February 28, 2013

Nash drops 28 in rout of Horned Frogs

One word sums it up.


Le'Bryan Nash went off, and showed the Oklahoma State (21-6, 11-4 Big 12) fan base that's become very frustrated with him what he can be.

Nash owned the entire game, scoring a career-best 28 points on 12-16 shooting, and was the only Cowboy to break double-digits in a game OSU easily won 64-47 against TCU in Fort Worth.

The sophomore's talent is clearly evident every time he steps on the court, but lately he's seemed absent from the flow of every game. Other than against TCU, he's truly dominated two other conference games (At Baylor and against Oklahoma), but tonight he finally showed everyone what he should be doing on a consistent basis.

Scoring buckets, getting to the free throw line (he shot 4-6), and controlling the game from start to finish.

Over and over again, Nash drove against a lowly Horned Frogs defense, and did whatever he pleased.

He could get layups, he could shoot jumpers, and he could even throw down the tomahawk dunks we see from time to time.

It was impressive nonetheless, but it was also against TCU. That's not discounting it, it was a division 1 team, but it wasn't stiff competition.

Can this spring board him into a late-season tear like he had last season before getting hurt? We'll find out soon enough.

Let's get into a few thoughts.

I won't stay on Nash all night, but I will say that he seemed like he did what I do with LeBron James on NBA 2k13. I just dribble until a hole opens up, then I drive and lay it in because no one on the planet can keep up with LeBron's athleticism. That's what Nash did tonight. Imagine if he and Ford figured out a way to do that as consistently as a Big 12 referee crew misses calls (Sorry Iowa State).

I was very impressed with Brian Williams tonight. He played 23 minutes, and gave Ford another alternate to the run-and-gun lineup that he's been playing by pulling Philip Jurick and putting in Kamari Murphy. Williams is slowly getting back to his old self, and tonight got him a bunch of minutes that he desperately needs because OSU desperately needs anything close to what they had with him last year when they get to these last couple of games and ultimately the conference and national tournaments.

How about TCU? I've got to admit, I was a little worried about the Cowboys in this game. TCU is one of the worst teams in the Big 12, and that's no secret, but that looked like a completely different team than the one that visited Gallagher-Iba Arena a few weeks ago. Major props to coach Trent Johnson and his players, and keep an eye on that program in the future, though it may be distant.

Marcus Smart was… Interesting? Tonight. He shot 3-10 from the field for only 9 points, and I guess I'll excuse that due to Nash's game. It's tough to score points when a teammate is going in like that. What caused a little worry was his 5 turnovers. That number should never go above three for a player of his caliber. Why am I making a big deal about this? I don't know. I guess just to remind him all that he's (maybe) human.

The Pokes forced TCU into 14 turnovers tonight and held them to 27.3% shooting from the field. That wins games, especially in March.

It seems like the Cowboy offense has gotten better the deeper they go into this run. At the beginning of the season it looked stagnant and more like "hero ball" than it did a clicking, functioning offense. Now there's movement both on and away from the ball, and smart ways of getting players open for shots and creating driving lanes.

I'm from Fort Worth and I've never seen TCU's arena with a crowd like that aside from watching their upset over KU earlier this season. In fact, I don't even know the name of their arena. That tells you how big of an opponent they saw in Oklahoma State.

That's a 9-1 record for OSU since their loss at Baylor on January 21st, including a perfect 5-0 road record during the month of February. Let that sink in.

The Pokes return to action on Saturday. They host the Texas Longhorns at 3 p.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

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