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The Rundown: Boynton Talks Tech, Lubbock Lindy and Cade Cunningham

Boynton breaks down his team before heading to Lubbock.

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STILLWATER — The Cowboys start to 2020 will be far from easy, in a Big 12 opener against defending national runner-up Texas Tech.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton met with reporters after the Cowboys’ practice Thursday morning. Boynton talked about the start of Big 12 play. He also had some gold quotes on what it was like watching Lindy Waters score 12 points in the final minute in Lubbock last season, and he talked a little about his star signee Cade Cunningham.

• On how the team’s newcomers are doing entering Big 12 play: “We’ve had three really good days of practice. … We’re trying to at least simulate, you guys saw with the music and intensity of practice, trying to get them an idea of what it may be like. It’s also the reason we scheduled the way we did so that this time of the year when we go into these environments they’re not seeing this type of atmosphere for the first time.

“Some of them didn’t handle (piped in crowd noise) very well, and that’s OK. That’s why you do it today and hopefully have an opportunity tomorrow to come back and watch the film and figure out why, how and what to do to make sure it’s better. We try to do everything we can to give our guys an opportunity to see what it’s really like. Obviously there weren’t any people in there, but the noise gives them somewhat of a simulation of what to expect when they go on the road for what we think will be a really competitive game against a reigning conference champion and defending national runner-up.”

• Thursday was the first time this season Boynton piped in crowd noise.

• Of the nonconference schedule, Houston probably provided the closest thing to what OSU can expect in Lubbock in terms of crowd noise.

• On key takeaways from the nonconference slate: “I just think they’ve done a really good job of taking care of their business in the nonconference. Save the Minnesota game, I thought we played with great purpose and intent and put ourselves in a position going into league play where we can feel good that, moving forward that won’t be a question about whether we challenged ourselves or if we played well against good competition. Now everybody starts 0-0. That’s what I told our team, the team that plays with the most consistency, the ability to move onto the next game no matter how the last one goes, will find itself having more success over the next two and a half months.”

• On preparing the newcomers for Big 12 play apart from pumping crowd noise: “I just think the intensity at which we compete with in practice, I think guys really get after each other. I think we try to put them in situations where there’s adversity. … Those are things that are gonna come up. As many times as they can see it, a lot of times you can get better with repetition.”

• On Tech: “They’re really, really physical defensively. They’re pretty versatile. They don’t necessarily play with a true big, which can present some challenges, but there’s some things that maybe we can take advantage of in terms of rebounding and protecting the rim on defense.

“(Davide) Moretti kinda is the leader for them. He’s a tremendous shooter, great competitor. Then they have one of the most unique players in the country I think in Chris Clarke, a guy who starts at power forward but has 70 some-odd (70) assists and 20 some-odd (26) turnovers, which is unusual for a guy playing that position. When he rebounds it, he’s basically their point guard. It gives us a different look in that regard, but they’re really, really versatile defensively. They can switch one through five and really be able to guard you.

“(Jahmi’us Ramsey) is terrific. He’s physically ready to go play at the next level, I think. Obviously he’s probably got some maturing to do, some growing up to do. He’s dealt with some injuries. But he’s a tremendous scorer. He plays with an aggressive mindset. He’s probably one of the most competitive kids that I’ve ever evaluated. That’s a credit to whoever coached him and developed him. He’ll present some great challenges, but at the same time it’ll be his first Big 12 game, too.”

• On if he has ever been a part of something like the nine points in 20 seconds Lindy Waters pulled off in Lubbock last season: “Not when the guy was playing for me. I coached against Steph Curry, that’s the closest I’ve actually seen. I’m not saying Lindy’s Steph by any means, but I’ve never coached a guy who got going from 3 that well.

“I coached a kid named Devan Downey, who was a tremendous scorer. He did a lot of his work at the rim and in the mid range. But to see, especially because we needed all of them just to give ourselves a chance to get to overtime, talk about taking big shots and not playing afraid of the moment. It was pretty impressive.

“I don’t think we ran any offense in the last four minutes of the game. I don’t even know what we called it, but I was literally just pointing guys out of his way and telling him, ‘When you see the rim, shoot the ball.’ He did, and it went in. I looked like a pretty good coach for a couple minutes.”

• Nothing to update on Marcus Watson.

• On 2020 signee Cade Cunningham’s game against No. 4 Patrick School, a game Cunningham’s team won 77-32: “I was not there. Cannen (Cunningham) was, but I watched it all on the little link that was available.

“They haven’t had a competitive game yet. Eventually I think they will, but they go through their first six guys, and they’re all like going to real, high-level college programs next year. It’s pretty impressive what Coach (Kevin) Boyle and his staff has done down there at Montverde.”

• On this dunk:

“I’ve seen that kid do so many things over the last three years that nothing really surprises me, but it almost seems like every time he plays, he plays with more confidence that he can do something even better. It’s a testament to his work ethic, to his coaches, to guys who have helped develop him, and obviously we’re fortunate that he’s gonna be coming to play for our program.”

• On how it is beneficial for the program when Cunningham is on TV and mentioned as an OSU signee: “I think it’s really good. I think it’s important that we understand how important it is the opportunity that he’s created for the rest of our program moving forward. You can be the best player in the country, and I believe that he’s the best player in the country, and Oklahoma State’s a place you can go to and have success. I think he sends that message to other kids and will give us an opportunity to continue to knock on doors that maybe people think we shouldn’t.”

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