Saturday. His stat line read: 31 points, 9-of-17 shooting, 5-of-8 from three-point range, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal.

"I thought it may have been one of James' most complete games in a little while," said Ford of Anderson's third double-double of the season (the others came in the first two games of the season), and the fifth of his career.

"The biggest thing I like about James is he's just competing the whole game. He stays focused and he stays in that area where he knows he is one of the best players in the league and he says, I'm going to affect this game in a lot of ways, not just scoring. I'm going to affect it by rebounding, by passing.

"It's absolutely, positively an absurdity that I haven't seen his name mentioned as one of the top 10 player of the year candidates. Somebody has no clue about the game of basketball who puts a top-10 list together and he's not in it at this point in time for what he's doing night in and night out. He's one of the best players in the country and he showed why tonight," Ford said.

Are the Cowboys in the NCAA Tournament?
If Oklahoma State needs to win at least eight Big 12 games to all but clinch an invitation to next month's NCAA Tournament, as many believe, then Saturday's victory was a must. But Baylor head coach Scott Drew said after the game that he believes the Cowboys already are in the Big Dance.

"I thought all along they were a tournament team. I would be very disappointed if (the Big 12 Conference) didn't get seven or eight teams in the NCAA Tournament. I'd be shocked," Drew said, citing the Big 12's 28-12 record in games against other BCS conference schools, which is easily the best in the nation.

Travis Ford was asked in his postgame news conference if the Cowboys should be considered a lock for an NCAA Tournament bid now that they have the same conference record (7-5) as Baylor, a team that many bracketologist are showing as a No. 5 or No. 6 seed.

"Yeah, I would hope so. We've got similar records in the league," Ford said. "I'm proud of our team in getting to this point, and hopefully we've got something left in us but to be able to do it without Ray Penn and some of the things that have happened to us, we're just trying to keep this thing going as much as possible."

Ford, however, said he has not talked to his team about what it's going to take to get into the NCAAs.

"We have not talked about it one single time. Not once have we talked about anything remotely to that affect because it's not about that with this team," the OSU head coach said. "This time last year we talked about it every day with our team … every day. Where we were and what we might need to do, how it would be great to make the tournament because we had guys who had never made it sitting in that locker room last year who were tired of losing and didn't want to leave Oklahoma State without making it.

"But this is the youngest team in the league and they don't need that. They just need to figure out how to get better every day. Our team needs to continue to improve and understand what is helping us be successful at times. If we're lucky enough to make it, that's great but we need to just worry about the next game, and how to get better on Monday. We don't even talk about it as a coaching staff," Ford added.

Obi Reaches a Milestone
Not only does Obi Muonelo now have bragging rights over childhood friend and former high school teammate Ekpe Udoh of Baylor with the seven-point victory, but he reached a milestone on Saturday. The Edmond, Okla., senior contributed 11 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals while playing 34 minutes in the 82-75 victory.

He needed two assists and two steals on Saturday to become just the fifth player in school history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in a career. Muonelo now has 1,285 points, 566 rebounds, 204 assists and 100 steals, joining Byron Houston, Chianti Roberts, Adrian Peterson and Randy Rutherford as the only players to match those totals in their careers.

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