Oklahoma State hasn’t been ranked since 2015 and hasn’t reached a Sweet 16 since 2005, a team typically towards the bottom of the pack in the Big 12. A 9th place finish in 2019 and 8th place in 2020 isn’t what the Cowboys are accustomed to. Despite the poor seasons recently in Michael Boynton’s first 3 seasons, they still finished above .500 this past year and have a great future ahead. The reason for that is Boynton getting it done on the recruiting trail. His 2019 class ranked 24th nationally, headlined with the 88th best player in the class according to 247sports. Boynton once again put the full court press on in 2020 and was able to land the 10th best recruiting class.
The main reason for that is landing number one player in the country Cade Cunningham, brother of assistant coach Cannen Cunningham. The Pokes also landed top 100 player Rondel Walker, who is a 4-star ranked 90th nationally. He describes himself as, “a lockdown defender who can score at will and knows how to get everybody involved.”
Walker talked with me about his recruitment and said he chose Oklahoma State because, “I feel like Coach [Boynton] was one of the few if not the only coach who told me the bad as well as the good and just kept it 100% and was very transparent throughout the whole process.” The Oklahoma City native chose to stay home and hopes it sets an example to “hopefully persuade younger juniors in the state to stay in state and hopefully and ultimately come be a cowboy and win.”
Along with Cunningham and Walker, the 2020 class also adds 3 more 3 stars,
Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe, Donovan Williams, and Montreal Pena. The expectations for this class are high but Walker says “I don’t feel like coming in as the #10 recruiting class adds added pressure but more of a fuel to our fire because we know that there is not 9 other recruiting classes better than us.”
Oklahoma State is a top 25 caliber team and will crack the top 25 at some point throughout the season. Rondel says his goals for the team are, “win the Big 12, lose less than 5 games, and advance to the sweet 16, then elite 8, then final 4, and play in and win the natty.”
The Cowboys will certainly be in the top half of a competitive Big 12 this upcoming season, and in year 4 under head coach Mike Boynton, expect the Pokes to be on national news everywhere.