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What Brad Underwood Learned from Bob Huggins in Recruiting

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Bob Huggins and Brad Underwood have a long history together. The two have been in the coaching profession for decades — and even coached together on the same staff at Kansas State.

It should come as no surprise that the long friendship has benefited Underwood not only personally, but professionally as well.

“We’re going back twenty five years, probably?” Underwood said earlier this week in his weekly coaches show with Dave Hunziker. “I’m a young head coach at Dodge City Community College .. Huggs is at Cincinnati. .. He had a tremendous impact. I had some really good players that he recruited — HE recruited. It wasn’t his assistants. He taught me the importance at that time and had a huge impact on me professionally just seeing how involved the head coach is involved in the recruiting process.”

Underwood’s takeaway on head coach involvement in a recruiting process has been critical to Oklahoma State’s success.

He brought on several ace recruiters to his staff — lead by Lamont Evans who he imported from South Carolina, Mike Boynton who came straight from Underwood’s SFA regime, and Danny Henderson, who came from Boise State.

But specifically Underwood’s involvement in the recruiting process has been notable. Each time a prospect steps on campus, you can bet that a picture on twitter is going up with the head coach right there. He’s made trips all across the country — to New York, to Texas, to the West Coast — all in efforts to scout his prospects.

“I think the thing that we [as a staff] understand is that we have to get guys who are dialed in as pros and have the ability to be pros. That’s what this league has,” Underwood said when he first arrived.

He wants dudes.  And so far, he’s getting dudes.

Underwood has the No. 21 ranked recruiting class according to ESPN, highlighted by four-star guards Amauri Hardy and Zack Dawson. This past week he added St. John’s 6-foot-11 transfer Yankuba Sima.

All indications are that he’s not even finished with his recruiting class yet, either. The Cowboys are still heavily involved in the recruitment of five-star guard Trae Young. His lesson learned from Bob Huggins on being involved in recruiting is already paying dividends and breathing new life into the Oklahoma State program.

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