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Oklahoma State Basketball

Lutz Believes He May Have One of the Best Defensive Players in the Big 12

June 18, 2024
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STILLWATER – The work has started as Oklahoma State is almost a week into the summer workout schedule that allows eight hours for coaches to be with players, four on the court and four off the court in meeting rooms with video or whiteboard or both. For Oklahoma State’s new head coach Steve Lutz the work continues with recruiting, for the future sure, but also for the immediate. Transfer portal players have been evaluated and re-evaluated. 

Robert Allen - Pokes Report
Lutz speaks with media.

“I definitely want to get two more bigs whether they’re forwards or centers or a combination of both,” Lutz said. “You can’t go into the Big 12 with a lack of size and physicality because you’ve got to be able to rebound the basketball. For sure, two of those and then what I do with the third scholarship kind of depends on the NIL budget.”

Oh yeah, NIL is all a part of it, but you love those players that think about practice and getting better before they think about what care their NIL deal is going to have them driving or how much money they will be getting. Sure, those things are important but for all the cars and NIL deals floating in the Pokes’ program the last couple of years there were very few wins. 

I think Jamyron Keller is that kind of player and I believe that Lutz thinks so too. Keller played some last season and frankly, I thought he should have played more. I saw inexperience yes, but I saw a tough player that played with great effort and valued defending his man. Make it frustrating his man. See the picture above. Keller is tough and when it is time to go to work he is way ahead of you.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Keller in workouts that have been fundamental and disciplined so far.

“Get into the grind with my team, learning my team,” Keller said when asked what he’s doing this summer. “It has been a grind. We’ve got the pieces to be a good team this season.”

I promise he believes that. Keller is a competitor and after missing much of November and December last season with a thumb injury and then mainly sitting the bench he could have checked it in and just rode out the season. Instead he kept pushing and earned a starting role for the last nine games of the season.

He celebrated his 19th birthday (Feb. 17) with his first career start and scored 22 points without missing a shot (8/8 FG, 4/4 3pt, 2/2 FT) in an upset of No. 19 BYU. His mom (Kayla) was in Stillwater for the game and they went out for his favorite, seafood afterwards. Keller scored 15 points and made both ends of a 1-and-1 in the final seconds of an 80-76 win at Cincinnati (Feb. 21). He never gave in despite the team having little chance for postseason. He played and defense was his calling card.

“Defensively, he’s got a chance to be one of the better ones in the Big12,” Lutz said. “He’s a great person, he cares, and he works hard at it. It’s time for him to take his next step and he’s ready for that. He has to put the work in during the summer. A little bit deeper roster at the guard position will push him.”

Oklahoma State Athletics
Defense is his hallmark but he is also working on his offensive game.

Keller liked it when he was told what his new head coach said about him.

“It makes me feel good because there are not a lot of people that take pride in defense,” Keller said seeming standing an inch or two taller with the comment. “Him giving me that much praise is actually a good feeling going into the season.”

Keller evaluated and thought about whether he wanted to stay at Oklahoma State or go into the portal and look for something else. He uses the school slogan, “loyal and true”. I believe for his comments he can see that Lutz and the staff he brought in with him are a match for his attitude and personality.

“Straight to it, get to it kind of guy,” Keller described his coach. “He’s been a fun coach to be around and knows the game of basketball really well. He shows it when we’re working out. He knows a lot of basketball. He brought in a staff that was like-minded to him. They know basketball and the little things that we need to do to win.”

The work has been hard, the practices are fast and time limited, but the work, Keller is all about the work. 

 

Discussion from...

Lutz Believes He May Have One of the Best Defensive Players in the Big 12

1,920 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 22 days ago by backphil
TUSKAPOKE
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I'm glad he stayed and thought he should have played a lot more last year. GO POKES!!!
Inquisitor
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Yes he should have played much more. He will thrive under Lutz.
backphil
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Love Keller. Always thought we were a much better team with him on the floor. Defense wins championships, as Eddie would say!
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