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Where Does Cade Cunningham Fit Among OSU’s, Big 12’s Best All-Time Recruits

Derrick Rose? Lonzo Ball? Cunningham’s recruiting status is with some elite company.




It’s the summer of 2019, but the recruitment of a 2020 basketball player has been the talk around the proverbial Oklahoma State water cooler.

It’s been thought for a little while now that OSU is in a good spot to land five-star prospect Cade Cunningham. But, those thoughts have turned into obsessions with the announcement that Mike Boynton hired Cannen Cunningham, Cade’s older brother, as an assistant coach Tuesday.

Cade Cunningham is the third-ranked recruit in the 2020 class, per 247Sports’ composite rankings. ESPN recently updated its rankings and had Cunningham as the second overall prospect in the class.

Cunningham has a 247 Composite Score of .9988. The highest score possible is a 1.000. His .9988 has a chance to change, as it’s still the summer before his senior year of high school, but here is a look at all of 247Sports’ composite ranking’s .9988s:

Name Class School
Cade Cunningham 2020 TBD
Lonzo Ball 2016 UCLA
Cliff Alexander 2014 Kansas
Derrick Rose 2007 Memphis
Josh Smith 2004 NBA
Shannon Brown 2003 Michigan State

That’s some solid company. All of those players have played in the NBA. Four of the five were first-round picks. Derrick Rose won an NBA MVP and is a three-time All-Star. Shannon Brown is a two-time NBA champion.

At this point in their careers, Cliff Alexander is the only one of that group that could be considered a bust, but he is still only 23 years old.

As far as OSU goes, if Cunningham committed, he’d be the second highest-rated recruit to ever commit to OSU, behind Gerald Green. Green went on to declare for the NBA Draft before getting to OSU, so if Cunningham committed and actually came to OSU, he’d be the highest-ranked recruit to ever do so.

Here is a look at the top recruits who actually played for the home team in Gallagher-Iba Arena:

Name Class Score
Le’Bryan Nash 2011 0.9972
Marcus Smart 2012 0.9960
Byron Eaton 2005 0.9924
Obi Muonelo 2006 0.9914
James Anderson 2007 0.9910
Jawun Evans 2015 0.9889
Roderick Flemings 2005 0.9859
Ray Penn 2009 0.9820
Michael Cobbins 2010 0.9778
Stevie Clark 2013 0.9697

Lastly, we’ll look at the current top recruits in Big 12 history.

Player School Score
Andrew Wiggins Kansas 1.0000
Josh Jackson Kansas 0.9999
Gerald Green* Oklahoma State 0.9998
Kevin Durant Texas 0.9996
Mo Bamba Texas 0.9993
Avery Bradley Texas 0.9991
Michael Beasley Kansas State 0.9991
Josh Shelby Kansas 0.9990
Isaiah Austin Baylor 0.9990
Cliff Alexander Kansas 0.9988

*-Went straight to NBA

So, Cunningham would be tied with Cliff Alexander as the Big 12’s 10th best recruit, ninth-best excluding Gerald Green. There are some ridiculous names left off that list, such as Blake Griffin, Trae Young, Joel Embiid and Mario Chalmers, all of whom scored lower than a .9988.

This obviously doesn’t mean that Cunningham could just show up to Stillwater and become the next Derrick Rose, but this is the caliber player that Boynton and OSU seem on the verge of getting.

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