They may have missed out on landing the projected first-overall pick for next year’s NBA Draft in top prospect Andrew Wiggins, but that doesn’t mean the Oklahoma State Cowboys won’t contend for a national title with a deep run through the March Madness this season. The Cowboys have enough talent, experience, and good enough coaching to make a legitimate run this March, with three notable reasons why they can compete.
2014 March Madness Odds
Notable Reason #1: Smart Leads Dominant Group Of Scorers
Unlike Wiggins, Marcus Smart has already established his self as a dominant scorer and one of the best pure shooters in the country with a full year of experience under his belt. Smart has averaged 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists through the first five games of the season, and just as impressive is that he has averaged four steals while logging close to 28 minutes a game. Oklahoma State has one of the most impressive groups of perimeter scorers in the country led by Smart, with senior guard Markel Brown and sophomore guard Phil Forte putting up some big numbers in support. Brown is the veteran leader that leads the team in assists and has also pitched in with 18.2 points per game, while Forte has really impressed with an average of 14.8 points per game in an average of just 19 minutes early on.
Notable Reason #2: Cobbins, Murphy Will Develop in To The Front Court Presence They Need
Cobbins was a very productive sophomore averaging 6.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game a year ago, and he held his own at the defensive end with an average of 1.5 blocks. The best part about those numbers is that Cobbins played at such a high level, and has the potential to be even better with another year of experienced under his belt. Fellow sophomore Kamari Murphy also has realistic size and a monster wingspan, and if he can grow in to his lanky frame he could develop in to a dominant player at both ends of the floor. Smart, Brown, and Forte are talented enough to carry the load early on, and the hope is that both Cobbins and Murphy will arrive by the time March rolls around.
Notable Reason #3: Wiggins, Jayhawks Will Provide Motivation To Be Better
Almost every year there is a handful of teams projected to win the NCAA tournament, but it’s usually one of a second tier of teams that ends up making the deep run. That could very well happen this year as Wiggins and Kansas command a ton of attention in the Big 12, and that could take away some of the pressure that this Cowboys’ team will face. Oklahoma State will have plenty of motivation to improve as the season goes on, and they should be ready to peak by the time that the March Madness rolls around.
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