Cowboys Back Off Practice, Back Up To Shoot?
Phil Forte
Phil Forte

Posted Jan 23, 2014


The headline implies that Oklahoma State took the week off, but that is certainly not true. It also implies that the Cowboys may be shooting a ton of three-pointers the rest of the way, and that isn't entirely true either. Let's say some of it is true. We'll start with the fact that they did get a break this week starting with two straight days off after last weekend's Kansas game.

"At this time of year a bye week is nice to get away for a little bit and we've been going at it hard since September and to get a couple of days off and get away mentally more than physically is important," said sophomore guard Phil Forte.

"(We were able to) kind of regroup and get back to what we do as a strength and get ready to finish strong through conference," he added.

The plan was to go hard on Tuesday and again Wednesday night, but that plan was adjusted.

"More than anything our guys have got their legs back under them," head coach Travis Ford said. "The schedule changes drastically and that is why we backed up and even backed up from what we planned."

That schedule change is that the midweek Wednesday games are over and the turnarounds are tighter with all of them being Saturday to Monday, except for one Saturday to Tuesday. It does change the dynamic for the Cowboys, and it starts with West Virginia in Stillwater at 1 p.m. Saturday and Bedlam in Norman on Monday night.

The Cowboys first meeting with the Mountaineers was only a week and a half ago and will only be two weeks ago on Saturday. It was won on the offensive end with a three-pointer by Markel Brown.

The Cowboys are second in conference play in three-point field goals made and three-point percentage. Forte is coming off a career-high seven three-pointers in scoring 23 points in the Kansas game, and then he said he saw Creighton's three-point shooting extravaganza in the Blue Jays win on Monday over 15th-ranked Villanova.

"I saw that, it was crazy, 21 threes," Forte said kind of amazed. "That's unheard of. Obviously when you get hit with that many threes in a game that can bust a game wide open."

Forte is tops in the Big 12 in conference play in three-point percentage with 53 percent and Brown is 12th at 38 percent.

So could Forte see the Cowboys going crazy like that? He and Brown had a mini three-point explosion in the second half at Kansas.

"I could see something like that, 21 is a lot but I could see us getting hot," Forte said. "We've all had games where we've been hot before and if that all came in one game that is when everything seems to be going easier for us. If that happens in one game then that is trouble for one team."

Forte is the guy for threes for the Cowboys and he admits he studies threes and the people that shoot them, as well as practicing them himself.

"A couple of players I like to watch are like Steph Curry because he is creative at getting his shot off," Forte said. "Ray Allen is the best and he has such a quick release coming off screens and stuff.

"I always watched Keiton (Page) when he was here with his size and he got his shot off. It is definitely a learning tool and you can watch how all of them get their shot off and then add it to your own game."

There are surely a few long-range shooters watching Forte.


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