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Incoming Kalib Boone Among Impressive Company as No. 1 Player in Oklahoma

From J.R. Giddens to Kalib Boone, this is quite a list of big time players.



Help is coming. Or at least that’s what we all hope. OSU is bringing in a top-20 recruiting class next season to help reset the trajectory of a program that is a little bit wobbly.

And while he might not be the headliner, Tulsa Memorial center Kalib Boone can lay claim to what nobody else in this class can (and only 49 other players in the country can), that in his state there is nobody better.

Boone will likely end his high school career as the No. 1-ranked player in the class of 2019 in the state of Oklahoma (Keylan, his twin brother, is No. 3), and in getting him, OSU is scoring its fourth-ever top dog from inside its own state.

Let’s look at how others have panned out over the years. Here’s a list of the No. 1-ranked recruits in the state of Oklahoma dating back to 2003 (which is the entirety of 247’s database).

2018 — Trey’Von Hopkins (Carl Albert): Seattle
2017 — Trae Young (Norman North): OU
2016 — Kristian Doolittle (Edmond Memorial): OU
2015 — Shake Milton (Owasso): SMU
2014 — Mitch Solomon (Bixby): OSU
2013 — Stevie Clark (Douglass): OSU
2012 — Nino Jackson (Ardmore): Loyola Marymount
2011 — Ryan Spangler (Bridge Creek): Gonzaga
2010 — Tyler Neal (Putnam City West): OU
2009 — Xavier Henry (Putnam City): Kansas
2008 — Rotnei Clark (Verdigris): Arkansas
2007 — Blake Griffin (OCA): OU
2006 — Obi Muonelo (Edmond Santa Fe): OSU
2005 — Taylor Griffin (OCA): OU
2004 — Darnell Jackson (Midwest City): Kansas
2003 — J.R. Giddens (John Marshall): Kansas

That 2012 and 2018 one-two punch is a little bleak, but everything else ranges from strong to NBA All-Star. There has to be a little bit of context here, though. There’s a difference in somebody like Boone (No. 100 nationally) and somebody like Xavier Henry (No. 6 nationally). Even though Boone is technically the best player in Oklahoma, he’s certainly not in the Trae Young-Blake Griffin-Obi Muonelo-Xavier Henry-J.R. Giddens class.

Somewhat interestingly maybe the closest comp to Boone is Mitchell Solomon, who was No. 97 nationally and the No. 18 center (Boone is No. 100 nationally and the No. 23 center). I think if Boone went on to have Mitchell Solomon’s career that would maybe be a slightly disappointing outcome, depending on how you categorize career numbers of 4.8 points per game and 4.7 boards.

I would probably expect more from a top 100 player nationally, although a lot of Solomon’s legacy can’t really be measured (#grit).

This list is a pretty fascinating trip down a number of rabbit holes, by the way. From the Griffin brothers to J.R. Giddens (!) to Ryan Spangler (!) and all the OSU guys, you can draw a through line for the success (or failure) of both Oklahoma-based Big 12 teams as well as Kansas flexing all over everybody when an Oklahoma player peeks into the top 50 nationally (Henry was No. 6, Darnell Jackson was No. 53, Giddens was No. 21).

No matter how Boone pans out in the future — and for the sake of Mike Boynton, hopefully he does at a high level — he’ll head to Stillwater later this season with both a lot of weight on his shoulders and also a ton of optimism that this is where OSU’s basketball program turns.

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