Oklahoma State Tips Off Against Pittsburg State In Exhibition Contest
STILLWATER - The Brad Underwood era tips off for the first time tonight when Oklahoma State hosts Pittsburg State in exhibition action at 7 p.m. CT in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Interestingly, Underwood and Gorillas coach Kevin Muff were roommates at Kansas State from 1984-86 and have remained close friends to this day. Pitt State went 16-13 last season and returns seven letterwinners. Senior guard Josiah Gustafson was the team’s second-leading scorer a year ago at 15.4 points per game.
The Cowboys are at full strength for the first time in nearly a year, as fifth-year guard Phil Forte III is back from an arm injury that caused him to miss most of last season. Likewise, point guard Jawun Evans returns from injury and finds himself on the preseason All-Big 12 team after leading all freshman in the conference in scoring (12.9 ppg), assists (4.9 apg), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9 A/TO), field goal percentage (47.1), 3-point field goal percentage (47.5) and free throw percentage (83.3).
Leyton Hammonds broke out last year averaging a career-best 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The senior forward will be critical to Oklahoma State’s success this season thanks to a dangerously thin frontcourt.
Mitchell Solomon, Jeffrey Carroll and Tavarius Shine each have valuable experience and will be expected to be leaders now that they’re upperclassmen.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this exhibition contest will be finding out how the rest of the roster fits into Underwood’s plans. Can Davon Dillard, a highly-touted but little used 2015 recruit, carve out a role in the rotation? How about freshmen Brandon Averette, Thomas Dziagwa, Cameron McGriff, Lucas N’Guessan, and Lindy Waters?