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16 Oklahoma State The Cowboys hope to lift their fans' spirits after last January's tragic plane crash

Nov. 19, 2001
Nov. 19, 2001

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Nov. 19, 2001

College Basketball Preview 2001-02

16 Oklahoma State The Cowboys hope to lift their fans' spirits after last January's tragic plane crash

When newly renovated Gallagher-Iba Arena opened last season,
nobody could have guessed that the phrase "shrine to college
basketball" would take on a new meaning for Oklahoma State. Less
than a year after the horrific plane crash that killed 10
members of the Cowboys' traveling party, including two players,
Oklahoma State is about to unveil another new feature: the
sculpture in the arena's south lobby of a cowboy on one knee
facing memorials to those who died last January. "We've healed
some," coach Eddie Sutton says of the tragedy, "but not a day
goes by that we don't think of those friends in some way or
other."

This is an article from the Nov. 19, 2001 issue Original Layout

One way to honor the fallen will be to play first-rate
basketball, and with the return of senior guard Maurice Baker,
the Cowboys will be capable of shaking the rafters at
Gallagher-Iba. A transfer from Dixie (Utah) College who arrived
at Oklahoma State last season, the 6'1" Baker delighted Cowboys
fans last year by averaging 19.8 points and a remarkable 6.7
rebounds. "For the first time in my career I let a guard go to
the offensive boards," says Sutton, who's entering his 32nd
season. "I've had three guards come from junior colleges and
make the NBA, but none of them had the immediate impact Maurice
had."

Oklahoma State's best teams have almost always had three-guard
offenses, and when stocky juco transfer Cheyne Gadson recovers
from minor preseason knee surgery, he should join Baker and
junior Victor Williams (11.5 points per game) to constitute a
formidable trio. Sutton even cautions that Baker's stats may
drop somewhat because of the stronger lineup around him.

Inside, 6'10" senior forward Fredrik Jonzen (pronounced
Jon-ZEE-un) will try to improve on his 15.0 point average.
Jonzen hails from Uppsala, Sweden, and whenever the Cowboys
play, his father, Jan, awakens in the middle of the night, plugs
headphones into his laptop (so as not to wake his wife, Eva) and
lies in bed listening to the game over the Internet. "It's
pretty funny when somebody who doesn't know basketball tries to
give advice," says Jonzen. "He'll say things like, 'You've got
to dribble the ball inside!' but he really doesn't know what
he's talking about." Jonzen should benefit from having played 25
games last summer with the Swedish national team (not to be
confused with the Swedish bikini team).

Stamina could be a concern for Oklahoma State, however. Williams
in particular struggled with his shooting down the stretch last
season, the result of too many minutes in the Cowboys' point
guard saddle.

As for Sutton, 65, he's the same tireless guy who has won 679
games in his long-running career. "They'll probably have to put
him in a chair and wheel him out of the gym before he'll quit,"
says his wife, Patsy. It says here that this year's Cowboys will
get the 21 wins Sutton needs to reach 700--and then some.

--G.W.

COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN Despite being only 6'1" and a guard, Baker grabbed 6.7 rebounds per game in the rugged Big 12, to go with his team-high 19.8 points a game.

STARTING LINEUP

POS. PLAYER HT. CL. KEY STAT

SF Terrence Crawford 6'6" So. 3.5 ppg
PF Fredrik Jonzen 6'10" Sr. 15.0 ppg[#]
C Ivan McFarlin 6'7" So. 14.9 rpg*
SG Victor Williams 5'10" Jr. 11.5 ppg[#]
PG Maurice Baker 6'1" Sr. 19.8 ppg[#]

2000-01 record: 20-10
Final rank (coaches' poll): not ranked
[#]Returning starter
*As high school senior in 1999-2000

REPORT CARD

GRADUATION RATE: 33%
AVERAGE NUMBER OF WINS: 22.5
NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD: 13-8
TRANSFERS: 15
McDONALD'S ALL-AMERICANS: 1
PLAYERS IN NBA: 3

COMMENT: Coach Eddie Sutton and rest of Oklahoma State community
showed grace in dealing with last season's horrific plane crash.
Sutton is also master of developing unheralded recruits. Rough
spots have been few: Forward Andre Williams served NCAA-mandated
five-game suspension two years ago for accepting improper
benefits. (His prep school tuition was paid for.) Forward Jason
Keep suspended for two games last January following DUI arrest.

GRADE: B-