STILLWATER – Michael Weathers didn’t think he would play basketball at Oklahoma State this season.
The redshirt sophomore on the Cowboy basketball team was suspended Sept. 9 because of an incident at J.R. Murphy’s where he reportedly stole a woman’s wallet. Two months later, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of knowingly concealing stolen property, receiving a two-year deferred sentence. The next day, he was back at practice.
Weathers led the Cowboys in scoring in their 70-58 victory against Charleston on Sunday. His 16 points off the bench paced a Cowboy team which knocked down 10 3-pointers for the third consecutive game.
“(Weathers) just adds another dimension,” Cowboy junior Thomas Dziagwa said. “He’s a fighter, a very dynamic player. He’s a threat defensively and offensively, and it just makes our team 10 times better.”
Weathers made his season debut Wednesday in OSU’s win against UTSA, playing three minutes and slamming home a right-hand tomahawk for his first points as a Cowboy. On Sunday, he was a catalyst in sparking a 33-5 run that spanned halftime and helped OSU (2-1 overall) win consecutive games.
McGriff (16), Dziagwa (14), Waters (10) and Likekele (10) also tallied double-digit scoring efforts. OSU coach Mike Boynton said Weathers was instrumental in helping spark the run after a slow start.
“Offensively, we kind of got stagnant for a bit and we started to really attack a little bit more,” Boynton said. “We weren’t playing on our heels as much and there’s no question that having Weathers out there made a difference.
Let’s not kid ourselves, he’s a difference maker. We knew that long before he played today, and unfortunately he had to wait his turn but I think everybody is now completely aware of the type of impact he can make.”
In addition to his 16 points, Weathers added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. His play style was electric, injecting energy into Gallagher-Iba Arena. He shot 6-of-8 from the floor and made his only 3-pointer in 25 minutes.
On one possession in the first half, he tried to hit Dziagwa on a curl off a screen but turn it over. He hustled back on defense, rose and stuffed Grant Riller’s layup attempt at the rim. In the second half, he did a 360 spin to mesmerize a defender before blowing past him and getting an easy bucket. The next trip down the floor, he drilled a pull-up 3-pointer from the left wing.
Although he came off the bench, Weathers said he wanted to be efficient when he had the ball.
“Really, I just wanted to be efficient and not try to force anything,” Weathers said. “I wanted to get everybody pretty much involved and get everyone going, if anything.”
After his two-month hiatus from the program and not knowing whether he would have a chance to play, Weathers showed he’s going to be a pivotal piece to OSU’s puzzle this season.
Boynton said Weathers rolled his ankle in shootaround this morning. The second-year coach wasn’t shocked Weathers was ready to play when tipoff came.
He’s just thankful to playing basketball again.
“I really didn’t think I was gonna play this year, but I’m just glad the administration gave me a second chance and the coaches gave me a second chance,” Weathers said. “It’s been a long, new process for me, just sitting out last year and watching everybody play, which was really hard for me since I’ve never sat out like that before. And then to sit out a little bit of the games this year, it was just a hard process, but my teammates got me, walked me through it.”