Since Mike Boynton Jr. took over as head basketball coach in Stillwater last month, there’s been a lot of moving parts in regards to next year’s roster, per usual after a coaching change. All-Big 12 First-Teamer Jawun Evans declared for the draft and hired an agent, moving on to bigger and better things in the NBA. He gone.
All-Big 12 Second-Teamer Jeffrey Carroll also declared for the draft, but has since pulled his name out and will return for his senior season in Stillwater. That’s a huge win for Boynton Jr. in his first season. Carroll, who averaged 17.5 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game last year, will lead the charge for the 2017-2018 squad and will get plenty of buzz as a potential Big 12 Player of the Year.
Of the incoming 2017-2018 recruits, only 4-star guard Zack Dawson has reaffirmed his commitment. 4-star guard Amauri Hardy “re-opened his recruitment”, code for “he ain’t coming to Stillwater,” and Dawson’s teammate, forward Latravian Glover, has been mostly quiet. But it doesn’t sound promising.
There’s also been some movement on transfers. Incoming sophomore St. John’s center Yankuba Sima will stick around with Boynton at the helm. The 6-foot-11 big man will be eligible to play around the start of conference play at the beginning of the second semester.
Additionally, Boynton Jr. received a big boost with the transfer of Michael Weathers, the MAC freshman of the year in 2016-2017. Weathers averaged a cool 16.7 points per game, 4.8 assists per game, 1.9 steals per game, and 1.4 blocks per game.
Weathers followed his old coach at Miami of Ohio, John Cooper, who recently joined the staff as an assistant. The country’s 9th highest scoring freshman will take up a scholarship spot, but unfortunately will have to sit out the 2017-2018, eligible to play in 2018-2019 as a redshirt sophomore. He’ll have three years of eligibility left.
There’s also been talk of Cal State Northridge graduate transfer Kendall Smith coming to visit Stillwater. This one’s heating up, as Smith cancelled his visit to Colorado and will head to Stillwater instead.
Cal State Northridge grad transfer Kendall Smith is no longer planning to visit Colorado. He'll instead head to Oklahoma State for a visit.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 19, 2017
Smith would be a huge boost to the backcourt. As a junior, he averaged career highs in points (16.8), assists (4.8), and rebounds (4.0) per game, and had career high shooting percentages including from three (38%) and from the line (76%). He could step in and start for a year while allowing Dawson to develop as a freshman and keep Brandon Averette as a backup, bridging the gap for when Weathers is eligible. More to come on him.
So what does the current roster look like? Here’s a breakdown (scholarship players are in bold).
|F Jeffrey Carroll||F Davon Dillard||G Lindy Waters III||G Zack Dawson|
|F Mitch Solomon||F Will Lienhard||G Brandon Averette||F Latravian Glover (?)|
|G Tavarius Shine||G Thomas Dziagwa||C Souleymane Diakite
|F Cameron McGriff|
|C Lucas N’Guessan|
|C Yankuba Sima|
|G Trey Reeves|
|G Michael Weathers (2018-19)|
The wild cards here are Shine (will he transfer?), Glover (will he come to Stillwater?) and Smith (will he come to Stillwater from Cal State Northridge?). You only get one of the three because teams are limited to 13 scholarship players. Right now, with Shine and without Glover and Smith, OSU is at 13. But why would Smith be visiting OSU if they know he puts them over the limit?
The alternative is maybe someone we aren’t considering (Dziagwa? N’Guessan? McGriff?) will transfer. All we know right now is that OSU, as its roster currently stands, does not have any scholarships left to give to Glover or Smith. That could change (quickly) of course.
I expect to see this shake out over the next few weeks, and the roster will be just about complete for the 2017-18 season. One thing is for certain — Mike Boynton Jr. will lean heavily on that sophomore class to produce and carry the Cowboys next year, supporting Jeffrey Carroll.