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‘It’s Year 7, They Want Results’: Boynton Understanding of Fanbase’s Disgruntlement about Rough Start

‘Nothing is more frustrating than the team you want to win not win.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Boynton is a fan of the New York Giants and the New York Knicks, so he knows that cheering for a team that is losing isn’t any fun.

Boynton’s Oklahoma State Cowboys are off to a 3-5 start to the 2023-24 season with losses to Abilene Christian, St. Bonaventure, Notre Dame, Creighton and, most recently, Southern Illinois. The Cowboys are down to No. 167 in the NET rankings, sandwiched between Merrimack and Saint Peter’s. The Cowboys’ next shot at turning this thing around is at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in a game against Tulsa at Paycom Center in Oklahoma City.

“I’m man enough to come in here and say we just gotta play better more consistently,” Boynton said. “We have to win more. I’ve gotta coach better. I’ve gotta continue to put our team in positions where we’re more successful. At the end of the day, that’s really the most important thing.

“… The process word is nasty. No one cares. It’s Year 7, they want results, and they want them now. And they want them every time we step on the court.”

Boynton has almost an entirely new roster after his Cowboys were the first team out of the NCAA Tournament field last season. The only returners are Bryce Thompson, Quion Williams and John-Michael Wright. This revamped group has more offensive potential, but defense has been a struggle. The Cowboys rank last among Big 12 teams in defensive field-goal percentage, allowing opponents to make 43% of their shots. The Cowboys finished last season ranked tops in the Big 12 in that stat.

The Cowboys could get a boost to that Sunday, as Boynton said he thinks 7-foot-1 transfer center Isaiah Miranda will be available for the first time this season. Miranda probably isn’t going to come in and play savior for the Cowboys, but having a 7-foot-1, long, athletic floor spacer would help a lot of teams — especially the struggling Cowboys.

Miranda took a fall and suffered a hip injury in OSU’s exhibition game on Nov. 1. That injury kept him out until Nov. 20, where he was set to make his college basketball debut against New Orleans before rolling an ankle at the pregame shootaround that has kept him out until now.

Miranda was the No. 45 prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the 2022 class after reclassifying and joining NC State at the semester last year. He didn’t appear in a game for the Wolfpack before entering the transfer portal and ending up at Oklahoma State. Many would likely consider Miranda the biggest NBA prospect on this OSU roster because of his length, athletic ability and the fact that he is also a threat from 3.

“He is naturally a good rebounder — not because he’s tall — because that’s something he’s always done well,” Boynton said. “A lot of tall guys aren’t great rebounders. I’ve seen that before. But he also gives us an element of rim protection that we don’t have as consistently otherwise because of the way he can move around. Gives us the ability to switch a little bit more because he’s a little bit more mobile in terms of lateral quickness, guarding. And he gives us a lob threat. The other guys can catch lobs, but it’s different.”

This is the Cowboys’ worst start to a season since Year 1 of the Leonard Hamilton Era (1986-87). OSU started that year 3-6 before an 8-20 finish.

At his media availability on Thursday, Boynton didn’t point fingers for the rough start, saying he understands the fanbase’s distain with how the season has started.

“I was a fan before I ever played or coached — nothing is more frustrating than the team you want to win not win,” Boynton said. “I get it. I’m also on the other side of it, and I know what is going into the process. What you haven’t heard me say is, ‘We’re too young to win,’ or ‘We can’t,’ or ‘Please be patient.’ I want people to want us to win. I want people to have expectations. I want people to show up on Sunday to watch us play against Tulsa, I do. I want them to show up expecting us to win, and if we don’t, I want them to let me know that they don’t like what they see.

“That’s part of what you get to do when you invest in something. You get to tell people how you feel about it. I respect that, wholeheartedly.”

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