January 30 was a bittersweet day for Oklahoma State’s basketball team. The Cowboys suffered a 13-point loss to TCU on that Tuesday night, but they found a budding star in Cam McGriff. He had played at least 25 minutes in only four of OSU’s games before the matchup with the Horned Frogs, but he started every game after that. Barring anything unforeseen, he’ll start for the Cowboys in the NIT and will continue to do so in the future.
Before we start looking at what’s in store for McGriff in the years to come, let’s peek at his numbers before and after earning the starting job.
|Cam McGriff||PPG||RPG||APG||SPG||BPG||FG %||3-pt FG %|
|Before Jan. 30||7||4.8||0.8||0.7||0.3||53.7||31.8|
Mike Boynton saw instant production after putting McGriff into the starting lineup. His scoring went up nearly five points per game, he grabbed nearly two more rebounds, and his defensive stats saw a slight increase, as well. His shooting percentage went down, but that’s expected when a players’ volume increases.
Take a look at his 3-point percentage, though. He shot better from beyond the arc than he did from the floor in general. That 46.4-percent mark from deep is ridiculous, and really shows how high his scoring ceiling could be if he improves from other areas of the floor. With more experience and exposure, teams will come up with different ways to slow him down, but for now, the increase in production is evident after half a season.
The Cowboys will be without Mitchell Solomon, Jeffrey Carroll, Tavarius Shine and Kendall Smith next season. The departures of Carroll and Shine seem like the only change that’ll impact McGriff’s playing time. The Cowboys have only two commits for next season (Duncan Demuth and Yor Anei) and both are power forwards. They will also welcome former Indiana standout guard Curtis Jones. With McGriff playing more of a forward role, I expect him to become one of the main contributors next season.
According to ESPN.com, McGriff was a four-star recruit at Grand Prairie High School. Initial scouting reports said he needed to improve his ball handling, and that remains true. Once he improves his handles, his shooting percentage will increase, and it’ll be easier to create his own opportunities to score. We already know he has a high motor and is an above-the-rim player, capable of providing the Cowboys with electrifying dunks that swing momentum.
McGriff has the size to develop into even more of a beast defensively. It’s kind of crazy to think about his long-term potential. As is true in all cases, how much work he puts in will ultimately determine the fate of his career, but his size and athleticism are about as good as you could ask for. Combine that with his intensity on the court, and you could be looking at the face of OSU basketball for the next year or two.