When the Oklahoma State Cowboys entered James H. Hilton Coliseum on Wednesday night, Marcus Smart and company knew they would be in for a rough battle against an Iowa State team that would be fighting to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
While their loss to the Cyclones is nothing that will put a damper on their season and seeding for the Big Dance, the Cowboys’ defeat at the hands of Iowa State clearly revealed their biggest weakness.
When OK-State (22-7, 12-5) doesn’t have success from behind the arc, they struggle.
Look at the Cowboys’ 17 Big 12 conference games this season. In their five losses to conference foes, the Cowboys have mightily struggled from three-point land. Specifically, OK-State shot just 19-93 from beyond the arc, which is frankly a terrible 20.4 percent. The Cowboys drilled 36.1 (69-191) percent of their three point attempts in their conference play wins this year.
On the season, Oklahoma State is shooting 32.4 percent from three and with an offense powered by guard play, the Cowboys will need to be consistent from deep in the postseason.
Led by Smart, Markel Brown, Le’Bryan Nash and Phil Forte, the Cowboys have been riding a high-powered offense to jump up the Associated Press’ Top 25 rankings this season. But only Brown and Forte are shooting above 30 percent from deep. If Smart and Nash continue to shoot a combined 5.5 attempts from three-point land per game this year, head coach Travis Ford will need his stars to convert if his team hopes to make a deep run into April.