Anderson Enters The NBA Draft: Oklahoma State Falls To Georgia Tech

Curtis FinchumCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2010

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 19:  James Anderson #23 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys shoots a jumper against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Bradley Center on March 19, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As the final seconds on the game clock ticked down down, Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford and Cowboy fans around the country began asking the same question. 

How will the Cowboys replace junior James Anderson, who declared for the NBA Draft. 

That question will haunt Ford until August. Anderson declared Monday, March 22 at 1 pm. 

But is he really ready? Anderson, the Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged a career high in points this season (22.6) and was the nation's third leading scorer. 

His overall skill set has improved drastically since his freshman and sophomore seasons, transforming from a glorified gunner into a deadly slasher. 

But over the last three games of the season, Anderson struggled against double and triple teams. And in the NCAA Tournament, Georgia Tech just took Anderson completely out of the game. 

His return to normality from his usual superhero form caused the Cowboys to be knocked out in the first round. 

Anderson, selected as a first team All-American, has all the talents to make a solid pro, if not the best to come out of Oklahoma State. 

So as Anderson departs for his childhood dream, his teammates and head coach now must find a way to rebuild an offense that circled around and through him. 

Luckily for Ford, he still has sophomore gunner Keiton Page and the return of freshman point guard Ray Penn whose season ended with a shin injury. 

Next season is far off and there is still some great basketball to be played, but in Stillwater there is work to be done, and it needs to start right away.