Oklahoma State's program is to the point that it can lose its top scorer and rebounder (Toni Young, a WNBA first-round draft pick) and be picked to finish third in the Big 12. The Cowgirls return four starters and bring in the preseason newcomer of the year in Marisha Wallace. She's part of an outstanding recruiting class that will provide depth. Last season, Oklahoma State was limited to a six-player rotation. This year's team will more options not only in players coming off the bench but in playing styles.
Coach: Jim Littell, 43-23 in two seasons.
Last season: 22-11 overall, 9-9 in Big 12, tied 5th.
NCAA Tournament: Lost in second round.
Senior guard Tiffany Bias, junior forward Liz Donohoe, sophomore guard Brittney Martin, junior center Marisha Wallace, senior center Kendra Suttles, freshman guard Brittany Atkins, freshman guard Roshunda Johnson.
Coach Littell says
"That's where we're trying to find our identity right now. When you're a first-round pick then you're a real talent. The thing that Toni (Young) gave us was that we had the ability to pitch the ball to her late in the shot clock and she could create her own shot. ... Not one person is going to (make up for Young), so we have to do it collectively."
Tiffany Bias will make her 99th start in her 100th career game in the season opener. … Bias has 580 assists and needs 127 to overtake career leader Andrea Riley for first place. … This season is the 75th for historic Gallagher-Iba Arena, which has been the Cowgirls' home since 1975. … Liz Donohoe set a school record by making 91.1 percent of her free throws last season. In two seasons, she has made 89.1 percent of her free throws. … Oklahoma State has three returning starters who averaged in double figures for the first time since 1990-91. … The Cowgirls will try for back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 2007-2008. Freshman guard Courtney Chelf is the younger sister of Colton (former Oklahoma State receiver) and Clint (current Oklahoma State quarterback).
Nov. 8 vs. Lamar
Top nonconference games
Nov.22 vs. USC
Dec. 1 vs. North Texas
Dec. 14 vs. South Florida (Oklahoma City)
Dec. 19 vs. Michigan State (Puerto Rico Classic)
Jan. 2 vs. Texas