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Tournament time: Staying busy, staying ready

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Baylor Oklahoma St Basketball

Oklahoma State forward Natasha Mack, right, shoots over Baylor center Queen Egbo, left, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP)

To prepare for the Big 12 Tournament, there is only one way to combat the effects of a two-week stretch of inactivity.

Practice, and practice hard.

The Oklahoma State Cowgirls have not played since February 24. Although their online schedule has had plenty of blank spaces of late, OSU is staying busy.

“We were practicing about an hour before, and now we’ve lengthened practice anywhere from an hour to two hours,” coach Jim Littell said. “And worked our kids hard because we didn’t have to worry about that quick turnaround of a game.”

The extended practices will serve to replace the condition that the Cowgirls would normally get elsewhere.

“We knew that we weren’t going to get the factor of being in shape from a game, so we had to lengthen our practices and concentrate on getting up and down the floor more than what we had when we were in a one- or- two-day prep,” Littell said.

OSU is entering what Littell calls ,“The third season.”

The nonconference slate and Big 12 play are seasons one and two, and the conference and NCAA Tournaments are the third and fourth ‘seasons’ inside the season.

While the rigorous schedule of the postseason may be exhausting, the third and fourth seasons are what college basketball is all about.

The extra work is worth it.

“That’s what the kids work for, from August on, is a chance to compete for a Big 12 Championship and then get a chance to play in the Big dance,” Littell said.