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Isaac Likekele on How He and Cade Cunningham Can Work Together

Likekele is confident he and Cunningham will compliment each other.



The Cowboys’ two best players next season will almost assuredly be two big point guards.

Isaac Likekele and Cade Cunningham are similar players with their size and ability to make plays for their teammates. With them being so similar, a lot of questions have come from the outside of the program as to how they will coexist on the floor next season. It’s not something Likekele is concerned with.

“Playing on the court where everybody can really play-make for each other, it’ll actually help me out even more with me scoring because people will be so focused on other people,” Likekele said. “It’s a great situation. Everybody can play-make, everybody can start the fast break, everyone can defend. It’s what you want in a team, I fell like.”

Their similarities don’t stop on the court. Both are from Arlington, and the pair teamed up last summer in Greece for the United States in the U19 FIBA World Cup.

Although both are probably viewed more as playmakers than scorers, Cunningham and Likekele are more than capable at putting the ball in the basket. On the Nike EYBL circuit last summer, Cunningham averaged 23.8 points a game on his way to a national MVP honor.

Likekele averaged 10.9 points a game as a college sophomore, and he scored 26 against Syracuse and 21 in OSU’s season finale against Iowa State.

The Cowboys also struggled to find playmakers outside of Likekele the past two seasons. Even with Likekele missing a good chunk of last season with an illness, he still accounted for 127 of OSU’s 379 assists. Cunningham being another guy who can grab a rebound and push the ball of the floor would ideally make OSU more versatile offensively.

“I mean, neither one of us are selfish,” Likekele said. “We’ve seen multiple times where I’ve had games where I’ve shot two, three shots maybe. Everybody would be like, ‘Why is Ice so unaggressive tonight?’ Cade gets the same thing. People tell him he should be shooting the ball way more, so I feel like this is gonna be one of the most unselfish situations I’ve ever been in.”

“Cade’s a great guy. … He’s a great person. He’s not what you would expect him to be just because the person that he is and the situation that he’s in with all the hype around him, but he’s a down-to-earth person. He’s just a real cool guy. He’s so humble. He’s one of the easiest persons to work with. He’s so humble. It’s going to be easy to just gel together.”

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