Connect with us


Hoops Notebook: Miranda’s Goofiness, Hicklen’s Degrees and Small’s Distribution

‘Isaiah might be the goofiest kid I’ve ever been around.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Boynton and the Oklahoma State basketball team are hosting an open practice ahead of Friday’s football game, as the Cowboy hoopers prep for their Nov. 1 exhibition game against Oklahoma Baptist.

The open practice spans from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday in Gallagher-Iba Arena, and admission is free.

Boynton and the Cowboys met with the media last week to give updates on how the new-look squad is doing. Here are three storylines from talking with the Pokes.

Isaiah Miranda Is King Goof

Isaiah Miranda dropped to his knees toward the end of a practice last week.

Mike Boynton had just said that his team had to run seven 22s. That meant they had to run down and back twice within 22 seconds — seven times. The news of the quantity brought Miranda’s 7-foot-1, 220-pound frame to the hardwood. But then he got up and with a smile on his face finished among the frontrunners during the conditioning.

Miranda might be a newcomer, but his personality has been evident early in his time in Stillwater through OSU Basketball’s social media.

He stepped into a locker room that includes Quion Williams, who is another guy who walks to the beat of his own drum. But who is goofier?

“Isaiah might be the goofiest kid I’ve ever been around,” Boynton said. “It’s really not that close. Now, I’ll say this, I had a kid named Bryce Williams. He was a goofy kid, too.”

For further reference on how goofy Miranda is, Williams let out a five-second playful, primal scream at one of the managers after finishing his post-practice free-throw shooting. And it’s “really not that close” how much goofier Miranda is.

Hicklen Working on Another Degree

Oklahoma State is Jarius Hicklen’s third school after transferring from Oklahoma Baptist to North Florida before arriving in Stillwater.

In some cases, the transfer portal can stunt academics with guys having to find out which credits transfer over, but the academic aspect is no issue for Hicklen.

Hicklen had an associates degree from Cedar Valley College when he graduated from DeSoto High School with a 4.0 GPA. Then he earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management in his two years at OBU and earned a master’s in management in his two years at North Florida.

He is working on master’s No. 2 (this time in sports administration) at OSU.

Hicklen said he has aspirations of being a general manager, owning an NBA team or be an athletic director when he is done playing basketball.

“It was a blessing for me to be in that program coming out of high school — an early college program,” Hicklen said. “I was blessed to just walk into that phase when my school was doing it.”

Small Has Toys to Play With

Oklahoma State has been without a playmaking point guard since Cade Cunningham’s name was called first overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, but early returns suggest Javon Small can be that guy for the Cowboys this season.

Avery Anderson had manned the Cowboys’ point guard spot since Cunningham’s departure, but Anderson, now at TCU, was often at his best when shaking a defender and getting downhill himself.

A transfer from East Carolina, Small averaged 5.6 assists a game last season. He was impressive in the Pokes’ Spanish exhibition tour with crosscourt passes and work in the pick-and-roll.

What’s around a playmaking point guard is almost as important as the point guard himself, and Small has some fun toys to play with. There’s Miranda, who is a long 7-foot-1 who will be a threat in the pick-and-roll and the pick-and-pop. Then there’s guys like Connor Dow and Hicklen who can sink into a corner for Small to hit them with a cross-court pass for a 3.

“[Miranda] is a lob threat,” Small said. “Whenever his man steps over, I can literally just throw the ball to him and he’ll go dunk it. Connor can sit in the corner, and if his man helps, that’s an easy kick to the corner. And I know he’s gonna knock it down.

“Everyone on the team has their job to do, and everybody can succeed in it. My job is just to get my teammates involved and put them at their strengths.”

Most Read