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Five Things to Know Heading into Oklahoma State’s Basketball Season

OSU can play in the NCAA Tournament as things stand.



There is just one more sleep until Cowboy basketball.

The college basketball season tips off Wednesday. For those who have been too wrapped up in football this fall, here are five things to know about Oklahoma State entering the 2020-21 season.

1. The Cowboys Can Play in the NCAA Tournament as Things Stand

A big thing people are pointing to as to why they aren’t getting excited for OSU’s basketball season are the sanctions looming over OSU’s head.

In June, the NCAA Infractions Committee put some hefty sanctions on OSU’s basketball program following an FBI investigation into college basketball. Among the sanctions were a one-year postseason ban and a loss of scholarships.

However, OSU has appealed said sanctions, and the appeal process is ongoing. As long as that process is ongoing, OSU is eligible to play in the NCAA Tournament. It would not be too shocking if the appeal process got drug out until then.

If the appeal process does get wrapped up before the big dance, it would depend on the decision.

But as of Nov. 24, 2020, the Cowboys can play in the NCAA Tournament.

2. Cade Cunningham is a Cowboy

The projected No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft will call Gallagher-Iba Arena home this season.

All of Cade Cunningham’s titles make his name longer than Daenerys Targaryen’s. To name a few, he was the No. 1 player in the 2020 recruiting class, he is the reigning Naismith High School Player of the Year, a preseason All-American, a preseason All-Big 12 Selection and on the Naismith Award watch list.

Cunningham is the highest-rated recruit OSU has ever had commit, edging out Gerald Green (who never played at OSU). He’s a 6-foot-8, 220-pound point guard who can do it all.

Along with being the best high school player in the country last season, Cunningham is also a winner. His AAU team, Texas Titans, won the Nike EYBL’s Peach Jam. Cade was the circuit’s MVP, averaging 23.8 points, seven rebounds and 5.7 assists a game.

His high school team, Montverde Academy, went 25-0 last season playing a national schedule. His team won by an average of 39 points a game. Because Montverde was always up by so much, Cunningham played only 22 minutes a game, where he averaged 13.9 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and a plus/minus of +30.8 per game.

3. Cade Brought Friends

As good as Cunningham is, Mike Boynton still brought in quite the recruiting class around of him.

OSU’s 2020 class ranked fourth in the country, according to Rivals. Joining Cunningham are four-star recruits Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, Rondel Walker and Donovan Williams.

Other newcomers to the Cowboys include graduate transfer Ferron Flavors and Ole Miss transfer Bryce Williams, both of whom are expected to contribute heavily this season.

4. Ice Returns for His Junior Campaign

Enough about the new guys. The Cowboys return Isaac Likekele, who has taken over Big 12 games in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

An All-Big 12 honoree last season, the one they call Ice is a stat-sheet stuffer. He averaged 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals a game last season.

Likekele is the Cowboys’ unquestioned leader, and he has even popped up on some NBA Draft boards.

5. Year 4 for Mike Boynton

The first three years of the Mike Boynton era showed promise, but the on-court results have still been a little slow.

This is the best roster Boynton has had in his career. This crazy 2020-21 season will not only project the futures of Cade Cunningham and Isaac Likekele, it is also a chance for OSU’s coach to take that next step in his career.

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