'We're better than that': How TCU overwhelmed Oklahoma State in rout behind Mike Miles Jr.

1 month ago The Oklahoman

'We're better than that': How TCU overwhelmed Oklahoma State in rout behind Mike Miles Jr.play

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OSU head coach Mike Boynton speaks about playing in the Big 12

OSU head coach Mike Boynton speaks about playing in the Big 12

Iowa State Athletics, Oklahoman

FORT WORTH, Texas — With 8:42 remaining in a blowout, Oklahoma State men's basketball coach Mike Boynton had enough after Quion Williams’ layup was blocked with no foul called. So, Boynton let the nearby official know all about it.

Boynton earned the resulting technical foul, his first of the season.

It was not an attempt to wake up a sleep-walking team. It wasn’t purely frustration either.

The technical foul just summed up the day.

Nothing at all went well.

The Cowboys played their worst game of the season Saturday afternoon, falling to 22nd-ranked TCU 100-75 at the Schollmaier Arena.

OSU (16-11, 7-7 Big 12) has lost two straight following its resurgent five-game winning streak. The loss also leaves OSU and TCU with a series split.

Saturday was the first time OSU allowed an opponent to score 100 points since Jan. 3, 2018, a 109-89 Bedlam loss. TCU’s final total ended a streak of 172 straight games OSU did not allow triple digits on the scoreboard.

“I want to make this clear: Today was about TCU being really good and making Oklahoma State look really bad,” Boynton said, “and making us play in a way that didn't look like we belonged on the court with them. But we know better than that. We played this team before and we know what we're capable of.”

TCU (17-10, 7-7) led by as much as 27 on a day it got back superstar Mike Miles Jr., who scored 15 points in 35 minutes, from a knee injury.

The return of the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year sparked the Horned Frogs.

“I don’t want to oversimplify this,” Boynton said. “There’s a reason he was picked as the best player in the best league in the country.”

OSU was led by Bryce Thompson’s 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. John-Michael Wright also had 15 points and three assists. Williams pitched in 12 points and three assists in 19 minutes.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

More:Why Oklahoma State's John-Michael Wright embraces being called 'smallest man on the court'

Miserable first half

dooms Oklahoma State vs TCU

The first 20 minutes went about as bad as it could. 

The Cowboys committed 11 turnovers. They shot just 38%. They settled too often for 3s, making 4 of 14. Kalib Boone played just five minutes due to foul trouble.

Meanwhile, TCU shot a blistering 65%, scored 14 points to OSU’s one off turnovers and dominated the paint 20-2.

The result? A 47-27 deficit for the Cowboys.

“There’s no excuses,” Boynton said. “They were better in every facet of the game and it’s on us to respond and kind of figure out how to pick ourselves back up.”

OSU scored just six points over the final eight minutes, while TCU dropped 25.

That simply put OSU on the path to a miserable day.

TCU never let up. 

It shot a remarkable 68% against OSU, easily the highest percentage of the year against the Cowboys. Six players scored in double figures.

More:Oklahoma State's Naz Brown making most of 'do-or-die situation' as walk-on for Cowboys

The absence of Avery Anderson III due to his wrist surgery loomed large in the past two games.

It was particularly felt Saturday. Not only could he not provide his dynamic defense, but he was not there to attack the basket against a fierce TCU defense.

The Cowboys’ guards struggled to get into the paint and TCU controlled OSU’s bigs.

OSU made just 10 of 30 from 3-point range, opting to shoot deep against TCU’s swarming, physical defense. The Cowboys were 15 of 24 from shots inside the arch, but were far too often unable to get a solid look in that area.

OSU also committed 17 turnovers, leading to 21 points.

Wright said correcting some of those issues comes down to physicality.

“It’s really just a toughness thing,” Wright said. “It’s not fundamental. We’ve got to be more physical and impose our will first. They were the aggressors today and we weren’t.”

And the Cowboys were held to just 20 points in the paint, while TCU had 50. TCU also out-rebounded the Cowboys 33-21.

Boynton pointed to OSU pressing most of the second half to attempt to get back into the game padding the points in the paint for the Horned Frogs. 

But there is no doubt OSU struggled inside.

OSU also got little production from star Kalib Boone, who dealt with foul trouble and was limited to three points in 10 minutes.

“Without the benefit of going back and watching the film, I don’t know if they were more physical with him,” Boynton said of Boone. “Obviously, Eddie (Lampkin Jr.) being in there was a factor. (Kalib) picks up a foul in the first 10 seconds of the game, so he was a little off balance but was never really able to get great post position to really do what he’s been doing well.”

Boynton said Boone did not play much down the stretch because OSU focused on getting more shooting on the court in desperation mode.

More:How Oklahoma State will turn to a 'village' of players with loss of Avery Anderson III

Oklahoma State back to the bubble?

After clawing its way off the NCAA Tournament bubble, the Cowboys are in danger of quickly tumbling back.

OSU began the day projected as a nine seed by both ESPN and CBS. It was ranked No. 33 in NCAA NET. The Cowboys are now 5-8 in Quad 1 games. 

Two straight losses to Kansas and TCU sting, especially the way the loss developed Saturday. 

But the Cowboys are in a solid position.

They could be back on the bubble entering Monday’s game at slumping West Virginia, who fell back to the bubble itself after a home loss to resurgent Texas Tech. But it’s likely OSU still has a chance to hold a seed in projections entering that game.

That simply makes Monday a must-win.

“You gotta understand that your back’s against the wall,” Boynton said.

Oklahoma State vs. TCU basketball: Score, live updates, highlights
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