PFB - Five Thoughts on the Stillwater Stars’ Loss in the First Round of TBT

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Feb 17, 2018

The Stillwater Stars’ opening stint in The Basketball Tournament was a short one.

The Stars fell to Team Brotherly Love 87-71 in the first round of TBT on Saturday evening. Here are five thoughts from the game.

1. Le’Bryan Nash, Still a Bucket

Le’Bryan Nash has been scoring at a high rate all around the world since his graduation in 2015, but he proved he can still do it stateside Saturday.

Nash scored the Stars’ first seven points and finished with a game-high 30 on only 18 shots. After the first few minutes, it felt as if Nash would finish this tournament in Ohio and maybe head down to Florida to finish the NBA season.

He was clearly the Stars’ star. In the second half, Brotherly Love started having two and three guys collapse on Nash, but he still scored an efficient 16 second-half points.

“It’s always good playing basketball, the game I love,” Nash said. “Just being able to showcase my talent and my teammates could showcase their talent, it’s always a good thing to do. Obviously, we wanted to come out on a win, but we didn’t. It was a great experience. Hopefully we’ll come back next year ready.”

2. Too Thin

The Stars had just seven players on their roster. It was once filled with OSU alums, but Markel Brown tweaked his ankle and the group had players test positive for the coronavirus, and thus didn’t get to participate.

So, the Stars went in with seven to Brotherly Love’s 11. Staying fresh was an issue for the them, as was the fact that the team had only one true post player in Georgia Tech alum James Banks.

Kansas alum Tyshawn Taylor was the Stars’ second-leading scorer, dropping 16 points on 14 shots.

Thomas Dziagwa and Brian Williams joined Nash as the remaining former Pokes on the Stars. Both scored five points with Dziagwa hitting one of his team’s six 3-pointers. Williams finished a team-best plus-3 in plus/minus.

3. Next Year

Oklahoma State’s maiden voyage into the tournament wasn’t overly successful, but it showed potential.

For starters, the 64-team field got cut down to 24 because of the pandemic, and the newly minted Stars still earned a spot.

The roster wasn’t what it was originally set out to be with guys such as Markel Brown, Michael Cobbins, Phil Forte, Jeffrey Carroll and Darrell Williams initially scheduled to play, but it looks as if the Stars could be a TBT regular moving forward.

“Absolutely [I’d want to play again next year],” Nash said. “Obviously we couldn’t have Markel and Cobbo, who was on the team at first, and Phil. Obviously them guys make a difference because we played together. Obviously their talent speaks for itself. The team we had, I think we still had a chance, it just didn’t fall tonight.

“Hopefully next year we do get them guys back. We’d be deeper, and we’re gonna be back here next year to win it.”

4. COVID Protocols

The broadcast made many references to how strict the COVID-19 testing was for the event.

It was played without a crowd in Columbus, Ohio. To even get to Ohio players had to pass a test from home then had to pass five consecutive tests in Ohio.

It felt like a pretest for what the NBA is going to do in Orlando later in the month. It’s just the first day of competition, but it feels like the tournament organizers have done a good job with it.

5. Live Sports

There were times throughout the broadcast where I had to remind myself that this game was happening as I was watching it.

It’s been since March 11 (OSU’s Big 12 Tournament game against Iowa State) since I’ve watched a live sporting event that I was then going to write about.

Basketball without the crowd wasn’t too big a deal, to me anyway. It feels like a really high-level pick-up game in a sense. You could hear the players more. Guys still got excited when big play happened. The commentators didn’t seem to lose anything despite the empty arena. All good, and honestly I’ll take whatever I can get.

The post Five Thoughts on the Stillwater Stars’ Loss in the First Round of TBT appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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