It’s opening day for The Masters, and Rickie Fowler is out on the course. As we follow his quest for his first major win, I took to Twitter to answer some questions about Oklahoma State athletics.
Let’s get to it.
We (understandably) had many questions about what Mike Boynton is going to do next season, with six players from his already-depleted roster not returning for next season.
Will we have enough players to field a basketball team in 2018-2019— mkrein (@mkreinod) April 5, 2018
Kind of quite right now on hoop commitments? Think it will heat up soon?— Johnny Ray Jr. (@jray_jr0128) April 5, 2018
What does the 2018/19 mens basketball roster look like ? Who are the projected starters with Shine , Sima, and Averette choosing to leave ?— John Robison (@JohnRob71) April 5, 2018
So, first off, make no mistake. Coach Boynton will put together a team. It may be nothing but walk-ons and the current scholarship players, but there will be Oklahoma State men’s basketball next season.
However, Boynton’s strength is recruiting. In this day and age, graduate transfers are just as common as high school seniors moving on to the next level.
Oklahoma State is reportedly in the mix for a lot of grad transfers. The number of transfers that will actually sign with the team is left to be determined.
To answer Johnny’s question, I think it may be a month or more before the commitments heat up. Grad transfers have just started to consider their options. If they are finishing up their schooling in the spring, they are likely focused on actually graduating more than they are focusing on where they will play basketball next season.
Check back in the middle of May or early June. I bet people will start committing and heading to their respective schools to start work over the summer.
Looking at the (admittedly not great) roster right now, I’d say the starting five has to be Michael Weathers (now eligible), Thomas Dziagwa, Lindy Waters would probably handle the three, while Cameron McGriff and Lucas N’Guessan would make up the frontcourt.
Indiana mid-season transfer Curtis Jones will be able to challenge for a starting position once he is eligible on January 1, 2019.
Nothing against N’Guessan, but he is there out of default, not by my choice. He’s a good kid, but the skill just isn’t there - or if it is, we haven’t seen it yet. Expect HCMB to recruit the frontcourt heavily, as McGriff, N’Guessan and Trey Reeves are the only front court players on the roster.
One thing that Boynton can pitch is immediate playing time. That needs to be a big selling point, and could be the thing that gets players like Trey Porter (Old Dominion) to transfer over. In the meantime, 2018 commits Yor Anei and Duncan Demuth need to come in and be ready to perform at a high level.
TL;DR version: I don’t know what is going to happen, but #InBoyntonWeTrust.
Pretty sure I would be told to clear my desk (again) if I went any other direction.
However, if I was forced to go in a different direction (against my will Cade - I promise), I would say Justin Thomas. I really like the way he plays and he is always really solid on the big stage.
1. Do you have any Masters Traditions?— Jacob Ingalls (@jacobingalls) April 5, 2018
2. Surprise sleeper star for OSU football this year
3. How far does Baseball and Softball go this year?
4. Fav bar in stilly?
5. Does the mullet last the season?
Ok - let’s go. Rapid fire.
1. I’m a relatively new golf fan. I’ve only been watching out of my choice since I got to college less than three years ago. I don’t really have a “tradition” per say, but I guess I’m watching them during class this year if that counts?
2. I’ll give both an offensive sleeper and a defensive sleeper.
Offense - Patrick McKaufman
While the WR corps is still deep for the Cowboys, look for McKaufman to get a few looks this season as a redshirt-sophomore. The JUCO transfer measures in at 6-6, 200 lbs. Look for whoever wins the QB battle to look for him in the red zone on the fade routes. I’m looking for him to take over the role of Marcell Ateman.
McKaufman had all last season to practice with the Cowboys and adjust to the speed of the Cowboy offense. This gives him an advantage over transfers and freshmen and not a lot of people talk about him, because he didn’t play anywhere but the practice field last season.
Defense - Enoch Smith, Jr.
As a redshirt senior, Smith should be seeing the field a lot for Jim Knowles and the new-look Cowboy defense. Darrion Daniels, Trey Carter, Latu Maile and Smith should make a fearsome two-deep rotation.
In 14 games, Smith totaled 14 tackles, 5.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks. I think he improves on those numbers this season, so he’s my dark horse on the defensive side of the ball this season.
3. This softball team is incredible on the offensive side of the ball - led by Vanessa Shippy. The Cowgirls are 25-11 and 4-2 in conference play.
The baseball team is a bit of a mystery. We’ve seen them sweep TCU, but also lose 2-of-3 to Eastern Michigan (8-17). I don’t think we have seen what this team really is, but it’s a long season. We will find out shortly enough as we get into Big 12 play.
I think both make it to postseason, but alas, no ultimate victory for either squad.
4. Personally, I'm not a fan of the stereotypical college bar. Loud pop/rap music with bright flashing lights and drinks that you order and have no idea what is in them is a no-go for me.— Cowboys Ride For Free (@CowboysRFF) April 5, 2018
As a small-town boy, give me the laid back bars. Above all, gimme a bonfire with friends.
5. I think the mullet will make it through summer ball for sure. As I mentioned on Twitter, the Arkansas Waterfall is now part of Gundy’s lore, and it would take something drastic for him to get rid of it.
Think about it. It is arguably what he is most known for. In my humble opinion, it’s just below the rant. The rant would be No. 1, while the mullet is No. 1.5 it’s that close.
I’m not sure I want to know what it would take to cut the mullet, but I’d guess it would have something to do with a lot of losses and not many wins.
What are the talking points/deciding factors you believe will or will not allow Larry Williams to return.— chris baker (@Cbaker4415) April 5, 2018
We lose at least three starters on the OL, is that really that bad since our OL was just average? Not like we're replacing early round NFL draft talent.
This is the NCAA we are talking about here. I can’t even pretend to understand what goes on through their heads. I’ll quote my dad as to the odds of him getting the medical redshirt and playing next season.
“It’s 50-50. Either he will or he won’t.”
As far as the OL point, you make a good point that we didn’t have an Orlando Brown (OU) or Connor Williams (Texas) or Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame), but I think it will still not be easy. It’s never easy losing 3/5 - maybe 4/5 if Williams’ appeal is denied - of a starting position. The chemistry isn’t there as much as it was and the new guys need to work together and become a cohesive unit. It will be interesting to see how essentially every offensive position besides the running backs will develop over the summer.
Speaking of the RB position, Evan (@EvanRaunikar) wants to know,
How do you see the hill, king, Hubbard lineup working out? Obviously Hill will get the main workload but how will they divide the carries with King/Hubbard?
Unfortunately, I don’t think Chuba Hubbard will get the carries that many people want to see. Early in the season - especially in non-conference - the Canadian speedster will likely see a lot of work as Gundy tries to save Justice Hill from unnecessary wear and tear in games that likely won’t mean a lot in the long run.
It will also help the Cowboys run the offense at the breakneck speed that Gundy and Mike Yurcich like to run at. Rotating Hill and Hubbard will help keep the pace up and the defense tired. That’s what I’m expecting to see this season.
Hubbard definitely looks ready to play. He’s not the skinny track star he was at this time last year.
Thanks to all for sending in questions for this week’s mailbag. I’m going to try and do this every Thursday for the foreseeable future, so have your questions ready!
Have a good Thursday and go Rickie!