The overwhelming sentiment around Oklahoma State fans following the dismissal of Men’s Basketball Coach Travis Ford can be summed up pretty simply. Too bad, so sad, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Not many tears are being shed on Ford’s behalf to say the least. A fact that isn’t incredibly shocking coming off of a dismal 12-20 season where the Cowboys registered a ghastly 3-15 record in Big 12 play. I know we’re always eager to move on from our bad relationships, but it’s alright to reflect on the positives too. We had some good times right?
Now that Oklahoma State has moved on with the hiring of new coach Brad Underwood, I felt it was a decent time to look back. I’m not trying to re-hash X’s and O’s or old game plans, but something more cheerful for loyal Cowboy fans. In this piece I am examining my objective selections for the top 5 Oklahoma State players of the Travis Ford era. Feel free to rank them yourself or mention anybody you think I overlooked. Without further ado, here’s my Ok State Fab Five.
5) Keiton Page 2009-2012
The diminutive “Pawnee Pistol” certainly didn’t disappoint for the Cowboys. A 5’9″ point guard who averaged over 44 points a game in high school defied the doubters all the way into the Oklahoma State record book. Page was a 4 year letter winner and left as Oklahoma State’s all-time leader in 3 point field goals made with 299. In a career highlighted by scoring prowess, a 40 point performance against Texas was his crown jewel. He also earned Second Team All-Big 12 designation in 2012.
4) Le’Bryan Nash 2012-2015
Another big time get at the time for Travis Ford, McDonald’s All American Le’Bryan Nash made an immediate impact. He was named Co-Big 12 Rookie of the Year in 2012. Nash used an imposing build to finish tough at the rim and relished contact. Despite being 3 point averse, Nash possessed a decent midrange shot to bolster his offensive game. He averaged double digit scoring totals all four years on the team topping out at 17 points per game as a Senior. He racked up two Third Team All-Big 12 selections, as well as Second Team All-Big 12 nod his Senior year.
3) Markel Brown 2011-2014
Talk about a high riser. Known for his acrobatic and ferocious dunking Brown was always a good bet to end up on the highlight reel. Not to be overshadowed by raw athletic ability, Brown’s deserves distinction for his well-rounded overall game. In 2013 Brown became the second player in school history to notch 200 assists, 100 steals, and 75 blocks in a career. He earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors following his Junior and Senior seasons. These days he suits up in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets.
2) Marcus Smart 2013-2014
The most highly coveted recruit to land in Stillwater during Travis Ford’s tenure Smart absolutely delivered. He won Big 12 Player of the Year in his first year, one of only three freshman to accomplish that feat. He also earned Second Team All American honors that year. A tough bulldozing point guard, Smart barreled to the rim at will and was a terror on the defensive end of the floor. Smart averaged a hair under 3 steals per game for his career. He currently sports green and white in the NBA as a member of the Boston Celtics.
1) James Anderson 2008-2010
A Sean Sutton holdover who spent his final two years under Ford, the sweet shooting Anderson was gangbusters from day one. He put up 29 points in his OK State debut, tying the schools freshman scoring record. He led the Cowboys in scoring all three years he was on the team before declaring early to the NBA Draft. His final season in Stillwater Anderson took home Big 12 Player of the Year Honors and was a Consensus Second Team All American, averaging 22.3 points and 5.8 rebounds a game. Anderson currently plays in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings.