It’s not that I thought Oklahoma State was disappointing in the way they battled back from a 9-0 deficit to start their NCAA tourney game against Gonzaga. They showed grit, and responded to Travis Ford’s call for effort at halftime. But they lost to Gonzaga 85-72 because a team that is good (Gonzaga is) will wear you down and keep you down if you are not on your best game. And OSU, despite all of its talent, did not have a chance of turning it on for their best game in the tournament.
What I mean is, teams that have problems mid-season like they did, Smart losing his cool and sitting out three games for getting into it with a fan on the road (even though the fan was a jerk). and the long losing streak the Cowboys were in the midst of at that time all added up to season-interruptus. They just couldn’t turn it back on when it mattered most. Sure, they played well down the stretch once Smart returned, but couldn’t come up with the bounces, the big plays, the boards and breaks they needed in the Big 12 tourney and this one and done tourney they call the Big Dance.
I hope the Cowboys gel next year and OSU can move closer to becoming a Final Four team I thought this year’s squad could have been. And we will be waiting to hear it from Smart’s mouth the answer he couldn’t really give at the NCAA press conference you can hear above. Once they know whether or not he comes back for his junior year, OSU will have an idea of how good they SHOULD be in 2014-2015.