Despite being shorthanded in the paint on Saturday, the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team still had a better defensive performance against forward-heavy Baylor in round two of the Big 12 Conference season.
In the first contest in Waco, Texas, in which the Bears won by 41 points, the starting forwards of Perry Jones III, Quincy Acy and Quincy Miller combined for 55 points and the Bears finished with 36 points in the paint.
The second time around, the trio combined for just 34 points despite OSU being without center Philip Jurick and redshirt freshman forward Michael Cobbins having to play all 40 minutes of the contest. The Cowboys (11-12, 4-6 Big 12) also limited Baylor’s points in the paint to 28 — to OSU’s 24.
“When you hold Baylor to 64 points, you’ve done a very, very, very good job defensively,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said.
With the 6-foot-8, 220-pounds Cobbins serving as Oklahoma State’s main deterrent down low — though reserve Marek Soucek and starter Le’Bryan Nash did get time in the post — the redshirt freshman from Amarillo, Texas, recorded a game-high four blocks.
“It was a big job and the coaches wanted me to go out there and get the job done,” Cobbins said. “With Phil being out, I had to be there to fill up that gap (down low) that we were missing.”
But going all 40 minutes against one of the best front courts in the country paid its toll on Cobbins — who threw up from exhaustion during the under-4-minute media timeout.
“I definitely went and took a long nap after the game was over with,” Cobbins said. “I was feeling sore (the next day). My legs were tired and felt like I needed to do some kind of treatment and get more rest.”
With the Cowboys down to a seven-man rotation — which includes preferred walk-on Christian Sager, who received a one-year scholarship — Ford said making sure players got rest between games would be essential.
“We didn’t even dress out (Sunday), which I don’t know if I’ve ever done in my history two days before a game,” Ford said. “... It’s kind of a Catch 22 with this basketball team. Our team needs the rest, no question, but our team seems to respond better when we have live-action game situation before a game. So we’re kind of caught in between. As we’re coming down the stretch here, it’s going to be more and more crucial that we get them rest.”