Georgetown Loss Should Prove Beneficial for the Freshmen
STILLWATER -- It's never fun to lose, especially to a team that you were expected to beat; just take Oklahoma State's loss to Georgetown Wednesday night. There were a few factors that played into the game.
Georgetown was coming off a loss to UNC Greensboro at home, a game that they should've won. This was also the first game that the Hoyas were without their second and fifth leading scorers, James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc.
So, the Cowboys were expected to win against a struggling team. But, before the game, ti was announced that starting point guard Isaac Likekele was out sick, so freshman Chris Harris got his first start of the season.
Harris set several career highs last night against the Hoyas as he posted 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting and hauled in three rebounds in 23 minutes.
Freshman point guard Avery Anderson was also tasked with helping fill the void and he posted his second-highest minute total of the season: 19 minutes.
Kalib Boone also put a lot of work in against the Hoyas as he posted his second-most minutes of the season, as well as post the most rebounds with four.
"It was good," head coach Mike Boynton said about Chris Harris getting the start. "What we saw tonight is just, for [the freshmen], the first time...we played those games early close, but it always felt like we were going to win. This was a big-time college basketball game, this was a Big 12 type game. It's why you build the schedule the way you do, or at least the way we do; is to try and give these guys these opportunities to play in these games to gain some experience and confidence so that, again, when the calendar turns, which I always talk about this point in the process, we've got to go through these things now, so it's huge for [Harris]. It's huge for Avery [Anderson], it's huge for Keylan [Boone] and Kalib [Boone], it's huge for Hidde [Roessink]. For older guys, they've obviously been through it before."
While losing is never easy, it was good for them to get their first lose of the season out of the way now. The freshmen helped the Pokes get to a 7-0 record going into Wednesday night's game and were riding pretty high. The loss helps puts things into perspective and like coach Boynton said, the Georgetown game was just like a Big 12 game: physical, close and against a tough opponent that just won't quit, no matter how many obstacles are thrown their way.
"My message is no different; the message is the same as it was after a win in Brooklyn last Friday: We'll come back and we'll go spend quite a bit of time watching [game film] and figure out why we didn't rebound well enough," said coach Boynton. "Was it something that I didn't emphasize, because it always starts with me. I don't know if I set the tone from an urgency standpoint on the glass that needed to be there, because we certainly didn't play that way. So, it starts with me and I need to figure out how to put these guys in a position to have success. We didn't do that tonight, but we come back on Friday because we're off tomorrow, but we'll come back and get better. It's early, it's Dec. 4 today; we're preparing ourselves to continue to get better and play our best basketball later in the year."
The Cowboys will be back in action this Sunday, Dec. 8 against Wichita State, another game that will have a Big 12 feel to it. The arena, while the game is in Stillwater, will be hostile as Wichita State fans travel very well. The Shockers are 6-1 on the season and will be a great opportunity to see if the young Pokes can implement what they learned against Georgetown.