The treasured history of basketball at Oklahoma State University
is one of the richest amongst all major programs in college
basketball today. Oklahoma State was the first school to
claim back-to-back NCAA championships in the sport, and Mr.
Henry P. Iba - the architect of those championships - is
arguably the most influential coach in the history of
the game. With two national championships, six Final Four
appearances and one of the game's grandest old cathedrals,
Cowboy Basketball is steeped in tradition.
Cowboy Basketball All-Americans
|Bob Kurland was an All-American
in 1944, 1945 and 1946, and was the leading scorer and top defensive
man all three years, leading his team to back-to-back NCAA
championships in 1945 and 1946.
Kurland was voted the Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament in
1945 and 1946. He was named Player of the Year by the Helms
Foundation in 1946 and named to Helms all-time All-America team. He
was named to Grantland Rice's all-time All-Star selection. He was
the highest scorer in nation in 1946 with 643 points. Those were
perhaps his more outstanding awards, and he was to continue in the
sport with the Phillips Oilers AAU team for a number of years,
annually making All-AAU. He played on the USA Olympic championship
team in both 1948 at the London Games and 1952 in the Helsinki
As the first of the outstanding seven-footers, Kurland may have been
most valuable as a defensive player under the master of defensive
basketball, Coach Henry Iba, but he could also score. He seldom went
for the big score, although he was instructed to do so against OSU's
great Missouri Valley conference rival, St. Louis University, on the
night of Feb. 22, 1946. Kurland tossed in 58 points that night, by
far his biggest scoring output. He was a feeder, usually content to
score a modest 17 to 25 points. His average score in 1946 was 19.5
points per game.
As a freshman in 1943, he developed goal-tending to a degree that
none had been able to do up until that time, although Iba disliked
the maneuver and seldom allowed Kurland to practice it. It is
probable that Kurland had more to do with the rule against
goal-tending than any player since he was the chief target of the
One of the greatest showdown basketball battles of all time was
played between Oklahoma A&M and DePaul in Madison Square Garden in
March of 1945. The great George Mikan led DePaul, Kurland led OSU.
DePaul won the National Invitational and OSU won the NCAA. The two
then were matched in a "Game of Champions" for the benefit of the
American Red Cross. Mikan, attempting to guard Kurland, fouled out
taking some of the glamour out of the contest - but not for A&M fans
- the Aggies winning handily after Mikan's loss. The Red Cross was
the overall winner - $50,000 worth.
|Byron Houston came to Oklahoma
State from Oklahoma City, and became the Cowboys' all-time leading
scorer, recording 2,379 points in his tenure at OSU. He also
finished his collegiate career as the leader in scoring average
(18.7 ppg), rebounds (1,189), blocks (222), field-goals attempted
(1,501), free-throws made (698) and free-throws attempted (956).
Houston is one of two Cowboys to earn first-team all-conference
honors three times, joining fellow three-time All-American Bryant
Reeves. Houston was named the 1991 co-Big Eight Player of the Year
by the Associated Press, joining Missouri's Doug Smith. Houston is
one of just four players in school history to garner all-conference
accolades all four seasons.
Houston was the leader on OSU's 1991 Big Eight Championship team,
just the second Big Eight regular-season title in school history. A
year later, he was named the Big Eight Tournament Most Valuable
Player despite falling to Kansas in the championship game.
Houston was named an honorable mention All-American by the
Associated Press in both 1990 and '91, and received the same
honorable mention by the United Press International in 1991.
Following his senior season, he was named a first-team All-American
by Basketball Times magazine, and was a consensus second-team
All-American, receiving the honor from the AP, UPI, Sporting News,
the United States Basketball Writers Association and the National
Association of Basketball Coaches.
Houston was a first-round draft choice, the 27th pick overall, by
the Chicago Bulls in the 1992 NBA Draft.
|Bryant "Big Country" Reeves was
a legend that may never be forgotten in Oklahoma State Basketball
lore. He came to Stillwater as a project from tiny Gans, Okla., near
the Arkansas border. He left Stillwater for the mountains of
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, a self-made millionaire.
In his first season as a Cowboy, Reeves surprised everyone, starting
in 34 of OSU's 36 games. He shot 52.1 percent from the floor and
averaged 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He was named to the
Big Eight all-freshman squad.
His sophomore season, Reeves was shot an amazing 62.1 percent from
the floor, a school record at the time, and averaged a double-double
with 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per contest. He became the first
player since Wilt Chamberlain in 1958 to lead the Big Eight in those
three categories. Reeves was named the Big Eight Player of the Year,
was a member of the All-Big Eight first-team, and was named
honorable mention All-American. He also earned Sports Illustrated's
Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 14 and was SI's Most
Improved Player in the nation.
A Playboy preseason All-American prior to his junior year, Reeves
lived up to all expectations as he averaged 21 points and 9.7
rebounds per game. He shot 58.5 percent from the floor, and recorded
a personal-best 70 blocked shots. Following the season, he was named
third-team All-American as well as first-team All-Big Eight.
Reeves' senior season matched his junior year almost identically,
with one exception ... a Final Four appearance. He scored a
school-record 797 points en route to a 21.5 points per game average.
He was named the Big Eight Player of the Year for a second time,
earned Big Eight Tournament MVP honors, and was named third-team
All-American once again. Reeves was a first-round draft choice, the
sixth pick overall, by Vancouver in 1995.
|Jesse "Cab" Renick, who came to
Oklahoma A&M after a junior-college career at Murray, was one of the
offensive highlights of Mr. Iba's 1938-39 squad. He led the team in
scoring with 179 points in 27 games, an average of 6.6 points per
contest. He was named first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference and
a first team All-American in his first year in an Aggie uniform.
That year, Oklahoma A&M went 18-7 during the regular season and won
the Missouri Valley title for the third-straight year. The Aggies
defeated Drake, 28-15, in the first round of the NCAA Districts, and
in the second round, lost to Oklahoma, 30-21. OU would eventually
finish third in the inaugural NCAA Tournament.
His senior season, Renick surpassed his previous year's performance
by scoring 224 points in 29 games, an average of 7.7 points per
game. He was again named first-team All-MVC, and earned his second
All-America accolade, the first Aggie to become a two-time
The 1939-40 squad lost its first game of the year, a 34-30
heartbreaker to the Kansas Jayhawks, before rattling off
25-consecutive wins. With a 25-1 record, the Aggies traveled to New
York to compete in the NIT, losing to Duquesne in the first round,
34-30. OAMC then defeated DePaul a day later.
Oklahoma A&M faced Kansas in the NCAA District, and lost to KU,
45-43, in overtime. The Jayhawks went on to finish runner-up to
Indiana as the national champion.
|Bob Mattick came to Oklahoma
A&M from Chicago, Ill., and was one of the most highly touted big
men of his time. Mattick was a two-time All-Missouri Valley
Conference and All-America selection, earning plaudits in 1953 and
again in 1954. As a sophomore in 1951-52, Mattick averaged 10.6
points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
His junior year, Mattick averaged 17.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per
contest. That year, Oklahoma A&M was ranked as high as fifth and
lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Kansas. The
Aggies finished the season with a 23-7 record.
In 1953-54, Mattick's senior season, he averaged 20.7 points and
11.2 rebounds per game, becoming the first player in school history
to average a double-double. Once again, the Aggies earned a national
ranking as high as fifth, finished the season with a 24-5 record and
lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In his three-year career, Mattick recorded 1,378 points and 772,
rebounds, averaging 16.6 and 9.3, respectively. He currently ranks
as the 11th-most prolific scorer in OSU history, and ranks sixth in
school history in career rebounds and third in free throws made.
Mattick's scoring average in 1954 was a school record for 26 years.
He was drafted by Milwaukee in 1954.
|Merle Rousey came to Oklahoma
A&M College after one year at Colorado. At CU, he started as a
sophomore at guard and was named third-team All-Rocky Mountain
Rousey followed Mr. Iba to Oklahoma A&M, and was a fixture on the
floor for the Aggies. He finished the 22-game season with 130
points, a team high. At the close of the season, he was named
first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference.
His senior season, Rousey again won the team scoring title with 142
points, an average of 6.1 points per contest. He was named
first-team All-MVC for the second-straight year, and was named
first-team All-American, Oklahoma A&M's first such accolade. OAMC
went 20-3 that year and won the Missouri Valley Conference title.
|Bud Millikan came to Oklahoma
A&M from Maryville, Mo., where Mr. Henry Iba began his collegiate
coaching career. Millikan scored 31 points in 22 games his sophomore
season. That year, the Aggies finished 26-3.
His junior year, Millikan scored 98 points in 25 games and was named
honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference.
In 1941-42, Millikan's senior year, he scored 116 points as Oklahoma
A&M finished 20-6. He was named to the Helm's Foundation All-America
Millikan went on to a successful coaching career at Maryland,
following in Coach Iba's footsteps.
|A.L. Bennett came to Oklahoma
A&M from Holdenville, Okla., and was a member of the 1946 NCAA
His junior year, Bennett averaged 10.3 points per contest, and was
named first-team All-Missouri Valley. He led the Aggies to a 24-8
record, pretty good considering A&M had lost all five starters from
the year before.
In 1948, Bennett garnered third-team All-America honors from the
Associated Press. He was also named first-team All-MVC along with
J.L. Parks. Bennett scored 217 points in 28 games that year as the
Aggies went 27-3 in regular-season play.
The Aggies won the Missouri Valley with a 10-0 record, but lost to
Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA Districts to end the
season 27-4. Bennett was drafted by Providence in 1948.
|Bob Harris came to A&M from
Linden, Tenn., and, although he led A&M scoring in both his junior
and senior seasons, he was regarded most highly for his defensive
prowess. His junior year, Harris averaged 8.4 points per game in
leading A&M to a 27-4 record.
In 1948-49, Harris averaged 11.7 points per game and was named an
All-American. He, along with teammate J.L. Parks, led the Aggies to
a runner-up finish to Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament. A&M finished
23-5 and second in the final AP Poll. He was a two-time All-MVC
selection, and was named the Outstanding Player at the All-College
Tournament. He was drafted by Fort Wayne in the first round (third
pick overall) in 1949.
|Gale McArthur came to
Stillwater from Mangum, Okla., and was a member of two Oklahoma A&M
Final Four teams, in 1949 and again in 1951. As a sophomore in
1948-49, he played in all 28 games and scored 83 points for the
His junior year, McArthur played in all 27 contests, scoring 198
points as the Aggies failed to make the postseason. During the
1950-51 season, McArthur scored 408 points, averaging 11.6 points
per contest as A&M made the national consolation finals. He was
named first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference and an All-American.
The Aggies finished 29-6 that year, losing to Illinois in the
third-place game. McArthur was drafted in the fourth round by
Minneapolis in 1951.
|Don Johnson came to Oklahoma
A&M from Chickasha, Okla., and made an immediate impact for the
Aggies. His freshman season, Johnson scored 146 points in 27 games.
A year later, he led the team with 421 points in 35 games, a 12.1
points per game average. That year, A&M advanced to the Final Four
and Johnson was named first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference.
His senior season, Johnson averaged 14 points per game, led the team
in scoring for a second-straight year, and was named an All-American
by the Helms' Foundation. He was drafted by Boston in 1952.
|Joe Adkins garnered honorable
mention All-America honors from the Associated Press following the
1999-2000 season, his senior year. He was also a two-time All-Big 12
honorable mention selection and was a member of the Big 12
all-underrated squad in a vote of the media.
Adkins averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 assists per game as a senior,
leading the Cowboys to an Elite Eight appearance at the NCAA
Tournament. Oklahoma State finished 27-7 that season.
For his career, Adkins ranks fourth on the all-time assists list
with 430. He also ranks fourth on the career three-point field-goals
made list with 182.
He scored a career-high 26 points against TCU on Dec. 30, 1997, and
dished out a career-high 12 assists vs. Houston Baptist on Dec. 15,
Adkins is one of four players in school history to record 1,000
points and 400 assists in a career.
|One of the most explosive players to
ever wear a Cowboy uniform, Desmond Mason received
All-America honors during the 1999-2000 season, his senior year.
He was named a first-team All-American by College Hoops Insider, and
a third-team All-American selection by Basketball Times
magazine. The Associated Press listed him as an honorable mention
A three-time All-Big 12 honoree, Mason was a first-team selection as
a senior. He averaged 18 points and 6.6 rebounds per game his final
year, leading the Cowboys to a 27-7 mark and an Elite Eight
appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Mason scored a career-high 32 points against Baylor on Jan. 9, 1999,
and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds against Langston on Jan. 5,
2000. He recorded a school-record eight steals against Houston
Baptist on Dec. 15, 1998.
Mason was a first-round selection of the Seattle SuperSonics in the
2000 NBA draft.
|Tony Allen was a junior-college
transfer to Oklahoma State, and quickly became one of the most
prolific scorers in school history. In just two seasons, Allen
finished with 1,021 career points, ranking 26th on the career
In his senior season, Allen was the leader and leading scorer for a
team that won the Big 12 regular-season championship, the Big 12
Tournament title, and advanced to the Final Four. It was OSU's
second appearance in the national semifinals in 10 years, both under
Allen was named the Big 12 Conference's co-Player of the Year, along
with teammate John Lucas. He was named first-team All-District 12,
and was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American. Other
honors included being named the Most Valuable Player at the Big 12
Tournament and mention on the East Rutherford Regional
Tony was drafted with the 27th overall pick in the first round of
the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics.
|After a two-year stint at Baylor,
John Lucas transferred to Oklahoma State and became quite
possibly the best point guard in school history. Not only was Lucas
the floor general for a team that won 57 games over a two-year span,
but he also led the Cowboys to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances and
a Final Four appearance in 2004.
Lucas was instrumental in OSU's school-record 31 win season, as well
as a Big 12 regular-season championship and back-to-back Big 12
Tournament titles. It was his shot against Saint Joseph's near the
end of the contest which sent Oklahoma State to he 2004 Final Four.
Not only was Lucas a prolific scorer and uncanny distributor of the
basketball, but he was a big-time leader. He shared the Big 12
Conference Player of the Year honors with his teammate, Tony Allen.
Lucas was twice named to he Wooden Award ballot and was a member of
the 10-man All-America team in 2004. He was also a second-team
All-American according to the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association,
and was a member of the Associated Press third-team All-America
squad. SI.com listed Lucas as an honorable mention selection in
|John Lucas III
|Joey Graham was a large part of
what could be considered the most successful senior class in
Oklahoma State history. He was named a third-team All-American by
the National Association of Basketball Coaches following his senior
season, just the fifth Cowboy to earn that distinction from the NABC.
He was also named a third-team All-America selection by the
Associated Press. He earned NABC first-team All-District 12 and
first-team All-Big 12 accolades. Joey was listed on the ballot for
the John R. Wooden Award, and was named to the Naismith Trophy
Midseason Top 30 list.
In two short years with the Cowboys, Graham and Co. won 57 games and
advanced to the Sweet 16 twice. OSU won the Big 12 regular season
championship in 2004 and won back-to-back Big 12 Tournament titles
in 2004 and 2005. He was named the Most Valuable Player at the Big
12 Tournament in 2005.
Graham established a new Big 12 conference record for consecutive
free throws made with 39, which was one shy of the school record. He
was drafted in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft by the Toronto
Raptors, the No. 17 pick overall.
|James Anderson came to Oklahoma
State with high expectations, and he didn't disappoint. The
McDonald's All-American led the Cowboys to back-to-back NCAA
Tournament appearances after a three-year hiatus.
As a junior, he scored 22.3 points per game, the third-highest
average in school history. For his efforts, he was named a
first-team All-American by both Sporting News and the John R Wooden
Award, and was a consensus second-team All-American, garnering
honors from the Associated Press, the United States Basketball
Writers Association and Basketball Times magazine. He
received third-team accolades from the National Association of
Anderson was also the consensus Big 12 Player of the Year, receiving
the award from both the Big 12 Conference coaches and the AP. It was
the first time since 1993 that a Cowboy had been a consensus league
POY. His 1,811 career points rank fourth in school history.
Anderson was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft with
the 20th overall selection by the San Antonio Spurs.