Oklahoma State talking 'tough' about Vols

STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State's bracket for the NCAA tournament features some familiar foes - and not necessarily the kind that bring back warm and fuzzy memories.

The Cowboys learned Sunday that they'll be seeded eighth in the East Regional and open with a Friday game against ninth-seeded Tennessee. It'll be a rematch of a pair of contentious neutral-site games played in 2005 and 2006, with each team winning in its home state.

Oklahoma State beat Tennessee 89-73 in the first meeting in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City, with players talking after the game that they'd been fired up because of some verbal sparring that occurred when the teams ended up staying at the same hotel.

It escalated when Oklahoma State's Marcus Dove was knocked out of the game on a hard foul that some Cowboys felt was dirty.

The Vols got revenge the next year in Nashville with a 79-77 victory that knocked a No. 15 Oklahoma State team from the ranks of the unbeaten after an 11-0 start. After that game, players from both teams had to be separated in a hallway outside their locker rooms because of some trash-talking.

"I don't think there's no bad blood with us. I just think it's going to be a competitive game regardless," said Cowboys guard Terrel Harris, who was a freshman for the first meeting. "That's just how it is. They don't back down. We don't back down.

"I just think it's going to be a tough, hard-fought game."

Fellow senior Byron Eaton remembered the first Tennessee game as a breakout game for him. He scored 16 points, then a career-best, and had 10 points in the Cowboys' 22-7 run to close out the game after Tennessee closed to one.

"It's not a rival but it's certainly building (into) one," Eaton said. "I've played them every year I've been here except one and every game has been a close game. It's going to be a tough game. We've just got to come out and have fun."

The bid ends a three-year NCAA tournament drought for Oklahoma State that started after runs to the Final Four in 2004 and the round of 16 the following year. The Cowboys have lost in the first round of the NIT each of the past three years.

If the Cowboys were to advance, their likely second-round opponent would be another recent nonconference opponent in No. 1 seed Pittsburgh. The Panthers split another set of neutral-site games with Oklahoma State over the past two seasons.

The Cowboys won in double overtime against the Panthers in Oklahoma City in 2006, then lost the rematch 75-59 the following year in Pittsburgh.

"I do kind of like it because I'd rather play against somebody that we already kind of have a feel for. It'll make the scouting report and things like that easier," Harris said.

It took a six-game winning streak late in the regular season to salvage any hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament, and an upset of No. 6 Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament left no doubt that the Cowboys would be on the bracket.

"It was just great to hear our name called," first-year coach Travis Ford said. "I know it means a lot to these seniors. Byron and Terrel have been here for four years and have always been asked the question why haven't they been to the NCAA tournament. I'm very proud for those guys to hear their name called and just very proud of how they ended the season to be able to accomplish this."

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Comments » 50

Laydbakvol writes:

Bring it!

elizabethtonvol72 writes:

Let em talk all they want. If, and that is a big IF, our guy's show up it will be very interesting.

chrisw2967 writes:

my only question is , which Tn team shows up.if its the one we seen today then they are 1 and done.

Mommasboy writes:

Agreed...one and done. Tyler Smith needs to stay in school. He'll never make it in the nba. I see him playing with Ron Slay in Europe.

tallfry writes:

It's gonna be Chism all in yo face, OK State!
Wayne the main man!
We can lose any game, but we can win any game, too! That is better than we used to be pre-Pearl. Go vols! Two wins to shut up the world. Luv ya Bruce

orangevolz writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Then why even bother playing the game. Should UT just stay home. What a fan you are!

orangevolz writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good thing you are not a talent scout.

RockyTop1 writes:

Worst draw we could have gotten, what is that 9th seed anyway! No way with our RPI and schedule we sould be below a 6th seed!! GO VOLS!!

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

if it is a close game, we will lose;
Gonzaga
Memphis
Lsu
Auburn
Miss State
Alabama

Six winnable games we pissed away. No character, no focus, no ft shooting, no wins.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bull....I'll take that wager, this is why we play, we just got down to the SEC finals! what a season? And cochamps again of East! I'll take it! Go put on your Cinderella dress! With God and your fairy godmothers all things are possible. Believe in something, you negative people! Oklahoma is just lucky and glad to be here, they'd better worry about Pittsburgh. We actually want to get to Pittsburgh! Playing the best brings out the best!

hdhurst writes:

"I don't think there's no bad blood with us."

Oh, you just have to love the form of this sentence. I don't think he did not mean to mess up (pun intended).

Anyway, just thought it was funny. In other news, I believe it would be good for Smith and Chism to come back. Smith showed today he would not make it as a small forward, and certainly doesn't have the shooting skills (and control) to make it at the next level. Chism got better this year, but I may be selfish when I say I think another year would make him a lock for a 1st round selection. On an off note, a down side of the Rocky Top league was about playing bad defense and being selfish with the ball...which I think we are paying for it now.

Props to CBP for making the best of what has to work with. No one is perfect, but I think another year of this same crew will make them hungrier to be better (as a team). Maybe then Hopson and Tatum could end up dominating like I really believe they could if they applied themselves.

GO VOLS!!! Let's get our 1 or 2 wins in the tourney and go out a respectable winner.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Y'all are some pretty 1/2 azz fans. Talking like we've already lost and talking about how bad Tyler is. I'm sure you're a wealth of basketball knowledge, but does Tyler come to your job and critique your technique on the fryer or the cash register?

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to IBleedOrange444:

Y'all are some pretty 1/2 azz fans. Talking like we've already lost and talking about how bad Tyler is. I'm sure you're a wealth of basketball knowledge, but does Tyler come to your job and critique your technique on the fryer or the cash register?

I don't think Tyler is lazy. I do think he takes too much on himself, and when he does, we lose. His job is to create open looks and dish. We have no one else to do it.

Yeah, fans critique. It's been that way forever. It's the good and bad of fans. We pay the bucks, we expect to see the best somebody can do. We agonize when our team gets ripped or doesn't play well.

if this offends you, join the soccer moms who give trophies to everyone becasue 'we are all winners'.

Volsforbetterorforworse writes:

Do you guys not know how many teams dont even get to see thier team in the tournament. Face it, you guys have impossible expectations. There is no way someone can win the championship every year. However, our team is able to compete with the best teams in the country. They maybe should have won a couple more than they did, but who cares really. We are not coaches, we are fans. Fans dont have the job of analyzing players. Leave that to the coaches that UT has hired. I dont understand what you people want. Look at how young our basketball team is. Of course, mistakes are gonna be made. For Christ's sake give a rest, and let these kids know you are behind them, if not go cheer for a team that gets automatic 5 stars every year like Carolina.

CoachFulmer writes:

Whenever we play pissed, we usually kick a55 and take names. Hopefully that translates into a big win for us. If were gonna make a run, then we gotta out scrap the Cowgirls first.

GO VOLS!

McLifetimeVolfan writes:

in response to Volsforbetterorforworse:

Do you guys not know how many teams dont even get to see thier team in the tournament. Face it, you guys have impossible expectations. There is no way someone can win the championship every year. However, our team is able to compete with the best teams in the country. They maybe should have won a couple more than they did, but who cares really. We are not coaches, we are fans. Fans dont have the job of analyzing players. Leave that to the coaches that UT has hired. I dont understand what you people want. Look at how young our basketball team is. Of course, mistakes are gonna be made. For Christ's sake give a rest, and let these kids know you are behind them, if not go cheer for a team that gets automatic 5 stars every year like Carolina.

Good Post Vols4 Btr,I want to win every game,not realistic,Bruce has brought this program lite years from where it was I support them win or lose Go Vols

john#208876 writes:

Despite what the whiners & moaners say on this site, this team is playing hard and getting better; their weakness is inconsistent guard play due to breaking in a whole new set of players to run the offense thru. The experiment of running the offense thru JP is still jekyl & hyde 'cause he's too loose w/ the ball.
We probably should have been a 6 seed but regardless, it all comes down to matchups; besides if you beat a higher seed all of a sudden that is your seed. So if we make it through the first weekend we're a 1 seed!
Go Vols! Take care of the ball.

VolJunkie writes:

This will be a really good game. I think UT matches up well and they should be fired up after being slapped down with a 9 seed. The travel is not bad, no time zone change ... we have a good chance to play on Sunday.

In the "what if" category, a 16 has never beaten a 1. With all they hype about how top heavy college bb is this year and about how great the Big East is (and they are), how much fun would it be to have two Tennessee teams (UTC - ETSU) make history. Okay, not going to happen, but ...

Go Vols!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

if it is a close game, we will lose;
Gonzaga
Memphis
Lsu
Auburn
Miss State
Alabama

Six winnable games we pissed away. No character, no focus, no ft shooting, no wins.

mp, that's a awful lot of logic this early on a soon-to-be RIP athletic endeavor.

Team has played topsy-turvy without a quality point guard and it shows.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

mp, that's a awful lot of logic this early on a soon-to-be RIP athletic endeavor.

Team has played topsy-turvy without a quality point guard and it shows.

PD, it has to be Tyler. He HAS to quit shottihg damn ball and pass.

He can get his points cleaning up garbage. He's good at it. When he 'creates', we lose. When he drives and dishes, we win.

Ironcity writes:

I don't understand why so many armchair basketball fans don't think we play hard. This team plays as hard as any tream we have had under coach Pearl. As a fan base our expectations have become crazy. We act as if every player we have should be NBA ready as soon as they step on campus. We think that since we have coach Pearl that we should expect as a minimum 27 victories and at least a 2nd seed. We expect all of our guys to never miss a makeable shot and shot 80% from the foul line. We will not accept imperfection and believe that anything that doesn't meet our standsards must be due to lack of effort.

Grow up guys and start enjoying what could be a great thing for years to come if only WE as fans get out of the way and support our team. I regret some of the criticism I have made about the guys but most of the problems I see is our guys trying to hard and taking to much upon themselves instead of working within the team concept.

Colliervol writes:

I agree with chris. Depends on which team shows up. This team can play with anybody and can also look like yesterday at any point in time.

And I agree with pd about the lack of a point guard. This team doesn't have one and desperately needs to find one before next season.

This game probably evolves into a slugfest. How tough are you, Vols? No talking, just do it or go home Friday night. Simple as that.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Timed_vol:

PD, it has to be Tyler. He HAS to quit shottihg damn ball and pass.

He can get his points cleaning up garbage. He's good at it. When he 'creates', we lose. When he drives and dishes, we win.

have to agree with PD on this one. D West would have made a difference this year, Maze is a 6 man at best.

Tyler needs help, seems when he goes to the hole he is solo

I think anything can happen though, and maybe this will be our calling card

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Unless...we win our next two games. As I feel sure you know, if we win those two games then we take the 1 seed - by beating the 1 seed.

Any word on BB?

Colliervol writes:

On the bright side, would we have complained about a 9 seed five years ago? I remember those days all too well. BP has spoiled us now and that's a good thing.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I don't understand why so many armchair basketball fans don't think we play hard. This team plays as hard as any tream we have had under coach Pearl. As a fan base our expectations have become crazy. We act as if every player we have should be NBA ready as soon as they step on campus. We think that since we have coach Pearl that we should expect as a minimum 27 victories and at least a 2nd seed. We expect all of our guys to never miss a makeable shot and shot 80% from the foul line. We will not accept imperfection and believe that anything that doesn't meet our standsards must be due to lack of effort.

Grow up guys and start enjoying what could be a great thing for years to come if only WE as fans get out of the way and support our team. I regret some of the criticism I have made about the guys but most of the problems I see is our guys trying to hard and taking to much upon themselves instead of working within the team concept.

IC. I hear what you are saying. They played reasonably hard yesterday. However, the standing around during our half-court offense was of note. I'll state again, for once I'm just happy to be at the "Dance". After UK, the NCAA's looked rather unlikely. UT definitely worked hard to get back to the dance. Plenty of other SEC teams did not do what UT did - get up off the mat.

orangeinbama writes:

Beat Memphis at home and at least one win over Gonzaga and you will have a 3-5 seed. IMO....

volunteer11 writes:

we better come ready. if we do tho im not worried at all we will probly run the score up on them

Colliervol writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I don't understand why so many armchair basketball fans don't think we play hard. This team plays as hard as any tream we have had under coach Pearl. As a fan base our expectations have become crazy. We act as if every player we have should be NBA ready as soon as they step on campus. We think that since we have coach Pearl that we should expect as a minimum 27 victories and at least a 2nd seed. We expect all of our guys to never miss a makeable shot and shot 80% from the foul line. We will not accept imperfection and believe that anything that doesn't meet our standsards must be due to lack of effort.

Grow up guys and start enjoying what could be a great thing for years to come if only WE as fans get out of the way and support our team. I regret some of the criticism I have made about the guys but most of the problems I see is our guys trying to hard and taking to much upon themselves instead of working within the team concept.

Iron, simply put, there is a HUGE difference in playing hard and playing smart. I don't have any issues with their effort. I do have issues with their focus. At times, they look rudderless on the floor.

As posted on another article, I really appreciate what BP has done here. (I remember the last 30 years.) Would we have been complaining about a 9 seed and an SEC championship game appearance under Buzz? Don't thing so. Bruce has spoiled us and that's a good thing.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

One and Done

volsfan92 writes:

in response to tallfry:

It's gonna be Chism all in yo face, OK State!
Wayne the main man!
We can lose any game, but we can win any game, too! That is better than we used to be pre-Pearl. Go vols! Two wins to shut up the world. Luv ya Bruce

yup good post

givehim6 writes:

The Vols seem to have a patterane of playing good 2 games then booming. Well we've had our boom game, so if pattern hold true we will win v oky st, and pitt. so GO VOLS!

TrouserCough writes:

in response to supersmo18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You couldn't be more wrong about Smith's effort. One negative you can not attribute to him is laziness. He has always given the most effort on the team.

mike#208050 writes:

in response to orangeinbama:

Beat Memphis at home and at least one win over Gonzaga and you will have a 3-5 seed. IMO....

Well that really sounds simple but how would you explain the loss at Ole Miss, at home with Alabama, two games to Kentucky and the losses to a young (at the time) Kansas team and the complete whipping at Temple?

YOUR commissioner, Mike Slime, says the committee looks at the whole body of work. ha!

Take your #9 seed and play ball, if you are worth a hill of beans, prove it.

Memphis ended up #2 in the final ESPN poll and gets a #2 seed? Be glad you are not in the West.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to mike#208050:

Well that really sounds simple but how would you explain the loss at Ole Miss, at home with Alabama, two games to Kentucky and the losses to a young (at the time) Kansas team and the complete whipping at Temple?

YOUR commissioner, Mike Slime, says the committee looks at the whole body of work. ha!

Take your #9 seed and play ball, if you are worth a hill of beans, prove it.

Memphis ended up #2 in the final ESPN poll and gets a #2 seed? Be glad you are not in the West.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

mike, the losses to temple and KU where 'acceptable' in my book; we got beaten by better-prepped teams.

the losses to bama, memphis, msu, auburn, lsu, and gonzaga all boiled down to focus and execution (ft's, turnovers, shot selection).

To be honest, you should be glad with the 2-seed. the voter's polls mean squat, as the final results will prove. Memphis has a good draw yet again to go far, so keep your fingers crossed.

VolJunkie writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Iron, simply put, there is a HUGE difference in playing hard and playing smart. I don't have any issues with their effort. I do have issues with their focus. At times, they look rudderless on the floor.

As posted on another article, I really appreciate what BP has done here. (I remember the last 30 years.) Would we have been complaining about a 9 seed and an SEC championship game appearance under Buzz? Don't thing so. Bruce has spoiled us and that's a good thing.

Collier, you make a great point that many should take note of: the difference between playing hard and playing smart. Many posters have attacked this team's lack of effort, IMHO, it is more an issue of basketball IQ. A solid point guard would have made a huge difference this year. CBP has played the hand he was dealt and done a nice job.

We are in the dance and everyone is 0-0, lace 'em up and lets play!

Go Vols!

VolJunkie writes:

This quote from The Washington Post (Feinstein) sums it up nicely:

"That said, Pitt could face a tough second-round game if Tennessee decides this is a weekend it wants to play. The Volunteers could lose in the first round to Oklahoma State or they could beat Pitt in the second round. There's just no telling."

I think the UT team that wants to play shows up this weekend.

Go Vols!

Jediphysics writes:

Y'all got to relax! This team's done fine after digging a big hole early. Yeah, I wouldn't get my hopes up, but this is Tennessee men's basketball we're talking about. Anything at this point is gravy. Besides, we play better with a chip on our shoulders...

Vol_Jokes writes:

Bye Bye
All things point to a loss by the Vols in their first game.

a) It's a decent team they are playing (that should do it right there)

b)We all know how the vols play when it comes tournament time.

c)The game will have occasions where it will be telecast nationally. (We know that the vols lose anytime they are on national tv)

I was really hoping you were over on our side. Getting another win against the mighty vuls and sending them home would have been nice but we'll just have to leave that to Ok. State.

VolJunkie writes:

in response to BrayforHeisman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

good points, but discover punctuation! I ran out of breath reading this ... but then again I am an old guy. ;)

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to VolJunkie:

good points, but discover punctuation! I ran out of breath reading this ... but then again I am an old guy. ;)

i told him the same thing in my post last nite---maybe he cant read either

invisiblekid writes:

in response to Colliervol:

Iron, simply put, there is a HUGE difference in playing hard and playing smart. I don't have any issues with their effort. I do have issues with their focus. At times, they look rudderless on the floor.

As posted on another article, I really appreciate what BP has done here. (I remember the last 30 years.) Would we have been complaining about a 9 seed and an SEC championship game appearance under Buzz? Don't thing so. Bruce has spoiled us and that's a good thing.

Last 30 years? I'll see that and raise you one. Go back 3 weeks and this team was NIT bound by most estimations including mine. Pearl has done a helluva job to get these guys to pull together enough for the stretch run to make the NCAA's and getting the teams to the SEC Finals. Many of these posters have awfully short memories.

The biggest problems with this team at this point IMO are:

1)the lack of a floor leader
2)inconsistent scoring

Both issues seem to rear their heads at the worst times, usually at the end of the game as evidenced by 6 losses where they had a chance to tie or take the lead in the last minute.

Both of those things can only improve with experience. I don't think they'll improve enough in 4 days to overcome the challenges that lie ahead though. OKSt has a better, more experienced back court but it will be a hard fought game.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Louisville vs. North Carolina in Finals.

Louisville 75 -North Carolina 74

2nd choice Michigan State 85 -North Carolina 88

3rd choice Memphis 1 -UT 101 (This game has a real chance)

4th choice Chattanooga 88 -N.Carolina 87 because if we beat Connecticut we can beat anybody!!!!

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to Colliervol:

On the bright side, would we have complained about a 9 seed five years ago? I remember those days all too well. BP has spoiled us now and that's a good thing.

You're absolutely right.

bmaples writes:

prediction - vols win two (second in wild comeback), make sweet sixteen, then petition KNS to ban all the fans who said "one and done" in any post. :-)

Seriously - I think they beat OKS in first game by 10 or more, then shock Pitt by getting Blair in foul trouble. Big East teams often have problems with fouls in the Big Dance, because they are used to the calls in the league.

Bruce in Louisville

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

We'll either win by 10 or lose by 10, no close game here.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TCHDWN10C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ordinarily I'd say go away. But I am happy about Mr. Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

askUncleMaze writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I agree with chris. Depends on which team shows up. This team can play with anybody and can also look like yesterday at any point in time.

And I agree with pd about the lack of a point guard. This team doesn't have one and desperately needs to find one before next season.

This game probably evolves into a slugfest. How tough are you, Vols? No talking, just do it or go home Friday night. Simple as that.

Here we go again.. Blame it on the PG...Hello B.Maze was on the Bench.. If B.Maze misses a shot he's pulled out of the game...JP Prince had 4 turnover in 4 min.. He stays in the game. If you want to win let B.Maze play. Jt is not a PG he is a 3...

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Bobbies' had some problems but I for one don't think he's THE problem. In fact he's made some progress. His defense has been mostly better and he doesn't get trapped going inside like earlier. His and JP's passing needs to be sharper and better thought out. He's as good as any of the guards right now and maybe a little better. Sometimes He and JP just need to take a quick look around before they pass...maybe a good look at the floor before they start their dribble.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I don't understand why so many armchair basketball fans don't think we play hard. This team plays as hard as any tream we have had under coach Pearl. As a fan base our expectations have become crazy. We act as if every player we have should be NBA ready as soon as they step on campus. We think that since we have coach Pearl that we should expect as a minimum 27 victories and at least a 2nd seed. We expect all of our guys to never miss a makeable shot and shot 80% from the foul line. We will not accept imperfection and believe that anything that doesn't meet our standsards must be due to lack of effort.

Grow up guys and start enjoying what could be a great thing for years to come if only WE as fans get out of the way and support our team. I regret some of the criticism I have made about the guys but most of the problems I see is our guys trying to hard and taking to much upon themselves instead of working within the team concept.

You lost me at "armchair".
Too many words...zzzzzzzzzzz

Not really. But I have to disagree about our effort in many games both that we won and lost. Decision making hurt in that the results of driving the lane and getting embarrassed took our desire away. The selfishness I've seen in this team is thinking they have to do it all... Not trusting the pass, or thinking too much when it's too late to think going inside. I've said all year that one man can't consistently win. Tyler does try hard. Chism does try hard. But too often we have people trying to be the offense and too often people are not playing defense. When we've been really good we've passed well and defended well. Like Pearl I have no problem with 3s if we're doing the other fundamentals well (especially offensive rebounding).

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