The CRFF Roundtable is back and just in time. It’s been a buys couple weeks for Oklahoma State athletics especially for the basketball team.
We talk about new head coach Mike Boynton and our expectations for him, as well as try to help out his # game on twitter. We also discuss Mike Holder rumors, Cowboy baseball, and which position has us the most nervous as the football team undergoes Spring Practice.
The big story this week is new basketball coach Mike Boynton. Now that he's been formally introduced, how are you feeling about the hire?
Austin Higgs - 'm probably more optimistic than most people. If there was a guy out there that I reeeeally wanted for the program, I'd be more bummed out about Holder "settling", but I wasn't excited about the talent available. I would've been cool with Gottlieb, but I'm behind Boynton 100%.
Joel Penfield - I'm supporting him 100%. I wanted Doug badly to be the next head coach, but the more I've learned about Boynton, the more I like him. The players rave about him and that says a lot. Obviously a player will never talk down about a coach, but I think it's important that they strongly support the hire.
Colin Price - I'm feeling pretty good. He's happy to be here, he's been embraced by the players, he's kept the already solid coaching staff, he's making progress on keeping recruits, and all he's gotta do from here is win some games. I know that's easier said than done but if he can run the same offense Underwood had going and tighten up the defense, OSU will be scary good.
Brodie Smith - Like just about everyone else, I was asking "Who?" I guess I still am. However, I am optimistic because of the possibility of player retention with staff continuity. Both could be incredible factors in sustaining the momentum built in this season. So, color me optimistic even if I'm still asking the same question.
Tyler Wiederhoeft - Same as I felt about our last coach. Cautiously optimistic. I never write a guy off before I see what he can do. If Doug Gottlieb was hired (which I was not lobbying for), I would have given him a chance before complaining about how he was doing. Same goes for Boynton. The players seem to love him. (Honestly though, what player is going to speak out against their head coach?) It wasn't a out-of-the-park grand slam hire, it was more like a safety squeeze kind of hire, if you understand the baseball references. Basically, I guess I'm saying they both get the job done and score, but we need to wait and see if it is enough to win overall. (Kinda in a baseball mood lately.)
What does Boynton need to do to convince you he was the right hire?
Austin - This answer depends on next year's roster. If we get Evans and Carroll back, my expectations for Boynton are going to be sky high. However, it's more likely that we will be without Evans. Losing three starters (possibly four) is never easy for a team. I expect some growing pains from the young guys and Boynton next year. Year two is when we should start judging whether this is a good hire or not. I mean, he is known for his player development, right?
Joel - Plain and simple, win long term. This year could have some growing pains, especially if both Carroll and Evans leave for the pros. But if this guy is as good of a player development coach as I've heard, then long term we should be able to contend.
Colin - Not blow it. He's pretty convinced me so far and it'll take a while before I believe otherwise. The only thing he'd do for me to lose faith would be to come out into play and fall flat on his face; losing to easy non-conference opponents, showing no in game strategy, and coaching not to lose while ahead.
Brodie - Aside from winning? Boynton doesn't need to be Underwood 2.0. He must be himself and build on the progress made in the last year. He needs to convince players and commitments to stay with OSU. He has a lot to learn quickly and having a great group of players in his first locker room will certainly assist him in that process. If this team can stay relatively intact and add a solid recruiting class, I like the chances of OSU dethroning the Jayhawks machine atop the Big XII (hope springs eternal).
Tyler - I would say at least an equal or better season performance to last year if both Evans and Carroll come back. If (God forbid) one or both don't return, I'm just looking for a winning record overall and within two games of .500 in conference play. Boynton took a HUGE first step in the right direction with his press conference. He continues to take big steps with all the recruiting he has done since Monday's conference. Ensuring Zack Dawson will stay with the Cowboys was an enormous retention for the Cowboys and Boynton's popularity.
There are stories and rumors that Athletic Director Mike Holder could be retiring in the near future. Do you think he should stay or go?
Austin - I dunno. I think Holder has done some amazing things for this University. I also think we should be building a Mike Gundy statue in front of BPS, and Holder will never let that happen. I'm conflicted.
Joel - Right now I don't know. This will depend on if somehow Holder manages to run off (God forbid) Boynton. I think he just needs to stay in his office and start beginning to find someone to replace him in the next few years. I think it's getting to that time. He's done a lot for this university and you gotta know when to step away from the table.
Colin - I think he should stay around at least another year to wrap up all these projects that have been started: the baseball stadium, paying the star coaches and their assistants, and seeing to it that Mike Boynton pans out; by way of contract extension after proven success or the opposite.
Brodie - I think Holder should go out on his own terms, but he has to be aware of the discontent that has built in the fan base stemming from perceptions of decisions he is responsible for making. I say let this latest hire play out for a year or two and go from there.
Tyler - As I said in my article, I wouldn't mind getting a new AD - as long as it doesn't make Boone "Sugar Daddy" Pickens furious with the school. For more on my feelings on the subject, check out the article.
Let's talk baseball for a minute. OSU isn't having their best season at 15-9 right now and 0-3 in Big 12 play. What's contributing to their rough start to the year?
Austin - Easy question. We are playing a ton of freshmen right now, and our pitching staff has been busted, bruised and broken. I think we'll finish stronger than we started.
Joel - TCU is the #5 team in the nation, they are GOOD. OSU is getting better, I think inconsistency in the starting pitching is the main issue right now. Once Trey Cobb, Jensen Elliott, and Ben Leeper are fully healthy, that will add depth to a depleated staff.
Colin - The biggest thing so far has been a lack of consistency from the pitching staff. Some days they're having a killer rotation and are mowing down everyone in their way and other days they can cycle through everyone and not find themselves giving up hit after hit. I have faith they'll figure it out sooner than later and start making a run.
Brodie - When you give up runs, it's difficult to develop consistent success. Defense and solid pitching are the keys to turn things around.
Tyler - Injuries are a huge part of it. Trey Cobb and Jon Littell just to name a couple. Plus, we lost a decent chunk of the core (and infield) that took us to Omaha last season - Thomas Hatch, J.R. Davis, Colin Theroux and Donny Walton. The Cowboys are doing alright though. They played TCU - one of the best teams in the country - tough two of the three games. The youngsters need to learn how to close out games and we will be just fine. There is a lot of talent on this team, they just need to figure out how to use it in the best way possible.
Spring football is in full swing. What position are you most concerned with right now?
Austin - Cornerback. I'm still questioning the Ramon Richards move to safety. Edison-McGruder's moved to star linebacker (which means Calvin Bundage isn't ready to start?) and Ramon slid into his safety spot. This move left cornerback wiiiiiiiiiide open. Getting that Clemson transfer would be clutch, but I'm just worried about the lack of experience at the corners. Good thing the Big 12 isn't known for it's high powered aerial attack offenses, right? LOL
Joel - Cornerback. I think moving Ramon Richards to safety is the right thing to do, but it leaves a massive hole at CB position. Madre Harper, Darius Curry, and AJ Green can fill that position, but Harper and Green have minimal playing time there. Hopefully spring ball against the best receiving corps in the nation will help them gain some experience.
Colin - O-Line and Cowboy Back. With the loss of depth on the line, I'm curious to see if they can land a transfer or two and maintain success. And with both of our top 2 CW's gone, there's some big holes to fill both when blocking and receiving. Jarwin and Veatch were crucial in the run game and things might take a step back if they don't prepare properly.
Brodie - It seems like we say this every Spring, but the whole defense frightens me, especially the linebackers. I don't expect an Alabama-esque defense, but I've been waiting for Spencer to build a stifling defense that can keep opponents off the scoreboard without a "bend, don't break" view.
Tyler - Cornerback. It was a huge concern before Ramon Richards slid back to the safety position. Now it's just that much more concerning. I haven't heard or seen much out of the spring practice yet, but I'm guessing Yurcich and Gundy will figure it out. At least I hope they do. I don't want to be competing with Texas Tech to see who has the worst defense in the conference.
Finally, back to Mike Boynton. He's been pretty active on twitter so far.
The only thing is, after following coaches like Marcus Arroyo and Glenn Spencer, Boynton could use some help with his # game. What would you suggest he replace #LetsWork with that will get fans and recruits excited?
Austin - Sticking with the #letswork theme... How about #LunchPails ? Let me know what you think, Coach Boynton.
Joel - I may be in the minority here, but I love #LetsWork. It's short, sweet, and to the point. For Boynton right now, it works. He's already better at twitter than Underwood ever was. But if he wants to up his twitter game a little bit, he should go talk to Jason McEndoo (Cowboy Backs coach) and get some advice.
Colin - Honestly, #LetsWork is better than most things I can come up with quickly, so I'll let his twitter game develop.
Brodie - Now that the GIAnt is awake, let's tap into that atmosphere and the posse mentality. #RideTogether
Tyler - When the good Lord created me, He left out the creative gene. I'm not good with coming up with new catchy, creative stuff like that. All I know is #LetsWork is an overused cliché. Let's give the guy some slack though. He hasn't really had a lot of time to put a lot of thought into a new, catchy catchphrase. He was hired on Friday, had a press conference Mondayand flew out to recruit the same Monday. He's pretty much living in a plane these days. Once he gets back to Oklahoma though, he needs to sit down with his creative geniuses and come up with a new hashtag.