Following an NCAA investigation regarding an Oklahoma State basketball associate head coach accepting bribes, it has been announced that the NCAA will hit the Pokes with a 2020-2021 postseason ban. Other penalties include three year probation, a three scholarship reduction through the 2022-2023 season, and a 10,000 dollar fine.
As I wrote in an article last week about the Pokes primed to bounce back, this was arguably their best year to have a shot to go win the national championship. Oklahoma State brought in the #10 recruiting class headlined by #1 player Cade Cunningham. They were set to be a top 25 team and when I interviewed top 100 player and incoming recruit, Rondel Walker last week prior to these penalties he said his goals are, “to 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.” Now outside of losing less than 5 games these goals are now impossible.
As Oklahoma State was one of the most underrated teams entering this season, all eyes will turn to Cade Cunningham. Despite already signing his letter of intent to attend the university, he will most likely be released from that if requested. Cunningham is projected to be the #1 pick by Draft Express in the 2021 draft and very well could follow high profile recruits Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd to the GLeague. If he opts to stay with the college route but wants to have the chance to play in March, just about every school in the country will be calling for him.
This is a very tough break for Oklahoma State and I’m sure an appeal will come but most likely will be denied. With the great recruiting class coming in, they could very well flip their commitments and have a lot of high level interest for some of the top 2020 recruits.