Now that Oklahoma State is back in the Top 25 for the first time in five years, the 24th-ranked Cowboys want to show they really belong.

For top scorer Le'Bryan Nash, that means playing the very best no matter who happens to be the opponent.

The Cowboys (8-1) are going through a rare six-game home stand that ends with a much-anticipated New Year's Eve game against No. 14 Gonzaga. The challenge for coach Travis Ford has been maintaining focus up until then.

There's been even more chatter about the Gonzaga game — one of the highest-profile nonconference opponents to play at Gallagher-Iba Arena in years — following the announcement that booster Boone Pickens had agreed to pay for all of the remaining tickets to be given away free.

Ford wants his team to focus on getting better and not the Bulldogs.