January 9, 2013

OSI breaks down Oklahoma State's matchup with TCU

The Pokes tip off with TCU tonight at 7 p.m., and will try to snap a two-game slide after starting the season on a 10-1 tear.

Since that start, they've dropped contests against Gonzaga and at Kansas State, and some of that may be due to the disappearance of Le'Bryan Nash's contributions on the scoring end. Will Nash and the boys right the ship tonight against a weaker TCU team? We'll be watching for that, and much more in tonight's matchup.
Here's what we'll be keying on.

- Against Gonzaga, Oklahoma State went with the jump-shooting game, but when they visited Kansas State this past Saturday, they drove the lane constantly. Basically a night and day game plan in just a few days. I don't expect TCU to put up much of a fight, so it will be interesting to see which style the Cowboys go with in this one.

- Nash has been missing in the last two games, not breaking double-digits in either contest while looking completely lost on the court. Does he take advantage of a weaker opponent and try to right the ship tonight, or does he continue his slide?

- Oklahoma State prides themselves on defense, yet gave up 70+ points to a Kansas State team that probably won't average much more than 60 on the season. If they want to end this losing-streak, they need to get back to their ways.

- To go along with the previous bullet, the Pokes have been doomed by opponents having huge halves against them. First it was Kevin Pangos and Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga going for 20 in each half (Pangos in the first, Olynyk in the second), then it was Rodney McGruder for the Wildcats going off in the second half on Saturday. Beyond that, the Cowboys experienced more of the same at Virginia Tech. They have to figure out a way to not only stop the bleeding when an opponent starts heating up, but also to eliminate any weak spots that opponents might be taking advantage of to have these huge halves.

- When Travis Ford was hired by Oklahoma State, he was an up-tempo run and gun coach on the offensive end. During the K-State game, the commentators said that Ford said he wants to get shots up in the first eight seconds of the shot clock, which would allude that he's trying to get back to his old style. Can he get his team out and running tonight, and more importantly, can he still find success in the half-court game by getting everyone involved in the scoring instead of just Marcus Smart and Markel Brown?

The game with TCU is set to tip off at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. As always, follow along on twitter at @brendon_wm for updates and analysis, as well as on the message boards.


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