After losing senior guard Bryce Thompson early in the first half, the Cowboys lost 83-54 Tuesday night against Kansas. It is the most lopsided Cowboy defeat since an 85-50 loss in 2020 at Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kansas — Bryce Thompson represents a number of things to Oklahoma State.
He’s their senior leader, experienced safari guide through the brutal Big 12 wilderness, spokesman at most press conferences and second-leading scorer with 12.2 points per game. Late in the second half of a 83-54 loss at Kansas Tuesday, his role was reduced to offering water for his teammates.
Thompson exited with 15:33 left in the first half. He suffered a right shoulder injury taking a hard fall underneath the goal after an attempted layup. He squirmed on the ground in pain and walked straight to the locker room.
When Thompson exited, OSU (9-12, 1-7) trailed by three. The Jayhawks quickly pushed their lead to 10 four minutes after the injury and finished the first half up by 18.
“It felt to me a little bit like a psychological effect on (our team) because (KU) went on a run pretty quickly after that,” OSU coach MIke Boynton said. “But it’s part of the game, we hope he’s not out for a significant amount of time, but if he is we’ll just have to adjust and be ready without him.”
Wearing a gray tracksuit, Thompson returned to sit on the Cowboy bench with his right arm in a black sling. He used his left hand to pass a Gatorade bottle around to teammates looking for a bit of relief — a hot commodity during OSU’s largest loss since an 85-50 defeat at Texas Tech in 2020.
Thompson’s preliminary X-Ray showed no fracturing.
“(I don’t have) any kind of official update,” Boynton said. “Obviously he wasn’t able to come back and so it was significant enough so he couldn’t come back. We’ll get back and try to get an MRI to make sure we know the exact severity of the damage. But it was his shoulder, just to clarify.”
Kansas coach Bill Self was positioned on the Jayhawk bench on the side where Thompson fell. Self coached Thompson at Kansas in 2020-21 and shared what he’d heard about Thompson’s injury.
“And I guess Bryce did dislocate his shoulder and they had a hard time getting it back in place, but they did,” Self said.
Boynton had found a starting lineup that livened up the team in the three games leading up to Tuesday’s decimation. The mix consisted of Thompson, junior guard Javon Small, freshman guard Connor Dow, senior guard John-Michael Wright and freshman center Brandon Garrison.
With that lineup, OSU was competitive against two teams in the top half of the Big 12 standings (70-66 loss at K-State and a 74-69 loss vs TCU) and even got its first conference win of the season (70-66 win vs West Virginia).
Boynton didn’t commit to whether he’d have to change his starting lineup before OSU’s next game Saturday against Kansas State (1 p.m., ESPN+).
“We’ll have some time between now and Saturday to figure that out and if we do, we will,” Boynton said. “I mean, we’ll see, like I said, (Thompson) could come back and it’s something that has bothered him before so we hope that it’s not anything long term but we’ll let the doctors tell us exactly what they see and we’ll obviously do what’s best for the kid and his long-term future.”