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What Kalib Boone’s Transfer Portal Entry Means for OSU Basketball

On Boone and OSU’s future in the frontcourt.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Kalib Boone — and I’m not just saying this as a fellow K Boone from Tulsa who is associated with Oklahoma State, I promise! — had stretches in the last two seasons of playing like a potential first-round NBA Draft pick. But the waxing and waning of his consistency, or lack thereof, combined with some touch-and-go effort late in the season, may have foreshadowed the news Thursday that he is entering the transfer portal and looking elsewhere to finish his college career.

So what does it mean for OSU hoops?

Here are a few thoughts that kicked around in my head.

Missing rim protection

Moussa Cisse gets the love and admiration as the anchor of OSU’s defense — and rightfully so given how well he has blocked shots and defended around the rim — but Boone’s shot-blocking will no doubt leave behind a big void for OSU to try and fill. He rated third on the team last season in block rate and actually out-paced Cisse in 2021-22 in block rate. His anticipation skills and ability to fend off would-be scorers in the paint and around the basket gave OSU’s defense a huge edge, allowing it to at times be aggressive to the point of recklessness knowing that Boone and Cisse were waiting as free safeties on the back end. Not having him back could, I would argue, be so impactful that it may change up some of the schematic plans OSU’s defense may run out, especially if Cisse, a junior, decides not to come back.

Foul-drawers leaving town

The departure of Boone leaves OSU in a bit of an interesting situation projecting ahead to next season. He was the second-leading foul-drawer — and yes, I get it, that’s a mouth foul, but sue me! — on the team this past season. Avery Anderson, who is also transferring, was No. 1 in that metric.

It could be an addition by subtraction — OSU ranked ninth out of all Big 12 teams in free throw percentage and was in the bottom 100 of all Div. I teams nationally — but drawing fouls is as much skill as it is luck. (Boone, according to KenPom data, also ranked first in fouls committed per 40 minutes among qualifying players on OSU’s roster. So there was lots of drawing but lots of giving.)

Sign of the times

This would set off alarm bells for me if it weren’t standard fare in college basketball nowadays: Boone’s departure officially means only Isaac Likekele, Avery Anderson and Kalib Boone have signed with the program out of high school and stayed four years. (Although to be fair that only includes the 2018 and 2019 classes, which may be above average if you scan the hoops landscape.) Boone, though, like Anderson and Likekele, leave town after four years with degrees in hand.

That’s Brandon Garrison’s music

That sound you hear is Brandon Garrison’s stock cashing in as he prepares to step foot on campus as a true freshman next season. Garrison is the headliner of OSU’s highly-anticipated 2023 class and the 6-foot-9, top-50 recruit with Boone’s departure may be a day one starter as he moves on.

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