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16 Oklahoma State
Team Page | 2001-2002 Schedule
The Cowboys hope to lift their fans' spirits after last January's tragic plane
By Grant Wahl
When newly renovated Gallagher-Iba Arena opened last season, nobody could have
guessed that the phrase "shrine to college basketball" would take
on a new meaning for Oklahoma State. Less than a year after the horrific plane
crash that killed 10 members of the Cowboys' traveling party, including two
players, Oklahoma State is about to unveil another new feature: the sculpture in
the arena's south lobby of a cowboy on one knee facing memorials to those who
died last January. "We've healed some," coach Eddie Sutton says of the
tragedy, "but not a day goes by that we don't think of those friends in
some way or
Despite being only 6'1" and a guard, Baker grabbed 6.7 rebounds per game
in the rugged Big 12, to go with his team-high 19.8 points a
One way to honor the fallen will be to play first-rate basketball, and with the
return of senior guard Maurice Baker, the Cowboys will be capable of shaking the
rafters at Gallagher-Iba. A transfer from Dixie (Utah) College who arrived at
Oklahoma State last season, the 6'1" Baker delighted Cowboys fans last year
by averaging 19.8 points and a remarkable 6.7 rebounds. "For the first time
in my career I let a guard go to the offensive boards," says Sutton, who's
entering his 32nd season. "I've had three guards come from junior colleges
and make the NBA, but none of them had the immediate impact Maurice had."
Oklahoma State's best teams have almost always had three-guard offenses, and
when stocky juco transfer Cheyne Gadson recovers from minor preseason knee
surgery, he should join Baker and junior Victor Williams (11.5 points per game)
to constitute a formidable trio. Sutton even cautions that Baker's stats may
drop somewhat because of the stronger lineup around him.
Inside, 6'10" senior forward Fredrik Jönzén (pronounced
Jon-ZEE-un) will try to improve on his 15.0 point average. Jönzén
hails from Uppsala, Sweden, and whenever the Cowboys play, his father, Jan,
awakens in the middle of the night, plugs headphones into his laptop (so as not
to wake his wife, Eva) and lies in bed listening to the game over the Internet.
"It's pretty funny when somebody who doesn't know basketball tries to give
advice," says Jönzén. "He'll say things like, 'You've got
to dribble the ball inside!' but he really doesn't know what he's talking
about." Jönzén should benefit from having played 25 games last
summer with the Swedish national team (not to be confused with the Swedish
Stamina could be a concern for Oklahoma State, however. Williams in particular
struggled with his shooting down the stretch last season, the result of too many
minutes in the Cowboys' point guard saddle.
As for Sutton, 65, he's the same tireless guy who has won 679 games in his
long-running career. "They'll probably have to put him in a chair and wheel
him out of the gym before he'll quit," says his wife, Patsy. It says here
that this year's Cowboys will get the 21 wins Sutton needs to reach 700 -- and
Issue date: November 19, 2001
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