Claremore Daily Progress

March 5, 2014

Waiting for best dunk

OSU's Brown savors Senior Night win over K-State

CNHI News Services

STILLWATER — Markel Brown had to know Monday’s game against Kansas State would be special after knocking down a half-court shot for his only warm-up right before the National Anthem.

The moment came just minutes after the senior guard was recognized before the game in Gallagher-Iba Arena, which marked his last in an illustrious four-year career on the Stillwater campus.

“It was very emotional, I’m sure it’s going to hit me even harder a week from now. I thought about it a lot, it’s going to be my last game ever at Gallagher-Iba and it’s kind of heart-breaking because I’ve had a lot of fun during my four years here,” Brown said. “Playing with teammates that grew into brothers and growing with them every day, I’m going to miss it.”

Brian Williams and Michael Cobbins are a pair of those teammates that became brothers. The three Cowboys came in in the same recruiting class, with Cobbins and Williams redshirting their first year in Stillwater.

Brown, who shared a moment with Williams and Cobbins during the Senior Night festivities prior to Monday’s game, said he had actually thought about redshirting as well to get to spend five years with the teammates from his recruiting class.

“We were talking about all the memories we had, stepping out on that court together and playing together,” Brown said. “We go all the way back to our freshman year where we were walking up to the gym every morning at 5 in the morning to lift weights and it was pitch dark. I'm going to miss those guys a lot. They are like my brothers, they always had my back.”

With Oklahoma State up big on Kansas State late in the game, Cowboy coach Travis Ford was able to give the senior from Alexandria, La., a proper sendoff — pulling him out of the game to a standing ovation from the crowd. Ford added his own personal touch with a hug and few words for the guard who played a big part in the program the past four years.

“I’m so happy and proud of him in so many ways,” Ford said. “Markel’s been through so much here, and he’s like a son to me and I love him. ... He’s taken full advantage of a college scholarship at Oklahoma State and has done it the right way.”

While Brown grew as a person off the court, he also improved every year on the court while at Oklahoma State. He came into OSU as a three-star recruit and rated as the No. 137 player nationally, and is now projected as a possible first-round pick in the NBA Draft on several mock drafts.

Known for his highlight dunks - which has landed him on SportCenter's Top 10 plays throughout his career, including Saturday's alley-oop against Kansas — in his last game in Gallagher-Iba Arena, Brown wasn’t able to get one last dunk in front of the home crowd. But he wasn’t too disappointed about it.

“I think I got enough here,” said Brown, who always ranked his dunks throughout his career. “I think I got enough.”

But Brown has one more special moment ahead of him inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. He is expected to graduate on time with an education degree.

“That will be my biggest dunk of my career here,” Brown said.