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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 2022-23 Basketball Season

On shooting, next season’s roster and the future.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]



STILLWATER — One of the more rollercoaster seasons in Oklahoma State basketball’s recent history has come to an end.

Oklahoma State fell to North Texas 65-59 in overtime in the quarterfinals of the NIT. Oklahoma State finishes Mike Boynton’s sixth season at 20-16.

Here are five thoughts on the season as a whole.

1. The Shooting Wasn’t Good Enough — Obviously

Oklahoma State made 31% of its 3-point shots this season. In the modern game, that just isn’t good enough.

If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that Bryce Thompson would go from shooting 29% from 3 last season to 37% from 3 this season and OSU would’ve brought in two career 35% 3-point shooters (John-Michael Wright and Caleb Asberry), I’d say there is no way OSU would shoot this poorly.

The inconsistency of it was just as perplexing. There were stretches where OSU would shoot well from 3. From Jan. 18 to Feb. 18, OSU was 73-for-208 (35%) from 3. But from then on, OSU was 55-for-213 (26%) from 3. The inconsistency made it hard for OSU to have an offensive identity. You never knew when OSU was going to hit shots.

And there were a lot of open shots missed this season — the type of shots that if an opposing team gets against OSU, they’re almost always going in.

2. But the Defense Was Stellar

Entering Tuesday, OSU ranked 12th in KenPom’s defensive efficiency. The only team higher that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament was Rutgers, a team that lost in overtime in the first round of the NIT.

It makes the what-ifs more prominent that the Cowboys were, for the most part, able to run teams off the 3-point line and defend the rim but not win as many games as needed to accomplish the team’s goals.

Tylor Perry, the Conference USA Player of the Year, will walk away as this game’s hero. He scored 23 points and hit a 3 from well north of the 3-point line to ice this game. But he was 3-for-14 (21%) from 3 against OSU after coming in shooting 43% from 3 on the season. A lot of really good players had tough nights against OSU’s defense.

But apparently in modern college basketball, defense doesn’t win championships — at least not when you shoot this poorly.

3. Kalib Boone’s Year Was Weird

There were times this season where Kalib Boone looked liked one of the best players in the Big 12. Then there were times, like Tuesday, where he looked like an entirely different player.

Boone was -15 in 10 minutes on the floor Tuesday, meaning UNT was 15 points better than OSU in that time. This seemed like a game Boone could take over, but after averaging 16.5 points per game between Jan. 10 and Feb. 14, Boone averaged just 5.7 points a game in the Cowboys’ final 10. Is it a coincidence that during Boone’s best stretch, outside shots were falling elsewhere? Did this team go as Boone did?

Boone has a year of eligibility remaining, as do a lot of the Pokes. If Boone can find consistency, he has pro potential whether that be in the United States or overseas. Here’s to hoping he is able to find it.

“He has struggled — there’s no question,” Boynton said. “We never quite figured out why because it was literally right on the heels of him playing the best basketball of his career. It was kind of a fascinating thing to watch, and really kinda sad in a lot of ways for me knowing the kid. He just couldn’t get going again.”

4. A Lot of Roster Decisions to be Made

The transfer portal is open, and even if it wasn’t, there are a lot of Cowboys with decisions to be made in the coming days and weeks.

Of the 11 scholarship players on OSU’s roster, nine can return next season. The only two who have exhausted their eligibility are Bernard Kouma and Caleb Asberry. So, despite being listed as seniors, Boone, Avery Anderson, John-Michael Wright and Chris Harris could all come back.

Mike Boynton also has five highly touted freshmen on the way, four which have already signed. Division-I basketball teams are allowed to have 13 players on scholarship. As part of their sanctions, the Cowboys still have to lose one scholarship in the next two seasons after dropping two this season. Here is a look at everyone who could be on OSU’s roster next season

1. Avery Anderson
2. Bryce Thompson
3. Chris Harris Jr.
4. Woody Newton
5. Quion Williams
6. Kalib Boone
7. Tyreek Smith
8. Moussa Cisse
9. John-Michael Wright
10. Brandon Garrison
11. Eric Dailey Jr.
12. Justin McBride
13. Jamyron Keller
14. Connor Dow

Simple math says not all of those players are going to be in Stillwater next year because that would put OSU over the scholarship limit. And that’s not to mention if Boynton wants to do any work in the transfer portal.

“It’ll be pretty quick,” Boynton said. “By rule, we gotta give them some time off, but those conversations can start to happen fairly soon. Like I said before, each person’s conversation is a little bit different because their options are a little bit different. Some of them will probably be fairly brief. Some of them may take a little bit longer to decipher. But at the end of the day, we’ll all get on the same page about what’s necessary for our program to have more success moving forward.”

5. Next Year Is Huge

It’s so hard to put the Mike Boynton tenure in one category.

Both Boynton’s haters and his backers can be correct.

His detractors will say that he has had enough time, especially in the transfer portal era, to turn things around by now. His backers will say he has had to deal with a rotten hand — the sanctions — for his whole time. He recruits well. He beats OU. But the Cowboys have made the NCAA Tournament just once.

The Big 12 will probably again be a gauntlet in 2023-24, but the Pokes need to find a way to go dancing.

“[This season’s team] dealt with a lot, like all teams do,” Boynton said. “The injuries [to Avery Anderson and Moussa Cisse] were a factor, but I’m not here to make excuses. We didn’t meet the expectations of the program that I have or that I’m sure our fans have. My job is to make sure we get better.”

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