No team in Division 1 athletics has had more of a rollercoaster 10 years than Cowboy Basketball. Three coaches (Travis Ford 2009 – 2016 … Brad Underwood 2016 … Mike Boynton 2017 -), firings, scandals, attendance woes and much more have reared their ugly head in Stillwater. That’s not to say there haven’t been positives though. Big wins, history and surprises have filled the last 10 years of OSU basketball.
Despite the ups and downs, one thing has been consistent. There have always been those guys that are easy to root for. The guy that seems to have the hearts of all OSU fans. Some of which, were on this year’s senior class, that played for the final time last night.
2008 BYRON EATON
Talk about a Cowboy. Byron Eaton embodied OSU basketball. A brute specimen who was aggressive defensively and had a hot hand. It also helps his cause that he played for Eddie Sutton. But that wasn’t the only coach. Eaton took direction from Sean Sutton and Ford alike.
2009 KEITON PAGE
Ahh, The Pawnee Pistol. Who could forget the scrappy agile point guard that was Keiton Page. The Pawnee Black Bear won the hearts of Cowboyy fans, almost the day he stepped on campus. Growing up just 40 or so miles from Stillwater, Page sold out small high school arenas across Oklahoma. He was a kid, that, if not the most talented, he loved putting on the orange and black everyday. That’s not to say he wasn’t talented, because he certainly was. Page racked up 1,651 points, the tenth most in school history.
2010 MARKEL BROWN
Brown was one of many all-star recruits that Travis Ford picked up. The kid from Alexandria, LA was easy to love and always shined on the court. Many Cowboy fans can agree that, perhaps, Brown has not got enough credit, at least in the professional ranks. A Cowboy for life.
2011 LE’BRYAN NASH
The tall and lean forward was just what the Cowboys needed on the floor. He made athletic plays when he needed to, played hard defense, and was that one player who did the dirty work that went widely unnoticed. In terms of personality, Nash is much like Thomas Dziagwa. Fun loving, and never afraid to be the proverbial team voice.
2012-13 MARCUS SMART
Smart, the guard out of Flower Mound, TX gets the nod for two years. He was just that good. Smart is the best OSU player in the last 10 years by-and-large. The poster boy of college basketball called Stillwater home. Better yet, when he could have easily gone to the NBA, he chose to stay at Oklahoma State to make more of an impact. While he did get a little riled up from time to time, OSU fans know Smart is a good guy deep down.
2014 MICHAEL COBBINS
Michael Cobbins is a lot like Markell Brown. A gritty player who didn’t get a lot of credit. Cobbins treated OSU fans to plenty of entertainment and enjoyed his name booming over the PA system of Gallagher-Iba on multiple occasions.
2015-16 PHIL FORTE
Phil Forte is the only other play that gets two years. He is in the running for the most liked player on this list. Forte, who spent 5 years in Stillwater, didn’t spend his whole career in the limelight. When he was on the floor for the first couple of years, he didn’t make much noise or was outshined by Smart, who played with him in high school. Forte was the saving grace for OSU basketball for the last two years of his career. Forte set records and won the hearts of many a Cowboy fan. Forte holds the record for most career three-pointers at 329.
2016 JAWUN EVANS
Sorry, we’ve got a tie for 2016. Evans was easily one of the best players in recent OSU basketball history. He led the way for OSU under Brad Underwood and did a great job as the Cowboy floor general.
2017 MITCHELL SOLOMON
Where to begin. Big Mitch’s name will grace the history of Cowboy basketball for years to come. Mike Boynton dubbed Solomon the team’s “MVP” on more than one occasion. By no means did Solomon have a spotless playing career, but he encapsulates what Cowboy fans love. Being a lifelong OSU fan, true pride for the name on the front of the uniform and taking charges. Solomon had his fair share of goofy turnovers, and cheap fouls, but always came in clutch. It was evident all season long that OSU played that much better with The Bixby Big Man on the floor. He also provided the biggest play of the season with his infamous slide across the ol’ white maple.
This is just the beginning of names of beloved Cowboys. There will be many more to come and go, so check back in 2028. Who are your favorite Cowboys from the last 10 years? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section!