Loss of Oklahoma State’s Williams Not a Good Sign for Travis FordPosted by dnspewak on October 22nd, 2012
This was supposed to be a fresh start for Oklahoma State. A year after injuries and transfers derailed Travis Ford’s program and ruined Keiton Page’s senior year, the Cowboys’ 2012-13 roster looked healthier, deeper and significantly more dangerous on paper when practice opened more than a week ago. That’s why the latest injury to Brian Williams, who will now miss the rest of the season with a fractured wrist, is so discouraging for the Cowboys. The loss of Williams will not cripple this program, but the last thing Ford needed was to deal with another personnel problem. Consider this: In 2011-12, two of his point guards transferred before conference play, his best athlete (J.P. Olukemi) tore his ACL after 13 games, and Le’Bryan Nash and Philip Jurick also missed a handful of games. Ford played Missouri in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals with six scholarship players and a walk-on, and his team’s season predictably ended with an embarrassing 18-point rout.
Brian Williams scored 21 points in that loss, by the way. Nash and freshman Marcus Smart headline this roster, but Williams was a projected starter on the wing. He’s a highlight-reel dunker with terrific athleticism and the kind of guy who could have created serious matchup problems against slower forwards. Instead, he’ll now take a medical redshirt and return as a sophomore in 2013-14, leaving the Cowboys praying even harder that Olukemi can gain eligibility for the second semester. In an odd scenario, he’s technically eligible only for the first semester right now, but OSU has appealed that decision and apparently believes it has a decent shot to win. Between Olukemi’s status, Williams’ injury and the mystery surrounding Jurick (he was arrested this summer on drug charges), it looks like Ford’s roster headaches weren’t exclusive to last season.