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Rivals Has Cade Cunningham as the New No. 1 Player in the Nation

Help is coming, but is it enough?

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The silver lining in this miserable basketball season is that help is coming, and it’s coming in the form of the newly-minted No. 1 basketball player in the country, Cade Cunningham.

Earlier this week, Rivals tagged Cunningham as its new No. 1 player in the Class of 2020. Here’s what Rivals’ recruiting analysts said about the decision for their new Rivals150 and what made it so tough.

Corey Evans: Who is No. 1? This is a special class throughout but the talent, abilities and upside of the top three, Cunningham, Green and Mobley, is unlike any in one particular class for a few years now. You can’t go wrong with any of the bunch. Green might have the best upside of the three, Cunningham the best at the moment, while Mobley has the unique factor to him.

The debate will continue well beyond the publishing of the final Rivals150 in the spring but right now, the decision doesn’t get a whole lot tougher for who is deserving of the No. 1 overall spot.

Dan McDonald: Deciding between Green and Cunningham for the top spot is really tough. Both have been really good so far this high school season and both will be stars next year in college basketball. We have this right with Cunningham at No. 1, but I’m really curious to see how it plays out years down the road between these two. [Rivals]

And here’s your new top five, according to Rivals.

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It never won’t be astonishing to see “OSU” next to the profile for the No. 1 player in the nation (and probably the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft). Never. Here’s where the last 15 No. 1 players (according to Rivals) committed to go to school.

2020: Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
2019: James Wiseman (Memphis)
2018: R.J. Barrett (Duke)
2017: Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri)
2016: Josh Jackson (Kansas)
2015: Skal Labissiere (Kentucky)
2014: Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
2013: Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)
2012: Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA)
2011: Austin Rivers (Duke)
2010: Josh Selby (Kansas)
2009: John Wall (Kentucky)
2008: B.J. Mullens (Ohio State)
2007: Micahel Beasley (Kansas State)
2006: Greg Oden (Ohio State)
2005: Gerald Green (Oklahoma State)

Count: Kansas (3), Duke (3), Kentucky (2), Oklahoma State (2), Ohio State (2). That’s pretty wild. Only Duke and Kansas have landed more No. 1 guys in the last decade and a half than Oklahoma State.

In other words, OSU has landed more No. 1 players in the country (2) than it has NCAA Tournament wins (1) over the last 15 years.

Still, Mike Boynton remained optimistic about the future after Kansas throttled his Pokes on Monday evening in GIA, 65-50.

“We’re still building this program from not being in necessarily the best place to build it from to start,” he said. “No excuses. We have a job to do. We’ll keep recruiting and getting good players and trying to put our kids in position to be successful.”

I’ll have more later on how turnarounds can often come more quickly than they feel like they’re going to in college basketball. And for Boynton’s sake (and ours!), I hope that turns out to be true. Otherwise, Cunningham is just going to be another footnote in another era of futility for OSU hoops.

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