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PFB Roundtable: What to Make of OSU Basketball’s Recent Departures



Mike Boynton’s upcoming 2018-19 squad just got thinner by two more spots on Monday with the announced departure of Tavarius Shine and Yankuba Sima. That came a week after sophomore point guard Brandon Averette received his release.

The PFB staff got together to rap about the roster changes and how they will affect OSU basketball in Boynton’s second year and beyond.

Kyle Cox: Your thoughts on Mike Boynton’s losses in Brandon Averette, Tavarius Shine and Yankuba Sima.

Phillip Slavin: My first thought is I wish them well. The only exit that surprised me is Sima, but he and Shine are in their 20s. It’s understandable that they are ready to go out into the world and start making money. I don’t think this necessarily reflects on Boynton as a coach. Would it have been great to keep all three? Yes. Could next year be a little rough? Sure. But I think the team and the program will be alright.

Jacob Overton: The departure that surprised me most was Sima. I knew Shine was planning to leave and even though Averette’s transfer wasn’t anticipated I don’t think it’s surprising. To me, these departures don’t tell us anything about Boynton or his ability to be a HC, just that OSU was no longer the right fit for these young men.

Luke Garza: I’ll rank these announcements in terms of how surprising they were 

1. Sima
2. Averette
3. Shine

I think most people already knew/expected Shine would be gone after he was included in senior day festivities. It makes sense for Averette to leave considering he still has two years of eligibility and wants to make a larger impact somewhere else. Sima’s situation is confusing because I expected him to make a big leap next year after having a full offseason in Stillwater. He looked to get more minutes with Mitchell Solomon leaving, so it makes me wonder whether Boynton is confident in landing another big man next year.

Cox: The Sima move really comes out of left field. I think Shine’s would be equally as surprising if we hadn’t already known it was a possibility. I really don’t know what to think about it in terms of team moral or anything like that. With these two pursuing pro careers instead of trying to transfer it doesn’t really feel like a Boynton thing.

Cox: How confident are you that Boynton can rebuild his roster either (with preps or transfers)?

Slavin: If nothing else, he has plenty of playing time to award someone. I think Boynton will land a few transfers this season and really set to focusing on his 2019 class. I think that is where he is going to land some “studs.” As for next year, he’ll get some kids. He’s got more minutes to offer than most programs, and with as deep as the transfer market is, he shouldn’t have trouble finding one or two guys to fill them.

Oveton: I’m confident Boynton will fill the roster and it’s looking like he’ll patch it up with transfers for this season. I’m just hoping it’ll be full of more Kendall Smiths than Lucas N’Gussans.

Garza: I’m pretty confident Boynton will be able to fill the class. He’s proven to be a likable guy and proved himself with wins against top-tier programs this season. I think many people in the college basketball world took notice of that. With a lot of guys leaving, there will be a lot of minutes up for grabs. I could see a player or two becoming grad transfers for next year’s team, just like Kendall Smith. That seemed to work out for both parties.

Cox: I’ll say somewhat confident. The sample size is too small. I think Boynton could be a big-time recruiter but he’s yet to land a big-time recruit.

If he can’t land a big fish from the high school ranks on this go round, I’d give him another year before I think it really reflects on him as a recruiter. I do think he can sell the program and now he definitely has minutes to sell as these guys pointed out.

But with a transfer, you’ve got a small margin for error. Even Kendall Smith took some time to get his feet under him against Big 12 competition and not everyone out there is a Kendall Smith. You knew what you had in Shine, Sima and Averette. You can’t afford to miss on too many transfers.

Cox: Given the recent departures, which current player on the roster will be need to take the biggest step forward (and why)?

Slavin: Michael Weathers. I’m already as excited about him as Carson is about Tyron Johnson. I really think he’s going to be a stud, and he’s going to need to be for OSU to be successful next year. The other guy will be Dziagwa. He’s going to have to play minutes which means he’s going to have to be more consistent from three. He was great to start last season, but flamed out as the year went on. He was also a bit of a defensive liability at times. If Dizzy can become a reliable 6th man (which is what I think his ceiling is), he could be a great weapon for the Cowboys moving forward.

Overton: Lindy Waters. I was very impressed with his improvement from last season and if he can make similar progress this year he can be an All-Big 12 type of player.

Garza: I’d say Lindy Waters. People are already expecting a lot from Cam McGriff but I can really see Waters developing into one of the Big 12’s best offensive players. I know the departures of Averette and Sima don’t particularly impact Waters much, but Shine’s departure on the wing opens up the potential for a larger role for Waters in 2018.

Cox: I think several guys will need to, but for the sake of variety I’ll say Cam McGriff. He took a huge step forward as a sophomore and will need to push his ceiling even higher (if that’s possible) and find a way to be more consistent. If OSU can get 80 percent of the Crime Dog that tore it up in Morgantown and Lawrence on a regular basis, they’ll be in much better shape.

Cox: Finally, have your expectations for next year’s team changed and how?

Slavin: Yes. I was feeling optimistic about next season, and I’m still leaning that way, but I’m now going to hold off on any sort of predictions until I see what Boynton does with the roster. I think he’ll land some kids, and I think he’s got a couple of nice pieces on the roster now (Weathers, Waters, McGriff), but until he lands a point guard and a big man, I’m going to stay in a holding pattern.

Overton: My expectations have changed slightly. As I said earlier I really wasn’t expecting Sima to leave. He was OSU’s rim protector and there can’t be too many 6’9” guys out there they can replace him with. With Solomon graduating AND him leaving I’m officially concerned about the front court.

Garza: My expectations for next year’s team haven’t changed much because of the departures If anything, it has improved my expectations. I think these guys leaving is a hint that Boynton is confident he has a couple of legit guys coming in.

Cox: It lowers my expectations at least marginally at this point. Now if Boynton bags Courtney Ramey and a 7-footer that can score by the signing period, we can revisit this one.

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