STILLWATER, OKLA. — Oklahoma State’s John Lucas likes to make good use of all of his available resources to prepare for the game.
And that includes the ball boys.
The senior point guard, who finished with 18 points and five assists in Oklahoma State’s 78-68 win against Missouri at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Tuesday, practiced his ball handling with two of the orange-clad youngsters on the baseline as his teammates shot around in warm-ups.
Moving to his right, Lucas would try to confuse his defenders with a crossover dribble or with a simple juke of his head.
Although Nicholas Nord, 13, and Jaxson Muller, 11, may have been outmatched, they didn’t care.
For Nord, who sported bright orange sneakers to match his orange shirt and shorts, the warm-up has become somewhat of a trend. Lucas ran a similar drill with him earlier in the year.
Despite the practice, Nord still hasn’t been able to get his hands on the ball.
“His moves are too good,” Nord said.
TEACHING OPPORTUNITY: Playing at Gallagher-Iba Arena and having to face Lucas, Missouri’s Jason Horton couldn’t have asked for a more difficult task in his first Big 12 Conference road game.
For this reason, Missouri coach Quin Snyder took advantage of an opportunity to talk to his freshman point guard.
As referees tried to sort out whether a technical foul on Missouri’s Linas Kleiza came before an Oklahoma State basket, Sny
der took Horton out of the game and sat him at his side on the bench.
“He handles that stuff really pretty well at least on the surface,” Snyder said.
“But there’s always something inside you that as a coach you really want to be mindful off because we need him to lead our team.”
HELPING OUT: Missouri’s Brian Dailey didn’t see any playing time against Oklahoma State on Tuesday, but he found other ways to help his team.
From his spot on the end of the Missouri bench, Dailey ran all the way to the other end of the court to help his teammate Jason Conley off the floor.
Conley had just stolen the ball and called a timeout in midair before falling out of bounds.
The gesture didn’t surprise Conley because Dailey, a senior walk-on, is always one of the first players to great his teammates as they return to the bench.
ON TARGET: The free throw line was kind to both teams Tuesday. Missouri had its best free throw shooting performance of the season, shooting 90 percent from the line.
Oklahoma State matched the Tigers, going 89.7 percent from the line.
Kleiza and Oklahoma State’s Joey Graham were both 13-for-13.
CLOSE AND COSTLY: Obtaining a prime season parking pass to attend basketball games at Gallagher-Iba Arena comes with a high price.
It costs Cowboy VIPs more than $25,000 to park in closest available spots to the 67-year old arena.