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Boynton Gives Update on Walk-On Tryouts: ‘Five or Six’ Guys Stood Out

Boynton and Co. were pleased with what they saw from a handful of walk-on hopefuls.

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STILLWATER — It looks as if the Cowboys will be able to do five-on-five drills in the coming weeks.

After Michael Weathers, Maurice Calloo and Kentrevious Jones were dismissed from the Oklahoma State basketball program last week, Boynton’s squad was without enough players to have an intrasquad scrimmage. It looks like that will change soon, as Boynton said the program has reached out to “five or six” guys after Thursday’s walk-on tryouts.

That doesn’t mean the Cowboys will have five new players on the bench when they face Oklahoma on Wednesday. Boynton said the plan for now is for any newcomers to be “semi-practice squad” members. Boynton said he hasn’t thought far enough ahead as to whether they’d even suit up and be on the bench.

There are still some things that need to be done before any new member is practicing with the Pokes.

“There’s a lot of things that go into it,” Boynton said. “We gotta make sure eligibility-wise everything checks out, health-wise everything checks out, their class schedule, they didn’t plan to be on the team or to be practicing. We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. I think five or six of them were called and asked if their schedule worked and if they could be here for practice.”

It’s definitely not expected a new member will log minutes in Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 9, but it’s not something that’s completely off the table.

“If there’s a kid who comes through here and I think over a few practices, he can help us, I’m not opposed to it,” Boynton said. “I just don’t see that scenario right now.”

Boynton said about 50 students showed up Thursday, a number he said surprised him given the short notice of the matter. It wasn’t only that it was short notice, but the prospective hoopers also had to have proof of a sickle cell test and a recent physical.

“I was floored,” Boynton said. “We practiced (in the auxiliary gym), and the tryout was set to start at 6, so I went in to kinda decompress from practice, and I heard kind of a ruckus. There was about 50 people show up here. We didn’t announce it until about 10 a.m. that morning, and it wasn’t like you could just show up and do it. You had to go through a process to even have the opportunity.

“It shows me that people love Oklahoma State basketball. Obviously some kids feel like, ‘Hey, I shoulda been out there all along.’ But, that you could get that many people to go through that many things to even have a chance to be a part of practice, and I was up front with them about what to expect. It shows that this program still has a lot of respectability, and it’s the reason we still feel confident that we can build it to be a champion.”

Boynton said he didn’t know what to expect in terms of player quality at the tryouts. It doesn’t look as if a movie will be made off any of the newcomers, but it looks like the team has found some guys with the basketball competency to help out during practices.

“It would’ve been nice if Shaq was in there, but he wasn’t,” Boynton said. “You get kids who’ve played competitive high school basketball, who have an understanding of basic basketball: You can’t run with the ball, you try to shoot it in the orange hoop, just really, really simple things that we try to pick up.

“Really to be honest, we’re just trying to manage practice. We weren’t able to really practice. With nine guys, it’s hard to simulate what a scrimmage setting will look like. We’ll be able to do that a little bit more with more bodies involved now.”

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