I have occasionally wondered about the origin of the name of Gallagher-Iba Arena, where the Oklahoma State Cowboys play home games. I mean, of course I know who Henry Iba is, but who exactly is the Gallagher guy?
It turns out that Edward Gallagher was the Oklahoma A&M (later renamed Oklahoma State) wrestling coach from 1916-1940. I don't know much about wrestling, but Wikipedia makes him sound fairly impressive.
With his knowledge of physical principles like leverage and stress along with anatomy he all but invented the modern style of wrestling. He remains one of the most successful coaches in NCAA athletics history. Overall in his wrestling coaching career at Oklahoma A&M his teams went 138-5-4, including 19 undefeated seasons and 11 NCAA titles.
With a track record like that, Gallagher's name pairs nicely with Iba's, who is a towering figure in the history of basketball. Iba's motion offense and man-to-man defense with ball pressure and carefully designed help-side rotations significantly shaped the game we watch today.
Comparatively, Frank Erwin was a chump.
But enough of the history; let's get to hoops. Both Texas and Oklahoma State lost their conference openers; OSU fell on the road against Kansas State by three. Neither team wants to be 0-2.
Kenpom.com predicts a double digit win for the Cowboys. That certainly could happen. Travis Ford has a strong team.
But Travis Ford has a few problems right now to deal with, as I mentioned earlier in today's preview post. He currently has a team that consists of only six guys who play significant minutes. And the listed heights of those six guys are 6-8, 6-7, 6-5, 6-4, 6-3, 5-11. The stat-geek blogger who started off this piece with a 100 word tangent about a wrestling coach would be the third tallest player out there, if he was able to crack this six man rotation. (He would not be able to crack this rotation; not even close.)
This has the potential to become a problem against a Texas team that features both size and depth. If Cameron Ridley can put fouls on Kamari Murphy early, Ford is going to have to make some tough choices.
And if the Longhorns can prevent Phil Forte and Markel Brown from going off from three point range, and make Marcus Smart shoot jump shots, we might have a game on our hands.