Oklahoma State Basketball: Time for Phil Forte to breakthrough

The Oklahoma State basketball team needs Phil Forte to perform consistently in order to gain some momentum in Big 12 play.

Senior shooting guard Phil Forte is one of the most talented and experienced players on the Oklahoma State basketball team. Combined with sophomore point guard Jawun Evans, they form one of the best backcourts in the Big 12. However, Forte had an up and down season so far. He’s putting up his lowest field goal percentage since his freshman year at 37.4 percent. Yet, his three-point percentage vastly improved over the last few weeks. It’s higher than his actual field goal percentage at 38.0 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Recently, Forte started draining shots from the ridiculous range that Pokes fans are used to seeing him shoot from. Moreover, Forte scored in double figures four of the last five games. He put up 17 points shooting 5-7 from three-point range in the 61-57 OK State loss to the Baylor Bears.

In the Cowboys’ first conference game against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Forte put up 18 points shooting 4-7 from three-point range, even though the game resulted in a 92-75 defeat.

Considering this is Forte’s final season with the Cowboys, this is his last shot at a Big 12 title and a NCAA Tournament stint where OK State makes it past the Round of 64. He’s starting to play well at the right time. Even though the Pokes have a 10-5 (0-3 Big 12) record, head coach Brad Underwood has OK State close to really building some momentum.

OK State takes on the Iowa State Cyclones tonight at 8 p.m. EST at Gallagher Iba-Arena in Stillwater. This is one of the most important games that the Cowboys have played to date. Getting the first Big 12 win of the season would put the Cowboys back on track for an immensely successful first campaign with Underwood.

Forte’s success is not only important for any chance he wants at a professional basketball career, whether it be overseas or in the NBA, but it’s essential for the Cowboys’ success as well. His unbelievable ability to stretch the floor opens things up for Evans to run the entire offense. We’ll see how Forte fairs tonight against the Cyclones to see if consistency is really shining through at this point in the season.

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