Without Marshall Moses, Can Oklahoma State Survive the Big 12?
Oklahoma State will be without double-double machine Marshall Moses for quite sometime. Moses was arrested early Monday morning for possession of marijuana.
Following the loss of Moses, the Cowboys had an absolutely terrible practice and shoot-around before they played their final non-conference game of the season against Coppin State.
Moses' reputation is being the heart and soul of the Cowboy team. He plays off his emotions and raw energy and infects his teammates with is work ethic.
Head coach Travis Ford suspended Moses, taking away his most experienced big man. So Ford turned to freshman Jarred Shaw as his starting big man due to transfer Matt Pilgrim suffering flu like symptoms.
Though they managed to defeat Coppin State, they enter Big 12 play after a very flat and heartless performance.
Senior Obi Muonelo and junior James Anderson must find a way to re-create what their teammate brought to the floor every possession.
The Cowboys are going to need all the passion they can get from their two remaining leaders and all the fire-power their young teammates can provide.
Sophomore Keiton Page and freshmen Ray Penn, Roger Franklin, and Fred Gulley will need to step up in Moses' absence.
However, the most vital player will be Pilgrim.
Pilgram's size, strength, and physicality will be key if the Cowboys should expect to make any headway in conference play.
At 12-2 Oklahoma State is well on its way to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
So now, Cowboy fans must wait and see what further punishment awaits their rising star Moses and hope he returns soon.
But for now, a conference led by the two top teams in the country (Kansas and Texas) will begin its search for its third best team.
The Cowboys have all the fire-power to compete with the likes of Baylor, Oklahoma, and the rest of the Big 12.
However, without Moses they will struggle against size and depth that both Texas and Kansas thrive on.
So as its conference opener against Texas Tech approaches, Ford must find a way to take the pressure off his interior players just enough so that they won't fold under pressure.
Anderson will now be looked upon to become a bigger factor in the teams' rebounding issues. Defense will be key to making any kind of move toward the top of the conference.
No Moses, hopefully no problem. Though his presence inside will be missed, hopefully Ford has enough faith in his current load of big men to take control of the load.
First up Texas Tech, then bedlam rival Oklahoma, the road to any Big 12 supremacy begins with a bang, and hopefully the Cowboys will be able to recover enough to deliver.
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