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‘There’s Going to Be a Lot of Fluidity’: Mike Boynton Discusses Expectations for the Offseason

‘We all have an obligation to make sure Oklahoma State basketball is really good.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Since the end of the Cowboys’ season, Mike Boynton said he is constantly on his laptop.

Boynton said he took it to Wichita with him to watch between his son’s games. Boynton said when he eats dinner, it’s in front of him. He is watching film of players in the transfer portal to determine whether they would be a good fit for his team.

Oklahoma State finished below expectations in the 2022-23 season. The Cowboys were 20-16. OSU was the first team out of the NCAA Tournament, an event the Pokes have played in once in Boynton’s tenure. Boynton said there was a duality to the season. He acknowledged that winning eight games in the Big 12 (and three on the road) was no easy feat, but he said he was also aware of the shortcomings.

As for moving forward, it sounds as if there will be some movement within Oklahoma State’s roster this offseason. Caleb Asberry and Bernard Kouma have exhausted their eligibility, but even past that, Boynton said he doesn’t expect everyone who could come back to be back.

“I’m more committed now than I’ve ever been,” Boynton said Monday. “I feel really good about where we’re going. There’s going to be a lot of fluidity, just honestly, in the roster. I don’t have a whole lot of answers for you on that. I’m sure that’s a lot of the questions that are coming. But I have had individual meetings with every player. Each situation is a little different in regards to whether they are either capable of being back or whether it’s in their best interest or the interest of the program to be back next season. And not all of those decisions are necessarily mine or theirs. Some of them are combined.”

Boynton said the individual conversations with his players, the exit interviews after the season, if you will, are all unique because not every player is in the same situation. Some can graduate but still have a year of eligibility. Some have already transferred. Everyone has something different going on.

But there is also a common theme throughout those tough talks.

“The conversation is the same in this sense: the program has expectations, and you’re either adding to our ability to meet those expectations or you’re falling short in whatever it is your part in us having success is,” Boynton said. “That goes for everybody, including myself meeting with people above me, right? We all have an obligation to make sure Oklahoma State basketball is really good — starting with myself then down through the staff and then for every player. Are we all meeting our obligation to the program? If we’re not, then can we fix it? If we can fix it, what does that look like? If we can’t, then here are the options.”

Boynton made it clear he cares about the kids and wants them all to be successful, but he said his job is to take the program to a higher level.

Still, in the midst of scholarship sanctions stemming from the FBI’s investigation into college hoops, the Cowboys could use 12 or a full 13 scholarships next season. Boynton has some flexibility after unintentionally being minus two scholarships this past season when Russell Harrison was deemed ineligible before the season started.

But with four high school players signed (Brandon Garrison, Justin McBride, Jamyron Keller and Connor Dow) and another verbally committed (Eric Dailey Jr.), there will still needs to be movement out for Boynton to bring transfer portal guys in. As things stand — minus Asberry and Kouma and plus the five high schoolers — the Cowboys would be at 14 scholarships, one over the allowed limit. So when all is said and done, Boynton’s roster could look quite a bit different in 2023-24 than it did in 2022-23.

The Cowboys have already reportedly made contact with a handful of transfers. Shooting seems to be high on Boynton’s priority list, and he said Monday that playmaking is also up there. When Avery Anderson went down with his wrist injury this season, that left the Cowboys without a guy who could naturally create off the dribble.

As of writing, the Cowboys don’t have anyone in the portal, but with as aggressive as Boynton seems to be in recruiting the portal and with what he said Monday, it seems to be only a matter of time.

“We’re going to continue to address making sure that we are aggressive in the recruiting space,” Boynton said. “A lot of it will be through the transfer portal. We’ve already made a lot of contacts. There’s a lot of high-level interest in helping our program get to where we believe it can go. I look forward to the work ahead of us.”

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